Low carbon Africa: development & business opportunity?

This debate, at the Royal Geographical Society on 29 April 2014, examined the development potential and trade opportunities for the UK of low carbon energy in sub-Saharan Africa. It was held in partnership with Christian Aid, RSPB, Greenpeace and WWF.


  1. Chuka Umunna MP, shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills gave a speech followed by a panel debate with His Excellency Williams Nkurunziza, Rwandan High Commissioner to the UK; Rolake Akinkugbe, head of energy and natural resources coverage, FBN Capital; Stefan Dercon, chief economist, Department for International Development; and Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive, Azuri Technologies. The debate was chaired by Laura Taylor, head of advocacy at Christian Aid.
  2. Panellists and attendees gathered for drinks and discussion before the event:
  3. ...including many colleagues from the development sector, such as Alison Doig from Christian Aid, author of Low carbon Africa, leapfrogging to a green future
  4. Green Alliance published an infographic report on the same day demonstrating the scale of the issue and opportunities for British business.
  5. Matthew Spencer, Green Alliance director, opened the event, highlighting key facts from the infographic report.
  6. Chuka Umunna gave his thoughts on the potential of low carbon energy in Africa, arguing that African countries should not be seen just as recipients of aid, but as economic partners. British business has a lot to offer, helping to build low carbon infrastructure and share skills and expertise as the market grows.