World Bank SVP and General Counsel, Sandi Okoro, Impressed with The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre’s Progress

The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre receives approval for its efforts in helping climate change businesses

Climate change poses issues for many countries across the globe. As a fast-developing economy, Ghana has variable weather conditions. Rising sea levels, unpredictable rainfall and high temperatures present social and economic difficulties. According to Climatelinks, “45 percent of the workforce still depends on rain-fed agriculture.” The fish sector accounts for 4.5 percent of the Ghana’s GDP. This sector provides nutritional and economic benefits for people in Ghana. Environmental changes present potential repercussions which are difficult to ignore.

The inception of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) at Ashesi University in 2015 is evidence that Ghana is responding to the effects of climate change through an active approach. GCIC helps and develops startups that have innovative and adaptive solutions for combating climate change problems in Ghana, with its core focus being on five sectors:

  • Solar energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Waste management
  • Climate-smart agriculture
  • Water management and purification

The GCIC follows an effective model, which offers business advise, training services and office spaces for startup, commercial support for universities and research institutions as well as product-development guidance. It understands the importance of networking. As such, it utilises the international chain of innovation centres, promoting knowledge, business cooperation and stakeholder engagement. This combination of global business integration and co-influence may give the Ghanaian economy wider opportunities.

Startups require financial backing for longevity and growth. In 2017, 6 companies received grants with a combined total of $124,900. These startups that showed entrepreneurial potential included: Alchemy Alternative Energy, Translight Solar, Ghana Bamboo Bikes, DAS Biogas, Global Bamboo and Rasaboat. Financing and supporting 11 entrepreneurs, GCIC is an active business in its field. Its commitment to helping companies sustain business models for climate change has been recognised in Ghana.

The Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank, Sandie Okoro is impressed by the Centre’s progress and entrepreneurial support.  “…I am very impressed. They are using local materials to solve social challenges and an example is a company that is helping to produce a substitute for charcoal to ensure that women don’t inhale smoke when cooking to keep them healthy,” she said, during a day of interaction at the school.

Evidently, the GCIC has a two-fold effect on the Ghana. Firstly, this company has social and sustainability benefits. Secondly, entrepreneurs or SME ventures in the green business sector with exceptional ideas can receive the necessary support, thereby growing Ghana’s entrepreneurial scene. Ghana’s climate change centre offers a promising future for new business owners and the environment.

Funded by a grant from the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands through the WorldBank, the Centre is managed by Ashesi University College, Ernst and Young, SNV Ghana and the United Nations University.

The GCIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Programme, which has centres across the globe.