The future of climate change in the African region
Following COP25, Business Chief takes a look at the future of climate change in the African region.
Boosting women involvement in climate change
Discussions at COP25 talks, highlighted the magnification of socio-economic shifts happening due to climate change. In particular farmers. “Experts pointed to data indicating that the struggle to earn a livelihood pushes many farmers to migrate to cities in search of casual work. As a result, the women left behind in the villages must care for the family.”
“It is impossible to address climate change when 50% of the population was ignored,” stresses Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (AfDB). “You cannot achieve sustainable development without ensuring gender equality. They are two sides of the same coin. Progress made so far is commendable but not enough.”
To promote gender equality, the AfDB has committed to providing US$20bn over five years to promote women’s participation in agricultural enterprises in West Africa.
A united front
The African region in recent months has witnessed devastating natural disasters as a result of climate change. Although this region contributes the least to global warming emissions it is among the most vulnerable to be affected. Main sectors that contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development that are being affected by climate change include, agriculture, livestock and fisheries, energy, biodiversity and tourism.
“The climate disaster issues confronting the continent demand a predictable and unified response,” said UN ASG Mohamed Beavogui, Director General of African Risk Capacity, an agency of the African Union that helps governments respond to natural disasters. “Africa needs to move towards market-based innovative financing models to achieve a strong, united, resilient and globally influential continent. The future of Africa depends on solidarity.”
Regional power acceleration
In addition to cultural shifts, AfDB has validated a study report on enhancing regional and subregional power projects to enhance access to energy and integrate across the continent.
Previous attempts across the continent have stalled due to being considered commercially unviable or unbankable. “The programme intends to boost private investments, enhance cross border power trading, and expand regional integration by accelerating the resolution of technical, legal, regulatory, financial, procurement, environmental and social issues for large-scale projects in Africa,” said AfDB.
“To overcome the diverse constraints in Africa’s power sector, the African Development Bank launched the Regional and sub-Regional Power Project Acceleration Programme. It provides incentives for development finance institutions to mobilise financing for the power sector through regional and sub-regional connectivity,” said Angela Nalikka, the Bank’s Manager for National and Regional Power Systems.
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.