The Chief Executive Officer of AXIAN Group, Hassanein Hiridjee has said wealthy countries must do more to assist Africa in reducing the harmful effects of climate change and providing climate justice to the continent.
AXIAN is a pan-African group operating across five core areas including real estate, telecoms, financial services, energy, and innovation.
AXIAN has 6,000 employees, working across 28 countries across the Indian Ocean and Africa. AXIAN is an experienced clean energy operator in Africa, connecting 30,000 people in rural Madagascar to the electricity grid last year alone. The company now provides 80% of the country’s solar power.
According to Hiridjee, “There’s a huge injustice, where the people who were polluting less are suffering the consequences of global warming. In Africa we see massive typhoons, massive drought, and massive warming. It’s time for the rest of the world to work with us to combat the crisis.’’ This year has been a turbulent year with devastating climate change happening across Africa.
Extreme weather in Africa has killed at least 4,000 people and affected another 19 million since early 2022, according to a new analysis by Carbon Brief, as drought, famine and floods wreak havoc across the continent.
As world leaders gather in Sharm el-Sheikh for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the organisation’s Secretary-General António Guterres called on rich countries “through bold long-term commitments and actions to prioritise support to the most vulnerable.”
The African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC), of which AXIAN Group is a founding member, convened at COP27 on 9 November to meet the CEOs of the continent’s leading companies and signed a climate declaration that pledged to uphold several important commitments to advance climate protection.
The African Business Leaders said in a statement, “We hear the alarming warnings of the scientific community and understand that although Africa has contributed the least to creating the climate crisis, its people, its ecosystems, its economies, and its cultural heritage are among the most vulnerable and least prepared to adapt.”
According to the International Energy Agency, 43% of Africans still don’t have access to electricity. AXIAN’s recently launched New Energy Africa, an initiative to develop infrastructure for renewable power projects across the continent, aims to change that.
‘’We’re already transforming Africa’s energy mix. We’re already pushing renewables,’’ Hiridjee said. ‘’The cost of renewables now is lower than for fossil fuels. Everyone is totally aligned with green energy. Everyone knows that renewables are the solution.’’