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Green Economy Innovation Session – Hosted By GCIC And IDIA

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Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) had the honor of partnering with the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA), on the 12th of May 2023, to co-host a Green Economy Innovation Session and to hold conversations with the donor community within and outside Ghana, on issues around the Ghana climate and enterprise ecosystem. 

IDIA is a collaborative platform that unites the top leadership of innovation teams, labs, and departments from renowned development agencies worldwide. Together, their mission is to promote and advance innovation as a vital means to accomplish sustainable development, as outlined by the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Through this unique partnership, IDIA aims to foster innovation across different sectors to create lasting and meaningful change towards a more sustainable future.  

During the Green Economy Innovation Session, the Executive Director of GCIC, Ruka Sanusi, gave an overview of the current climate trends in Ghana and highlighted the opportunities and challenges that exist in using innovation as a catalyst for transitioning to a green economy. Drawing from insights gained from the GCIC’s Policy Alternatives for a Green Economy initiative, Sanusi presented key learnings on how innovation can be leveraged to achieve sustainable economic growth in Ghana. These learnings were taken from the work that the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre carries out, supported by Global Affairs Canada, over a period of four (4) years from August 2021 to August 2025. During this time, GCIC will incubate a total of 240 climate entrepreneurs in the small and growing business sector from across Ghana. 

The session explored the current landscape of climate ‘green economy’ innovation in Ghana, combining insights at a national ecosystem level with the experiences of two climate entrepreneurs from Ghana, Valerie Larbi of Mana Mobility and Kobina Nyanteh of Translight Solar & Transvolt Ghana Ltd, a GCIC Incubator alumni. The two innovators gave insights into bringing new green economy innovations to the Ghanaian market and reflected on their experiences as green entrepreneurs in the Country.   

Valerie spoke about the work her company is carrying out in Ghana, designing, and building electric bikes and cars to satisfy the demand for low cost, sustainable transportation whilst Kobina Nyanteh spoke about his business accelerating electricity access in Africa through renewable energy.   

According to Valerie, African markets are home to 40% of global used vehicles, 80% of which do not meet basic emission standards. Many of these cars are exported to African markets after 10-15 years in markets such as US and Europe and do not last long on the Ghanaian roads. Her company, Mana Mobility, has aptly realized that no local manufacturer is producing vehicles to fulfil the emerging demand for electric vehicles to be used on the continent, and has embarked on a journey to create electric vehicles that have been designed to suit the context of Africa. 

By 2028, the MANA ecosystem intends to generate over 100,000 quality inclusive jobs and to sequester 1.1 million tons of CO2 saving. 

 Kobina Nyanteh, CEO of Translight Solar & Transvolt Ghana Ltd was an entrepreneur in cohort 1 of the GCIC Business Incubator. Translight has been focused on marketing solar solutions for the past couple of years and defining solutions for the technology and financial challenges.

In the next ten years, they hope to install an aggregate of 10GW solar systems, to create 10,000 jobs, 40% of which will go to women and to offset 16.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.