Remarks by Ambassador Peter Woeste at Rwanda Green Fund – Investing in Green Growth: The Potential of E-Mobility

I am humbled to represent Germany in the first ever African Green Growth Forum.

Minister Biruta stressed in today’s New Times that green policy is business policy. Yes, it’s about business opportunities. My topic is e-Mobility. E-Mobility and its potential. Finally it’s about how to make money with e-mobility.

You have read the world news. General Motors will close a number of factories to concentrate on fewer models and to invest in e-mobility.

Because it’s the future. You have to be totally ignorant, to deny the fact of climate change. Only then you would doubt the wisdom of such a decision. The car maker wants to make money. That’s why he invests in e-mobility.

And you have to believe in weird conspiracy theories not to acknowledge that human activities affect the climate.

Germany knows that we have to adapt to climate change. About one third of our energy consumption is produced from renewables already. And there were days when renewables could cover all of our electricity hunger.

And here in Rwanda everybody I meet is complaining about changing weather patterns, about unpredictable rainy seasons.

To combat climate change, the world’s governments will meet in Katowice, Poland, for COP24 in just a few days. Climate finance is high up on the agenda of COP24: Katowice is expected to develop a comprehensive financing strategy for climate action in developing countries to enable climate mitigation and adaptation measures. Industrialized countries must – as promised in Paris – provide significantly more climate finance than before. Our Chancellor has pledged to double Germany’s international public climate financing by 2020.

And this is the point where Germany in Rwanda comes in: We have been supporting FONERWA since 2013 with funds from the Energy and Climate Fund. This fund was established in 2010, triggered by the Fukushima disaster, to accompany Germany’s international commitment to combat climate change. Our development bank, the KfW, is implementing these commitments on the government’s behalf.

Last year, during the governmental negotiations, Germany committed another seven million Euros to support Rwanda’s National Strategy for Climate Change and Low Carbon Development. Through the Rwandan Green Fund, Germany aims to support Rwanda’s journey in becoming a climate-resilient, low-carbon economy by 2050.

And now we come to E-Mobility:

Rwanda’s nascent e-mobility sector falls under the umbrella of green economic growth. We are particularly targeting the reduction of emission through the addressing of the transport sector in Rwanda. The 8.000 motos in Rwanda, you will know that, are not the most environmental friendly way of transport, for example.

Recently we have teamed up with FONERWA to launch the Green City Pilot, a flagship project for sustainable urban development in the region.

Green City Kigali is expected to deliver a paradigm shift in Green Urbanization and Mobility.

Besides the development of the masterplan of this site of 620ha here in town and the promotion of affordable housing as part of it, the feasibility study will uncover Electric Mobility Policy Options for Rwanda. In partnership with UNEP, the study aims to develop the policy framework for Electric Mobility, laying the ground work for private sector investments to flourish.

But we shouldn’t reflect too long on studies. The question is, can we earn money with e-mobility? I think companies like Volkswagen are believing in it. Otherwise they wouldn’t have come here. To them, Rwanda is an ideal testing ground. Kigali will never be a Detroit of Africa. And Rwanda shouldn’t try to copy the old world. The future of mobility is not about owning a car. It’s about making e-mobility viable by sharing cars, by frequent supply of e-buses etc.

With the enabling force of FONERWA, Rwanda has already sparked the interest of national and international companies alike, all targeting the E-Mobility sector. I see a vision for Rwanda – and many other African countries. Sell yourself as the green footprint. There are others who offer themselves as new partners who want to sell their old charcoal technique. Don’t fall for their tricks. Go the whole way. Ask for the latest technique. Germany is ready to partner with you on this.

Thank you for your attention.