Niger State’s Maiden Green Economy Summit 2023
By Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Known for its diverse natural resources, including fertile agricultural land, forests, water bodies, abundant mineral deposits, and scenic landscapes is Niger State, located in the North Central region of Nigeria.
Like many regions across the globe, Niger state is grappling with challenges related to environmental degradation, including deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution which have all been exacerbated by climate change, leading to unpredictable weather patterns, increased desertification, and threats to agricultural productivity in the face of challenging financing circumstances.
With the growing need for sustainable solutions, the government of Niger State, under the leadership of Governor Mohammed Umar Bago, will host the first ever subnational, Green Economy Summit, with the unveiling of the Niger State Green Economy Blueprint to guide developmental choice of actions in the state.
The main objectives of the Summit are to serve as a platform to attract local and international investors interested in green assets trading, green technologies, renewable energy projects, and sustainable financing initiatives.
Recognizing the potential of green technologies and sustainable development, Niger State government aims to leverage its carbon assets and embrace eco-friendly initiatives to boost economic growth.
Consequently, the summit will focus on exploring green business opportunities, renewable energy projects, sustainable agriculture, and eco-tourism as means to drive economic diversification and job creation.
It will also align with the global commitment to reducing carbon emissions, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and promoting sustainable development, in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is also meant to provide opportunity to showcase innovative green technologies and best practices from around the world. This will foster technology transfer and knowledge sharing to enable Niger State adopt and implement sustainable greenhouse solutions effectively.
The gathering will place emphasis on the role of local communities in sustainable development thereby empowering communities with the necessary knowledge and resources to engage in eco-friendly practices and benefit from green initiatives.
Featuring workshops, panel discussions, and presentations, the summit shall increase public awareness and knowledge about green technologies, sustainable practices, and environmental issues.
In view of these, the Summit will attract experts and participants from around the world that will facilitate the exchange of ideas, best practices, and technologies. This will allow Niger State to learn from successful green initiatives implemented elsewhere and adapt them to its own context.
The Niger State Green Economic Summit, with the theme “Sustainable Future: Harnessing Green Assets and Innovation for Niger State’s Prosperity,” will have in attendance the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ministers, heads of relevant agencies, state governors, representatives of multilateral and bilateral international organisations, development partners and development finance institutions.
Others include captains of industry, local and international experts on the theme and sub-themes, members of the academia, community leaders, youth and women group representatives, civil society organisations.
The two-day hybrid event will take place on the 24 and 25 October, 2023 in Minna, the Niger State capital. The date will coincide with the United Nations Day as well as the climate advocacy group, 350.org’s International Day of Advocacy for Climate Action, held on the 24 October annually.
The choice of the date is to underscore the resolve to partake in achieving collective global goals through responsible local action, especially as Nigeria prepares to participate in the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, UAE, between November 30th and December 12th, 2023.
Five hundred (500) participants shall be drawn from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, this will ensure harvesting of innovative ideas that will enable the state make good use of its arable land in aggregating cash crops and low-hanging fruit in addressing environmental challenges, harnessing carbon assets, and fostering green economic development.
The maiden subnational summit will position Niger State as a leading example of sustainable growth and responsible environmental stewardship in Nigeria and beyond which others can take a leaf from.
*Aliyu Umar Aliyu is the Chairman, Communication subcommittee, Niger State Green Economy Summit Initiative*