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Africa is uniquely positioned to be a green manufacturing hub for the world, thanks to its ability to ‘go green from the start’ and its physical proximity to certain markets (notably Europe and the Middle East).

The world urgently needs products and services with fewer so-called ‘embedded’ emissions. This can be achieved by producing differently, producing products closer to the point of consumption (to reduce the need for physical transport), and transporting products differently.

This is already reflected in a consumer trend towards “buying local” in many developed countries – yet global demand cannot be satisfied fully through local production alone. Nor can we rely on reducing consumption - global demographic trends will drive growing consumption levels.

Africa can serve growing global demand for low-footprint products and services by building and growing green manufacturing capacity to provide climate friendly production (expansion) capacity for the world.

It can do this as an increasingly competitive green manufacturing and energy hub that accelerates the greening of global industry. The business and investment case for this will be helped by the creation of a global level playing field. Measures such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms put a real price on embedded emissions, which will allow Africa to build on this competitive advantage – and will create incentives for global capital to invest in African production.