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American investors visit South Africa with an eye for sustainable energy

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US investors with over $1 trillion in assets under management are looking for investment opportunities in South Africa.

The visit is made possible by USAID and Prosper Africa, the US government’s initiative to increase trade and investment between African countries and the Americas, began Tuesday and will coincide with the trip of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken arrives in the country on Sunday – his second official trip to Africa.

He will also visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.

South Africa, the world’s 13th largest source of greenhouse gases, will have to spend $250 billion over the next three decades to fund the shutdown of coal-fired power plants and the development of replacement green energies such as wind and solar, according to a report released in May.

The world’s richest countries pledged just $8.5 billion in climate subsidies and concessional loans to the nation at COP26 in Glasgow in November.

“There are not enough public resources in donor budgets and in local budgets, for example in South Africa, to solve the climate crisis,” Cameron Khosrowshahi, senior investment advisor for Prosper Africa, said in an interview on Thursday. “In addition to public capital, scaling up private capital will also be required to meet the challenge. And that’s part of the reason we’re here.”

The delegation comprised of pension funds, financial institutions and asset managers, including Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Kansas City Public School Retirement System and the NYC Board of Education Retirement System, will meet fund managers and discuss blended financing options for South Africa’s transition to renewable energy and women’s economic empowerment, said a statement from Prosper Africa and USAID.

The US is seeking to deepen its ties with Africa and counter the influence of China, the continent’s largest trading partner and bilateral creditor.

Blinken will be hosted by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor and will also engage in a strategic dialogue.

US investors also visited Senegal and Kenya in April.


Read: Water warning for one of South Africa’s largest cities

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