Speaking at the European Parliament yesterday, Mr William Kwende, the voice of the African private sector, highlighted that Serious Shea is planting trees along the Great Green Wall Africa, but the only solution to stop the population cutting these trees ‘tomorrow’ is the implementation of sustainable value chains.
It is the deforestation-free, zero-carbon, beyond fair trade value chain which will achieve The Sahel and the Great Green Wall regeneration for communities and for our next generations. The alternative is continued use of wood fuel in kitchens and for processing and a continued rise in mass migration, mostly for those who can afford it!
Mr Kwende asked European Leaders “Where is the economic opportunity for communities, investors, other stakeholders such as the European Union, African Union, African Development Bank and others. Who is going to export millions of tonnes of products from the Great Green Wall, for example for the European economy.”
Mr Kwende continued to give the example of the multi-billion dollar shea butter industry, stating that 90% of exported shea butter is used in chocolate.
“Without shea butter” he continued, “there is no chocolate. Yet without the local clean energy processing infrastructure in Africa the shea butter exported, for example, potentially for the EU, does not meet import standards and uses 20kg of wood fuel for every 1kg of shea butter processed.”
Serious Shea Ambassador and Advisor Habida Moloney, was keen to highlight the additional benefits of the Serious Shea profitable business model for women empowerment.
She commented “An additional €1000 per household per year is delivered to households through Serious Shea shares, managed by Sahel Women’s Group Cooperatives, the minimum Serious Shea has estimated will be needed to achieve Universal Heath Care, secondary education and clean water and sanitation by 2030.”
Mr Kwende explained that the potential ingredients from the Sahel by 2030, shea butter, superfoods such as moringa and baobab, gums, edible oils, dried mangoes and liquid fertilizers and biochars will be worth in the region of € 50 billion.
Serious Shea has been working on a solution with the support of the African Development Bank and the World Bank and has developed the technologies to process all products from the Sahel and the Great Green Wall without the need for fossil fuels. Serious Shea is connecting the communities who will process their goods with the international markets with a governance structure that is first of its kind. The infrastructure is created for training and for women’s groups and communities to process their goods to international standards. Serious Shea as the company takes responsibility for the sustainable outcomes which are delivered to communities through cooperative instruments.
Mr Kwende further commented ‘This makes every investment sustainable, we do not see any other way’.
Serious Shea is demonstrating that this is a big opportunity to attract financing from the private sector. Through cooperative instruments, including training, land rights, local monitoring and data collection which corroborates satellite data, 10 million sustainable jobs can be created. Pre-paid carbon credits are part of the opportunity to blend with debt finance and the project finance required to undertake the baseline data and additionally analysis, stakeholder preparations, site planning, environmental impact studies and due diligence feasibility for private investors.
Mr Kwende explained the point of view from the private sector, he stated “When you say 250 million tonnes of CO2, as the private sector we see € 2.5 billion of carbon substitution. We see the Great Green Wall as one of the most important opportunities. What we ask is that the private sector in Africa has a role, and a very important role, as this is the only solution”.
Serious Shea welcomes and congratulates the EU on the 2030 import regulation for only deforestation-free products. Serious Shea is urging the European Union to address the project financing and supporting policy and regulations to enable sustainable Africa added-value chains to Europe.