Category: Columns and media

“Chronicle of Three Deaths Foretold” – A call to action for the Fouta Djallon

By Erik Orsenna, Joel Ruet, & Hamed Semega. Published in Diplomatic Courier on March 31, 2023.

“The forested highlands of Fouta Djallon are in danger, and that means six major African rivers, including the Senegal, Gambia, and Niger rivers could dry up with devastating impacts. There are clear, actionable steps we can take to save the highlands, write Erik Orsena, Joel Ruet, and Hamed Semega.

The three deaths are those of the Senegal, Gambia, and Niger rivers.

So are the countries to which they give their names, as without their life-giving waters, the lands reliant on them will dry out and eventually die. It isn’t just Senegal, Gambia, and Niger that rely on these rivers either, it is also countries such as Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Erik Orsenna

Member of Académie française, Chairman, Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers (IFGR)


Joel Ruet

Economist at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation (i3), CNRS Chairman, The Bridge Tank


Hamed Semega

former Minister of water in Mali, former High Commissioner of the Senegal River Basin Organisation (2017-2022)

To read about IFGR, The Bridge Tank and OMVS’ side event on “The Fouta Djallon: Visions & Actions to Safeguard the Water Tower of West Africa” at the UN 2023 Water Conference, on March 24, 2023, click here.

Hydro-diplomacy: Minister Kumbaro Furxhi shares Albania’s experience with the Vjosa River National Park

2 weeks after the historic declaration of Albania’s Vjosa River as a national park by the Albanian government, The Bridge Tank and Initiatives for the Future of Great River had the honour of welcoming Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi, Minister of Tourism and Environment, Republic of Albania, on the panel of our side event on hydro-diplomacy during the UN 2023 Water Conference, on March 23rd, 2023.

This was an opportunity for the two organisations, represented by their respective presidents Joel Ruet, Economist at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation of the French National Center for Scientific Research & Erik Orsenna, Academician at the Académie française, to collect insights about the particular case of the Vjosa River – the first wild river national park in Europe.

The session titled “Towards an inclusive, pre-emptive, and positive hydro-diplomacy” aimed to expand the discussion and practice of hydro-diplomacy to a larger audience and range of stakeholders. In this context of a broadened and renewed hydro-diplomacy, Albania’s unique experience with the Vjosa River is a case deserving particular consideration. Introducing Minister Kumbaro Furxhi to the side event’s audience, Joel Ruet shared his own personal experience with the climatic context in Albania, which he got to experience in September 2022, when within a span of 3 weeks, he saw the weather change drastically, going from droughts to heavy rains.

Before giving the floor to Minister Kumbaro Furxhi, Erik Orsenna shared his own long-standing commitment to the future great rivers, looking at them not as a commodity, like water, but as live beings and characters whose story can be told.

Albania’s approach

After thanking the panel for allowing her to speak in French, a language she cherishes, Minister Kumbaro Furxhi began by presenting the unusual combination that constitutes her ministerial portfolio, combining tourism and the environment. Although this association may seem hostile, it is in fact the result of a desire on the part of the Albanian government to avoid this hostility and to find a balance between the two sectors that constitute two priorities for Albania: the development of tourism, i.e. a responsible and sustainable tourism, and the protection of the environment.

Despite being a small country, Albania is very rich in hills, mountains, forests and rivers with a coastline along the Adriatic Sea stretching between Montenegro and Greece. The role of rivers is very special for Albania, with 100% of its electricity production coming from hydroelectric plants. This dependence on hydroelectric power plants also makes the country dependent on the capriciousness of the weather, as the Minister pointed out. Although Albania is not a major polluter, the country is also a victim of the effects of climate change, alternating between long periods of drought and the risk of flooding when rainfall is too heavy.

The Vjosa River – a treasure to preserve

The wealth of its water resources makes Albania the second richest country in Europe in terms of water resources per capita. Among these resources is the last wild river in Europe: the Vjosa River. The fact that the Vjosa is the last wild river in Europe however raises many questions, the Minister noted, in particular as to why rivers have disappeared in their wild state across Europe. Such a reflection would help explain the international interest and pressure over the past 10 years to save Europe’s last wild river.

According to Minister Kumbaro Furxhi, this is a matter of maturity and empowerment of civil society, environmental NGOs, local communities, and politicians. This maturation resulted in the Albanian government’s decision in 2021 to protect the last wild river in Europe.

The Vjosa River rises in the Pindos mountain range in Greece. It flows through Greece for 70 kilometres before crossing the border into Albania. It then flows for another 200 kilometres through the country before flowing into the Adriatic Sea. The Vjosa has three tributaries in southern Albania – an area that constitutes a living natural laboratory with a rich ecosystem. It is not only a laboratory of flora and fauna “but also of the human soul”, of the Albanians who have inhabited this region for centuries and who are part of this biodiversity, the minister insisted.

The idea of combining sustainable development and responsible tourism, which “would not be just sea and sand”, but rather a discovery of nature and the richness of the surrounding area, aimed at safeguarding it and benefiting the local communities and economy, was born from this perspective. This approach therefore also consists of developing other forms of tourism such as “ecotourism, adventure tourism, mountain hiking, and agrotourism,” a phenomenon that has been growing in Albania, allowing farmers and producers to transform local products into a tourist offer.

To make this possible, Albania has already extended its protected areas from 17% to 21.3% of its territory and committed to reaching 30% by 2030 at the COP15 Biodiversity Summit in Montreal in 2022. According to Mrs Kumbaro Furxhi, this is a courageous and costly commitment, which will not lead to immediate profit, but rather to a more mature long-term vision, preparing the country for the decades and centuries to come.

The recent declaration of the Vjosa River as a national park was the first step of this project. This was achieved in partnership with international NGOs, experts, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Patagonia, an American company. The second step has already begun, as negotiations with the Greek government hope to expand the park over the border and combine Aóos, the Greek part of the river, and Vjosa on the Albanian side to make it the first transboundary park. The next step will be a common management plan.

As a conclusion, Minister Kumbaro Furxhi extended an invitation to come to Albania to visit the river, as the government, in cooperation with UNESCO, have started preparations to launch the process of inscribing the Vjosa River on UNESCO’s natural world heritage list.

The side event “Towards an inclusive, pre-emptive, and positive hydro-diplomacy” was coorganized by The Bridge Tank, Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers, in partnership with the French Water Partnership, the Geneva Water Hub, IHE Delft, the International Network of Basin Organizations, the Chair Technology for Change, and APCO Worldwide, who hosted the event.

UN 2023 Water Conference: The Bridge Tank & IFGR hold a side event on hydro-diplomacy

On 23 March, Day 2 of the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York, The Bridge Tank and Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers (IFGR) coorganised an official side event on hydro-diplomacy “Towards an inclusive, pre-emptive, and positive hydro-diplomacy.” The side event’s partner organisation included the French Water Partnership, the Geneva Water Hub, IHE Delft, the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), the Chair Technology for Change of École Polytechnique, and APCO Worldwide, which hosted the session.

The session was moderated by Dr Joel RUET, President, The Bridge Tank, and Economist at Institut Interdisciplinaire de l’Innovation i3t, École Polytechnique.

Participants included:

  • Minister Ms Mirela KUMBARO FURXHI, Minister of Tourism and Environment, Republic of Albania
  • Dr Erik ORSENNA, Chairman, Initiative for the Future of Great Rivers (IAGF, Initiative pour l’Avenir des Grands Fleuves), Academician at Académie française
  • Dr Christian BRETHAUT, Scientific Director, Geneva Water Hub (GWH), Global Observatory for Water and Peace (GOWP)
  • Ms Marie-Laure VERCAMBRE, General Director, French Water Partnership
  • Ms Alyssa OFFUTT, Researcher, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
  • Ms Clémence AUBERT, Head of Strategic Management, Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), France
  • Dr Suvi SOJAMO, Senior Research Scientist, Finnish Environment Institute, & Senior Advisor, Water Cooperation and Peace – Finnish Water Way

The panel discussion delved deeper into the topic of hydro-diplomacy, building on The Bridge Tank enduring commitment to the issue, which had already seen the organisation join forces with Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers in March 2022 for a side event on hydro-diplomacy at the World Water Forum in Dakar. The Bridge Tank’s interest in contributing to this issue had reached another milestone on December 6th, 2022 with a high level panel on hydro-diplomacy in Paris, on the side of the UN-Water Summit on Groundwater 2022, coordinated by UNESCO.

This side event, titled “Towards an inclusive, pre-emptive, and positive hydro-diplomacy” explored a diversity of initiatives, tools, institutional mechanisms and understandings of hydro-diplomacy which are being developed around the world and which could be mobilized within an enlarged and renewed practice of hydro-diplomacy. Examples of the Vjosa River in Albania or the Rhone River in France, offered by Minister Kumbaro Furxhi and Ms Aubert respectively, provided two complementary approaches to sustainable multi-sectoral water resources management and renaturation programmes, one through a wild river national park – the first of its kind in Europe – the other through a company’s endeavor at renaturation.

The session aimed to expand the conversation and practice of hydro-diplomacy beyond the sole activity of diplomats, in order to make it more inclusive. Discussions therefore examined how to connect track 1 and track 2 diplomacy, integrating the scientific community and water practitioners within track 1 diplomacy, something Finland has notably excelled at in its approach and practice of hydro-diplomacy over the years. Furthermore, contributions stressed the central role of the Water Convention as a shared foundation and common language on which to build new water cooperation frameworks and agreements, as noted by Alyssa Offutt from the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, and the development of data, engagement, and tools as contributing factors to the establishment of long lasting peace, as the work of the Geneva Water Hub exemplifies.

The water services industry is nowhere near left out of this process; it has accomplished a notable environmental transformation, as can be seen with the French Water Partnership, which was the civil society backbone of “Team France” at the Conference.

Closing the session, Hamed SEMEGA, former High Commissioner of the Senegal River Basin Development Organisation (OMVS, Organisation de Mise en Valeur du fleuve Sénégal) announced the launch of Water for Peace Africa Foundation in partnership with The Bridge Tank, IFGR, and West African River Basin Organisations. The foundation will aim to promote full cooperation between all stakeholders throughout the region and for them to share information and good practices to sustain peace.

The recording of the session

G20/Business 20 : The Bridge Tank takes part in the B20 India Inception Meeting

After Indonesia’s tenure in 2022, the turn of the year saw India assume the presidency of the G20 for 2023.

From 22 to 24 January 2023, the city of Gandhinagar in Gujarat, India, hosted the Inception Meeting of the Business 20 (B20) Engagement Group of the G20 to discuss the global economy and some of the most pressing issues facing our world with the business community. The meeting gathered Indian Ministers and delegates, as well as influential international business leaders and policy makers.

As a member to the B20, The Bridge Tank attended the summit in Gandhinagar, represented by its chairman Joel Ruet. Besides the public sessions at the Mahatma Mandir, the Inception Meeting notably marked the launch of the B20 Task Forces and Action Groups, to which The Bridge Tank will be an active contributor in the year to come.

Focussing its participation on three great themes: sustainability, research & innovation, and bridging the gap between Africa and the G20, at the invitation of the Indian Presidency of the G20, The Bridge Tank is now member to both the B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency, and the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration.

Joel Ruet at the B20 Inception Meeting
Setting the tone for India’s 2023 G20 presidency

Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which has taken up the B20 India Secretariat, the Plenary Sessions of the B20 Inception Meeting, held at the Mahatma Mandir on January 23rd, set the tone for the summit and for India’s year presiding over the G20.

The inaugural session highlighted the vision, thematic priorities, and values which will drive the B20 India. Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), reminded participants of the acronym R.A.I.S.E – Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable and Equitable business – which will serve as the cornerstone of B20 India.

“The theme of the B20, which has been formed under the umbrella of G20 Presidency of India, is R.A.I.S.E. – Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable and Equitable business.”
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee
Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

During his opening address on the requirements to deliver a successful B20 India, Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chair, B20 India, and Chairman, Tata Sons, stressed the role of reducing inequality thanks to digital transformation. He went on to underline some of the main priorities identified for B20 India, including sustainability, energy transition, mobility, biodiversity, water management and the UN SDGs.

"B20 presidency is an opportunity for India to showcase and share best practices as well as work towards developing specific recommendations on bringing equality using digital transformation.”
Mr N Chandrasekaran
Chair, B20 India & Chairman, Tata Sons
Sustainability and energy transitions:  B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency

The centrality of the fight against climate change and the place of energy transitions and sustainable development in the B20 India priorities were introduced during the plenary session by Mr Som Parkash, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry​.

Minister Parkash said that “India, under G20 Presidency, needs to work towards prioritizing fight against climate change and environment degradation through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.”

This priority, in line with B20’s R.A.I.S.E motto, was echoed one day later, on January 24th, during the first meeting of the B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency, which The Bridge Tank attended as a member of the Task Force.

The meeting, chaired by Mr T V Narendran, B20 India Co-Chair of Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency and CEO & MD Tata Steel Ltd, presented the task force’s priorities and expected outcomes.

Hoping to accelerate energy transitions, resource efficiency, and adaptation measures in G20 economies, the task force’s priorities were pointed out to be in broad alignment with G20 priorities on climate change.

The goal is thus to address the following key issues :

  1. global net zero transitions;
  2. energy security and energy access;
  3. just transitions;
  4. circular economy and resource efficiency;
  5. climate finance and technology innovation;
  6. adaptation and resilience.
“India, under G20 Presidency, needs to work towards prioritizing fight against climate change and environment degradation through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.”
Mr Som Parkash
Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry

The Task Force’s Priorities cover a variety of themes including:

  • Enhancing global cooperation in accelerating net-zero transition through global industry-specific coalitions, and channelling investments and financing towards global priorities and pathways;
  • Improving investments, development and commercialisation of green-energy technologies;
  • Improving climate finance through new financing pathways for energy transition, setting clear energy mandates for multilateral development banks, and harmonizing the development of national carbon markets;
  • Improving resource efficiency through regulatory frameworks, policies, business and financing models which encourage circular economy;
  • Implementing adaptation policies taking ecosystem-based approaches to provide resilient infrastructure, ensuring gender-inclusive adaptation, and mobilising finance for the implementation.

The expertise The Bridge Tank has accumulated over the years in energy trajectories and energy transitions, in addition to its various research and consulting projects centred on climate finance and blended finance but also contributing to the development of circular economy and sustainable development models will serve as valuable building blocks of The Bridge Tank’s contribution to the B20 Task Force, which will meet again on 14-15 March 2023.

Connecting Africa and G20: B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration

Addressing B20 India’s efforts to represent the issues relevant to the global economy, Mr Sanjiv Bajaj, President of CII & Chairman & Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd, introduced the audience of the Plenary Session to the focused agenda and Action Council on the Economic Integration of Africa, which hopes to strengthen ties between African economies and the G20.

As a long-time advocate for a greater integration of the African continent in G20 actions and now a contributing member of the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration, The Bridge Tank salutes this initiative.

On January 24th, the last day of the Inception Meeting, The Bridge Tank thus also took part in the introductory session of the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration, which discussed the objectives and priorities of the council.

The meeting raised three main expected outcomes to bolster the economic integration of the African continent:

  1. The formulation of a Technical Assistance Facilities (TAFs) Programme by G20 members, in order to accelerate the AfCFTA implementation through technical and financial assistance to the 54 African nations
  2. Commitments by G20 states to each enter into customized Preferential Trade Agreements with at least 20 African nations (with a minimum of 100 tariff lines on products or services being liberalized in each of these agreements)
  3. Commitments by G20 states to each launch a minimum of 3 development finance programmes benefiting at least 5 African nations (either bilaterally or through multilateral institutions), covering themes like: industrial park programmes, energy or transport infrastructure projects, health, education and skilling initiatives, or micro, small, and medium enterprises funding programmes.
Expanding on these expected outcomes, Joel Ruet, Chairman, The Bridge Tank, put forward the idea of an origination fund for climate resilience & adaptation projects originating from and funded by the G20. In addition to that, the G20 could help derisk projects originated from African countries and companies.
The Bridge Tank will continue its efforts within both the the B20 India Taskforce on Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency, and the B20 India Action Council on African Economic Integration in the coming months.

COP 27: Advances on loss and damage but no breakthrough on climate finance despite a strong West African involvement

The fear of ending COP 27 without any significant advances was looming over Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in the dying hours of this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference.

But after a final negotiations marathon between the parties, a deal was eventually struck.

The agreement which concluded two weeks of discussions and negotiations in the Egyptian coastal city offered an important step forward in the contentious question of loss and damage. Parties agreed to establish a loss and damage fund which will help support those countries most impacted by climate change. The fund will provide financial relief to respond to the catastrophic effects of the environmental crisis, like droughts, heatwaves, floods, or cyclones.

Efforts Remain Insufficient

While encouraging as a signal of international solidarity in response to environmental catastrophes, the final agreement fell short of many COP 27 participants’ expectations and hopes. In an interview for TV5 Monde, Hakima El Haite, board member of The Bridge Tank, expressed her disappointment  with the lack of advances at COP 27:

“It is true that we have taken a step forward by agreeing on the creation of a mechanism that will still require time. The more we mitigate CO2 emissions and the more we reduce CO2 concentrations, the less we will need to adapt and the less money we will need to repair the damages caused by natural disasters. And so we have to act and it’s not up to the vulnerable countries to act, it’s the emitting countries that emit 80% of the emissions that have to provide 80% of the solutions in their own countries.”

This opinion was shared by many, particularly in the Global South and West Africa, a region which faces some of the most dire effects of climate change and which had come with strong demands and expectations to COP 27, the African COP.

A Strong and Proactive West African Presence at COP 27

Representatives from West African countries had arrived at COP 27 with the hope of seeing strong decisions being made to relieve the environmental pressure affecting the continent. Before the beginning of COP 27, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had shared some of the points it considered crucial to successful climate change negotiations:

  • Increasing the ambition of greenhouse gas emission reduction, specifically for the biggest emitters
  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement with regard to generating new financing opportunities in the region and defining the new carbon market mechanisms
  • Adaptation: moving from planning to operationalizing
  • Loss and damage: providing concrete responses to the existing loss and damage in West Africa
  • Climate finance: meeting the 100-billion-dollar target of the Green Climate Fund and establishing a financial facility specifically dedicated to African countries to focus on their needs and priorities in terms of adaptation.

Intent on making the sub-region’s voice heard at COP 27, West African institutions joined forces in Sharm el-Sheikh at the West Africa Pavilion. This pavilion was co-piloted by ECOWAS and the West African Development Bank (WADB), in partnership with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

“The pavilion expresses the willingness of regional institutions to strengthen their cooperation around the common challenge of climate change. The approach aims to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the collective response for the benefit of the region’s populations,” ECOWAS communicated prior to the conference.

For two weeks, the four West African institutions thus contributed to moving public debate on climate action and climate finance forward.

Leading voices on climate governance and climate finance

The ECOWAS Commission made use of its presence at the West Africa Pavilion to organize side events introducing the union’s Regional Climate Strategy. These included a session on November 9th on coordination mechanisms for greater regional climate governance and another one on November 11th on the sectoral opportunities the strategy offers for agriculture and energy.

The West African Development Bank (WADB) was also very active on the Pavilion. On November 9th, Serge Ekué, President of the WADB, gave a press briefing on the WADB’s climate positioning. This was an opportunity to discuss the WADB’s Djoliba 2021-2025 Strategic Development Plan, which allocates 25% of the bank’s total commitments to climate finance in order to support member states in the financing of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Through its president, the WADB expressed its wish to be a catalyser of resilience and adaptation to climate change and a facilitator of sustainable and stable growth.

Capitalizing on the centrality of climate finance at this year’s climate change conference, the WADB organised a number of events on the matter, including a panel on “Challenges and opportunities of climate finance in Africa,” and two sessions on November 14th, “Filling the Gaps in Climate Change Adaptation Policies to Facilitate Access to Climate Finance for WAEMU Countries” and “Carbon finance as a lever of development for WAEMU countries,” with the participation of the West African Alliance On Carbon Market and Climate Finance.

The WADB also took part in side-events organised by other institutions in Sharm el Sheikh, including one by the Green Climate Fund on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel.

This importance of climate finance on this year’s agenda at COP 27 also mobilised The Bridge Tank, which co-organised a side event with Liberal International on North-South dynamics in climate finance. The panel discussion “Towards a balanced, empowered, North-South blended climate finance for mitigation and adaptation” included prominent figures and institutions from West Africa and provided an additional building bloc to the pursuit of a more effective and balanced climate finance.

Despite these many efforts and calls for bold measures, COP 27’s final agreement comes as a disappointing conclusion to two weeks of active involvement on the ground from West African institutions and countries. The wish to make COP 27, the African COP, an important milestone in the fight against climate change and the establishment of climate finance mechanisms ensuring the continent’s preservation has been left unfulfilled, to the frustration of many.

An eventful first week at COP 27 in Sharm el Sheikh for our board member Hakima El Haite

The first week of the COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh saw the world gather in the Egyptian coastal city to exchange on the many pressing issues of the world’s environmental crisis. One of those leaders taking part in the discussions and the seeking out of concrete solutions to combat climate change in Sharm el Sheikh is The Bridge Tank’s board member, Hakima El Haite, President of Liberal International.

Through her frontline presence at COP 27, Hakima El Haite not only underlined the danger of putting climate action on the back burner in the current times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, she took a strong stance in favour of climate justice.

During an event organised by The New York Times “On the Verge of Progress: Where Will COP 27 Take Us?” on November 8th, with Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, and Laurence Tubiana, France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21 and founder of IDDRI, Hakima El Haite stressed the urgency of climate action and reaching net-zero emissions. She did so while pointing out the increase of global subsidies for fossil fuels and the rebound of CO2 emissions worldwide. The need for increased funding to fulfil the $100 billion pledge by the wealthiest nations, the goal of $40 billion dedicated to adaptation finance, and the importance of greening the financial sector were also addressed during this event.

The transition to cleaner energy sources and the potential offered by green hydrogen were additional topics on the agenda of this first week of COP 27. Hakima El Haite took part in the launch event of the “Africa Extraordinary Green Hydrogen Potential” study with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Solar Alliance, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, and the Government of the Republic of Mauritania. The report “combines an analysis of investment opportunities with a roadmap of technical, economic, environmental and financial solutions to unlock commercial development” of green hydrogen in Africa, so EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle.

Our board member Hakima El Haite’s commitment to climate justice came once again to the fore at COP 27, as she put special emphasis on the necessity of tackling the environmental crisis in those countries and regions which have been disproportionately affected by climate change or which are least prepared to face its effects.

Her continued efforts in favour of the African continent were also at the heart of her interventions at this year’s climate change conference. The continent, home to 17% of the world’s population and responsible for less than 4% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is facing the most dire effects of the unfolding environmental crisis.

Through her participation in the release of the Institute for Economics and Peace’s “Ecological Threat Report 2022,” Dr. El Haite called for concerted international efforts to effectively face the climate crisis and for greater solidarity and concrete actions on the side of developed countries to support developing countries. She especially emphasized the urgency of investing massively in adaptation and mitigation in Africa. According to the “Ecological Threat Report 2022,” two thirds of the hotspot countries facing catastrophic ecological threat, water stress, and food insecurity are found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, Hakima El Haite used her presence at COP 27 to defend another key aspect of climate justice, namely the role and voices of women in the efforts to combat climate change. With the climate crisis affecting women to a greater extent than men, working to include and promote women’s voices has been a cause central to Dr. El Haite’s efforts in Sharm el Sheikh.

OpEd: Risky Business: The U.S. Should Rethink Business With Kazakhstan

An article written by our President, Joël Ruet about Kazakhstan’s current and growing challenge to fight corruption that undermines foreign investment and the country’s socio-economic development, was published in the media He warns that “despite the Kazakh government’s public campaign to attract foreign investors […] it will need to implement fundamental changes, and that starts with taking anti-corruption seriously and honoring agreements with foreign investors. Until then, U.S. investors should rethink the risk of doing business in Kazakhstan.”

“Profiteering & pandemic: WTO, pharma industry must introspect”, tribune by our board member Pranjal Sharma

In the ongoing context of the Covid-19 pandemic, our board member, Pranjal Sharma, wrote the following OpEd, published by The Daily Guardian, on the benefits of waivering the IPR (intellectual property rights) on vaccine production, particularly for low-income countries such as India and those of the African continent.

Read his tribune here:

2M TV Morocco – Joël Ruet speaks on how the roll-out of the vaccine pass will facilitate the return to normal life

Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank, spoke on newscast Infosoir on Monday 25 October on the French-Moroccan television channel 2M. Joël Ruet indicated that the world is in a new phase in the treatment of the pandemic, with imperatives and specificities that differ from the period of its advent. “Before,”, Joël Ruet recalled, “the virus had to be prevented from circulating but, in doing so, populations were prevented from circulating, it was containment,” a necessary measure given the absence of a vaccine.

Watch his intervention (in French) here

OpEd: G20 Must Help Low Income Countries Get Out of Debt Crises

On the occasion of the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Washington DC, our Policy Brief on the modernization of the African Banking sector was mentioned in an OpEd in Diplomatic Courier by Joel Ruet. This paper suggests that, in addition to sovereign aid, commercial banks in Africa get a fairer rating of their (low) risks and (high) profitability and thus ease their refunding costs to deliver levers of growth and employment.

Read our policy brief here

Read the OpEd here

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