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Vertex CEO Marc Watum speaks at UN Habitat Innovate4Cities Conference

Topic: moving from nature based solutions to a nature based economy

Co-hosted by UN-Habitat and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), the Innovate4Cities conference will be the leading gathering on urban solutions and implementation pathways by and for cities, researchers, policy makers, businesses, innovators and students in 2021.

“Africa emits the least (some 2-3% of global emissions), but is the most vulnerable to emissions and consequentially climate change. Just as an example; agriculture still remains Africa’s number one sector (15% of GDP) combined with extractive sectors (oil & gas, mining). At least 10 African countries rank among the top ten sources for at least, a mineral resource. On agriculture, one quarter of the world’s arable land belongs to Africa and over 60% of the world’s unused arable land is here. However, it is highly concentrated (Egypt and Nigeria account for about 1/3 of agriculture and the top 10 countries all together account for 75%), so the opportunity to grow in this space is immense. Where these lower performing countries lag is in value added services and manufactured goods; you’ll find that countries here are net importers of products like fruit juice, chocolate, things that might surprise you..

So in terms of incentive and the informational campaigning side of things, this isn’t really the challenge. Where the shortcomings are are largely to do with leadership, financialisation, formality vs. informality, the convergence of youth and rapidly growing populations (especially rapidly growing middle class on urban spaces) which altogether create ongoing struggles to opt for a cleaner development pathway.” – Marc Watum

Innovate4Cities Speaker Card: Professor Thomas Andersson (President at International Organisation of Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development), Tacia H.N. Marques (UNALM, Peru), Eduardo Croci (Bocconi University, Italy), Professor Mary Lee Rhodes (Centre for Social Innovation, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), and Marc Watum (CEO Vertex Ecosystem)
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