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Africans don’t trust each other – my experience with an Ethiopian taxi driver in Las Vegas

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Ameyaw Debrah at palazzo gondola

My recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada came with many experiences, as I put myself out there to explore the city a lot more than I did in my previous two visits. My first time in Vegas was for one night only, to attend the Miss Universe finale in 2017.  My second time was for the Day N Vegas festival in 2019, which also brought me back for a third time this year.

On day-two of Day N Vegas, I had an experience that corroborated the belief of many Africans, that we do not trust one another.  Due to Day N Vegas, most of the area around the Las Vegas Festival Grounds was closed to taxis and rideshare apps such as Uber and Lift, which made it very stressful to get a car whenever I closed from the festival and headed to my hotel room. It meant that after walking and standing at the grounds for hours, we had to walk quite a distance to look for cars.

My experience was even made worse when the data on my AT&T phone number kept failing, meaning that after all the stress covering the concerts, I couldn’t use Uber to request for a ride.  On the night of day 2, I discovered that there was a pick-up point for taxis within the Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park. Sadly the taxis were not coming in as rapidly as I would have wished for. I was the third in line, but it took over one hour of standing in the queue till I finally got a taxi.

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When the taxi came, I got in but when the driver asked for the address I was going to, I couldn’t remember the location of my hotel. I mentioned the name of the hotel, but the driver wasn’t familiar with it and insisted that he couldn’t take me if I didn’t get the address for him. I wasn’t willing to waste the hours of standing and waiting to be turned down by any driver. My internet wasn’t working, and I tried to ask him to use his internet Ito locate the hotel, but he was indifferent. I told him “lets go to downtown and I will know where my hotel is,  because it’s not far from the Fremont Street”.

Finally, he agreed and moved on. Then he started a conversation with me, once he suspected I was from Africa. I told him I was from Ghana when he told me he was Ethiopian. He asked about my visit and thought I was a ‘new rich African’ when I told him I was in town for Day N Vegas.

When, I finally arrived at my hotel I tried to pay with a card. Since it was a metered cab, I could see my fare right in front of me, with a POS device for payment. But I noted it was slightly expensive paying with  a card compared to paying cash, so I told the driver that I would rather pay with cash, after all I am African!

Then surprisingly he asked me how much I would pay him, the meter said $18 so I said I will give him $20 but he screamed “no $25!” I then gave him a $100 note to which he retorted, “are you sure it’s not fake?”.  I said no, laughed it off and collected my change.

Watch my vlog on the experience below:

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Interestingly, the following night, I had internet, so I ordered for an Uber ride after the Day N Vegas finale, and again the driver was Ethiopian. This time it was a younger driver and we had an interesting conversation about Africa and the civil war in Ethiopia.

I had noticed that there were a lot of Ethiopians in Vegas. Most of the African restaurants listed on Uber Eats are Ethiopian and most of the drivers were too. When I pointed it out in our conversation, he told me that Vegas has the next biggest concentration of Ethiopians in the USA after the DMV tristate.  I also found out that affluent Ethiopians like to buy Mississauga Real Estate styled homes in the USA.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 68,001 people reported Ethiopian ancestry in 2000. Between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 151,515 Ethiopia-born residents in the United States. According to Aaron Matteo Terrazas, “if the descendants of Ethiopian-born migrants (the second generation and up) are included, the estimates range upwards of 460,000 in the United States.

Some Ethiopians living in the US enjoy using exquisitely designed Ten Point Crossbow in archery games. Football is the most popular sport in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian national football team called the “Walyia Antelopes” won the 1962 African Cup of nations and in 2013 Ethiopia qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 31 years.

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Other sports played include basketball, volleyball, and tennis. Ethiopia has a tradition of medal-winning runners: Abebe Bikila, Belayneh Dinsamo, and Derartu Tulu. Haile Gebreselassie has set several world records.

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in education, with primary school net enrolment tripling between 2000 and 2016 to the current 100 per cent.  Although most children enroll in school, many do not complete their education: 85 per cent make it past Grade 5 and 54 per cent past Grade 8. Progress has been enabled through a sustained government-led effort to reduce poverty and expand the public education system equitably. This has been backed by substantial increases in national education expenditure and aid to the sector, as well as improved planning and implementation capacity at all levels. According to Boardingschools.ca, there is a good number of Ethiopians having higher education in Canada.

Ethiopian national identity is grounded in the long history of Christianity and Islam in the region, and independence from foreign rule since antiquity.

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December in GH: Ghana Bloggers Welcome Global Influencers at Airport with Free Chocolates

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As the world gathers in Ghana starting tomorrow, December 1st, under the theme “December in GH,” the Ghana Bloggers Association extends a warm welcome to arriving dignitaries at the airport.

They provide a gracious reception and a complimentary taste of Ghanaian chocolate, anticipating the upcoming December festivities.

This considerate initiative, led by the association’s president, Andre Mustapha NII Okai Inusah, widely known as Attractive Mustapha, is part of an ongoing agenda encouraging every Ghanaian online to actively blog and promote the beauty of Ghana.

Attractive Mustapha underscores the symbolism behind gifting chocolate, given Ghana’s status as the world’s second-largest cocoa-producing country.

He emphasizes that anyone visiting Ghana should savor the rich taste of cocoa, integral to the nation’s identity.

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Aligned with the “Blog and Promote Ghana” campaign and the approaching December festivities, the association hosts numerous international bloggers, journalists, personalities,models others.

These collaborations were meticulously planned, with specific dates strategically chosen just a day or two before the onset of December in Ghana.
(GH)

Addressing guests from the diaspora, Attractive Mustapha shares his extensive global experiences, asserting that Ghana stands out as one of the best countries worldwide.

He firmly believes that if the world is indeed round, as geographers posit, then Ghana occupies a central and special place in God’s creation, “God stood in Ghana while creating the world”

Looking ahead, Attractive Mustapha outlines plans for widespread activation across Ghana and the diaspora throughout December, extending beyond the airport.

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He passionately urges the social media community to explore all 16 regions of Ghana and share positive stories about the country.

Expressing gratitude, he takes a moment to acknowledge the invaluable guidance and support provided by the Ghana Tourism Authority to Ghanaian bloggers and the Association. This collaborative effort seamlessly aligns with their December in GH project, contributing to the positive promotion of Ghana on the global stage.

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Exhale Wellness Review: Best Cannabis Products Of 2024

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Uncovering The 5 Unknown Facts About Feminized Cannabis Seeds

Exhale Wellness has quickly established itself as a reputable brand in the cannabis industry with its legitimate sourcing of products and exceptional customer support. They particularly deal in all cannabis segments. 

 

Their commitment to natural ingredients and exceptional quality sets them apart from the competition. By sourcing their cannabis from local farmers, Exhale Wellness ensures a product that is potent and consistent in quality. 

 

This dedication to all-natural, potent formulations has garnered them a loyal customer base and a reputation for excellence in the cannabis community.

Product Review: Exhale Wellness’ Lineup

Exhale Wellness has a diversity of products available on its website for individuals who are keen on trying new cannabis products that all have different effects: 

Delta 8 THC Gummies From Exhale Wellness

Exhale’s Delta 8 Gummies is one of the most remarkable products in their lineup. These Delta-8 THC gummies are made with natural fruit and vegetable concentrates, later not infused with Delta-8 THC. These gummies are free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, ensuring a pure and wholesome experience. 

 

They are available in two potencies: 25mg and 50mg per gummy. The 50mg gummies are particularly strong and are favored for their delicious taste and balanced effects. 

 

These gummies are ideal for those seeking a potent yet enjoyable experience, with the added benefit of being discreet and easy to consume.

Soft Gels

The soft gels from Exhale Wellness are designed for long-lasting effects and ultimate discretion. Available in 10mg, 25mg, and 50mg Delta 8 THC potencies, they cater to a wide range of preferences, from beginners to more experienced users. 

 

The soft gels are praised for their smooth but powerful effects, owing to the highly concentrated, pure Delta 8 THC used in their formulation. These soft gels are an excellent choice for those seeking a more measured and extended cannabis experience.

 

Delta 9 THC Gummies

Exhale’s Delta 9 Gummies are unique, combining CBD and THC for a balanced and mild high. Available in different potencies, they are vegan-friendly and come in various fruit flavors. 

 

D9 THC gummies are ideal for those seeking the calming effects of CBD with just enough THC to enhance the overall experience without overwhelming and buzzy potency.

Delta-8 THC Tinctures

Tinctures by Exhale Wellness concentrate the benefits of Delta 8 THC in a mix of organic, healthy fatty acids and proteins. 

 

These tinctures are particularly popular among those who prefer a quicker onset of effects than edibles. These tinctures are convenient and easy to use in 300 mg and 600 mg bottles, thanks to the included glass dropper. 

 

They offer a fast-acting option for those seeking relief or relaxation without the wait.

Delta-8 THC Vape Carts

Vape cartridges from Exhale Wellness are a favorite among vaping enthusiasts. Each cartridge is filled with 900mg of the highest quality Delta 8 THC and comes in a variety of strains, catering to different tastes and preferences. 

 

Using natural terpenes for flavor enhances the vaping experience, providing a pure and enjoyable taste without artificial additives. These vapes are known for their immediate effects, making them a popular choice for those seeking quick relief or a swift shift in mood.

D8 Concentrates

Exhale Wellness offers Delta 8 concentrates with an impressive 83% purity level for those seeking a more potent and immediate effect. These concentrates come in various strains, such as Girl Scout Cookies and OG Kush, providing a range of experiences and flavors. 

 

The high potency of these concentrates makes them suitable for experienced users looking for a strong and fast-acting cannabis product.

HHC Products

Exhale Wellness has also ventured into the emerging market of HHC products. Their HHC gummies and vape carts are notable for their potency and fast onset of effects. 

 

The gummies, in particular, are known for producing intense feelings of happiness and relaxation, while the vape carts offer prolonged and strong effects. 

 

These HHC products are an excellent choice for those looking for a powerful and distinct cannabis experience.

CBD Gummies

The CBD Gummies from Exhale Wellness are pure, vegan-friendly, and made with organic fruit extracts. These gummies are designed for easy dosing and are an excellent value for the quality of CBD provided. 

 

They are particularly effective for stress relief, offering a calming effect that sets in quickly. These CBD gummies are an excellent choice for those looking for a non-psychoactive option.

Customer Experience

Customers generally report very positive experiences with Exhale Wellness products. The effectiveness and high quality of the products are frequently highlighted in customer reviews. 

 

  • The brand’s dedication to customer satisfaction is evident in the growing number of positive testimonials and reviews. 

 

  • This customer satisfaction and the brand’s commitment to quality and natural ingredients have helped Exhale Wellness establish a strong presence in the competitive cannabis market.

Website and Customer Service

Exhale Wellness offers a user-friendly website that is easy to navigate, making it easy and simple for customers to find and try the products. The website includes a helpful FAQ section, particularly useful for first-time Delta 8 buyers and users who are into consuming their favorite cannabis products. 

 

Customers who are unsure which product to choose can take a quick, free quiz on the website. Additionally, Exhale’s customer service team is known for being knowledgeable and readily available to assist via email or phone. 

Conclusion: Why Exhale Wellness? 

Exhale Wellness has successfully established itself as a niche favorite store in the cannabis market, focusing on natural, potent products. Their diverse range of Delta 8, HHC, Delta 9, and CBD products cater to various needs and preferences. 

 

Backed by positive customer feedback and strong service policies, Exhale Wellness is a brand that stands out for its quality, effectiveness, and customer-centric approach.


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Rural Ghana: Breaking development barriers with last-mile delivery

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Rural Ghana Breaking development barriers with last mile delivery photo

On a journey in the northern belt of Ghana, through the savannah stretching from Sawla to Damango, one discovers an innovative spark that has redefined the landscape of logistics in Ghana’s Northern regions. Strait Research indicated that the African last-mile delivery market is poised to reach an impressive USD 2.35 billion in value, boasting a compelling Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.45%. In fact, the World Bank has identified logistics as a pivotal contributor to a nation’s overall economic development (Arvis et al., 2016).

Alongside other actors striving to tackle Ghana’s logistics and delivery challenges, YomYom stands out with a clear mission – connecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to logistics solutions that are not only accessible but also affordable and sustainable. With ever-changing local and global trade dynamics, Yom Yom has evolved to serve every corner of Northern Ghana. We leverage technology and local knowledge to improve efficiency and reach. YomYom utilizes advancements in mobile tech for route optimization, real-time order tracking, and efficient management of deliveries. We also integrate local knowledge into our delivery processes to overcome potential hurdles presented by weather, local customs, and inconsistent addressing systems. Over the years, we have shown a steady growth trajectory and impact, noticeably contributing to easing trade constraints in rural Ghana by providing a reliable and efficient delivery service. Our history is marked by a commitment to overcoming the hurdles of distance, infrastructure, and resources, making us a crucial aspect of daily life for businesses and consumers.

We acknowledge the myriad challenges that persist in Africa, from our poor road infrastructure to limited technological access and unfavorable policies that often hinder the growth of startups. It would, however, be an understatement not to recognize that these challenges have consistently presented formidable obstacles that we confront head-on. Our unwavering team continues to demonstrate that the delivery sector in Africa is not merely surviving but thriving on resilience and adaptability. In the face of adversity, we have discovered that these challenges, once conquered, can be transformed into opportunities that drive progress and innovation.

Our approach is marked by our adaptability to the unique challenges presented by different regions. This adaptability is evident in our diversified delivery modes, which include the utilization of E-Bicycle vehicles and motorbikes. These vehicles are particularly suited for maneuvering through rugged terrain and remote locations, ensuring that goods reach their destinations efficiently. We have also harnessed the power of technology to enhance our services. This involves the constant utilization of digital tools for route optimization and real-time order tracking. Our online ordering system enables users to place orders with ease and monitor the progress of their deliveries in real time.

We collaborate with locals who possess a deep understanding of the layout of the land. Their expertise in navigation is invaluable in ensuring successful deliveries. Overcoming the challenges posed by vast distances and dispersed populations, YomYom strategically locates centralized distribution centers in the country. Wherever you are, we have a nearby center to serve you and deliver to you with happiness. These hubs serve as pivotal points from which goods are dispatched directly to customers, significantly reducing delivery times, and improving overall efficiency.

Our delivery services have sparked a profound transformation in rural Ghana. These services have not only streamlined access to essential goods, eliminating the need for arduous journeys, but have also catalyzed economic growth by expanding market reach and fostering local commerce. In addition to fostering prosperity, our expansion has created numerous job opportunities, both within the delivery service itself and in related industries. YomYom’s commitment extends to improving healthcare outcomes through the reliable delivery of medical supplies to remote areas. The introduction of a digital interface has not only enhanced logistical efficiency but has also paved the way for digital literacy and inclusion, a vital aspect of modern development in rural regions.  YomYom Delivery is a driving force in reducing inequality and paving the path for sustainable progress in rural communities in Ghana and beyond.

Mohammed Iddi

Founder, YomYom

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Jowato.com: Northern Ghana’s premier marketplace for Small African businesses

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Jowato.com: Northern Ghana's premier marketplace for Small African businesses

n the bustling city of Tamale, a revolutionary change is taking root, driven by the ingenuity and determination of one man: Jonathan Kojo. His creation, Jowato.com, is not just Northern Ghana’s first eCommerce platform; it’s now the largest Made in Ghana shopping center in the city. Jowato’s journey from a local startup to a national powerhouse is a story of vision, resilience, and a deep commitment to promoting Ghanaian-made products.

The Genesis of Jowato.com

Jonathan Kojo’s entrepreneurial journey began with a simple yet profound realization: the artisans and small-scale producers in Northern Ghana had immense talent and unique products, but their access to larger markets was severely limited. Jowato.com was born from this need to bridge the gap between local producers and potential customers across the globe.

A Platform Empowering Local SMEs

Jowato’s primary focus is on empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana. By providing a direct link to larger markets, Jowato eliminates the need for middlemen, ensuring that the artisans and producers receive the full value for their efforts. This approach not only boosts the local economy but also ensures that customers get authentic, high-quality Ghanaian products.

Expanding Beyond Borders

From its humble beginnings in Tamale, Jowato.com has grown exponentially. It now boasts sellers from all over Ghana and reaches customers in 19 countries. This global expansion is not just a testament to the platform’s success but also to the appeal and quality of Ghanaian-made products.

A Hub for Quality and Authenticity

Walking into Jowato’s shopping center in Tamale is like stepping into a microcosm of Ghanaian culture and craftsmanship. From exquisite handwoven Kente cloth to organic shea butter, from traditional crafts to modern cosmetics, Jowato offers a diverse range of products that embody the spirit and talent of Ghana.

Empowerment Through Technology

At the heart of Jowato’s success is its innovative use of technology. By creating a user-friendly online marketplace, Jonathan Kojo has not only provided a platform for local producers but also brought the convenience of online shopping to customers. This digital approach has been particularly impactful in expanding the reach of small businesses, allowing them to connect with customers they would never have reached otherwise.

Visit Jowato SME Marketplace

Whether you’re an SME looking to connect with bigger markets or a resident in Tamale searching for the best Made in Ghana products, Jowato SME Marketplace is your destination. This platform stands as a beacon of innovation and empowerment, showcasing the best of Ghanaian entrepreneurship and craftsmanship.

Join the growing community of buyers and sellers at Jowato.com and be part of a movement that is not just selling products but also telling the story of Ghana’s rich culture and heritage. Visit Jowato, where quality meets authenticity, and every purchase supports a local business. Welcome to Jowato – the heart of Made in Ghana.

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Nana Tamakloe In Russia To Represent Ghana At BRICS+ Fashion Summit

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Nana Brenu Makeba Boateng Nana Tamakloe scaled
The fashion world is abuzz as Nana Tamakloe, the influential force behind Accra Fashion Week and the visionary mind behind Africa’s leading fashion blog, FashionGHANA.com, takes center stage at the ongoing BRICS Fashion Summit in the glamorous setting of Moscow. The summit, hosted under the umbrella of Moscow Fashion Week, commenced its style spectacle on November 28, promising a sartorial feast concluding on December 2.

Tamakloe, whose avant-garde approach has reshaped the African fashion landscape, is no stranger to accolades. Having launched the continent’s premier fashion blog in 2012 and later introducing the widely celebrated Accra Fashion Week, he continues to set trends and redefine fashion norms.

Last year, Tamakloe received global recognition when he graced the stage at the Memphis In May Festival in the USA, being invites to America with other luminaries like King Otumfou, Stonebwoy, and Okyeame Kwame. This acknowledgment was a testament to his significant impact on Ghanaian culture, and now, he brings his distinctive vision to the global stage at the BRICS Fashion Summit.

Under the auspices of Moscow Fashion Week, the BRICS Fashion Summit has become a melting pot of fashion elites. Editors, event organizers, representatives from major publications, clothing specialists, bloggers, instructors, and emerging designers from around the world have gathered, creating an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration.

Originally synchronized with Moscow Fashion Week, the BRICS Fashion Summit is not just a calendar event; it’s a strategic endeavor to cultivate the ethos of the BRICS Fashion community. Stemming from the BRICS—an intergovernmental organization uniting Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—the fashion community aims to redefine the industry’s dynamics.

The Fashion summit transcends borders, with over 30 countries participating in this cross-cultural celebration of style. From the chic streets of China to the vibrant landscapes of Nigeria, the BRICS Fashion Summit is a global rendezvous of sartorial excellence.

Tamakloe’s role transcends the typical attendee; he’s on a mission to ensure that Ghana’s influence is not just felt but actively shapes the narrative of the BRICS Fashion Summit. His aim is to play a decisive role in steering the creation of the BRICS Fashion community, making Ghana an integral part of the global fashion conversation. Other guest from Ghana also include researcher Makeba L. Boateng and Nana Brenu.
As the runway lights shine on Moscow, Nana Tamakloe’s active presence becomes a symbol of Ghana’s ascendancy in the international fashion scene. The BRICS Fashion Summit is not merely a meeting of minds; it’s a runway where cultures collide, and fashion takes on a global resonance, with Tamakloe leading the charge for Ghana’s fashion-forward narrative.

This year’s Accra Fashion Week is poised to welcome representatives from 17 nations to the vibrant city of Accra. This spectacular event is slated to unfold against the iconic backdrop of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, from December 13th to the 17th, 2023. The anticipation is further heightened as delegates from the BRICS Fashion Summit are set to grace the occasion, amplifying the international flair.
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How COP28 Aims to Unlock Trillions for Climate Solutions by Centering Business

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Badr Jafar

Over 70,000 individuals from around the world are about to converge on Dubai to participate in COP28. In the lead-up, the UAE’s COP28 Presidency has made no secret of its ambition to make this the most inclusive and consequential COP ever. And while much of that effort has elevated historically underrepresented communities, and rightly so, a lesser-known determination of the COP28 Presidency is about transforming how the COP process engages with the private sector.

From 1-2 December this year, COP28 will feature the biggest gathering of business and philanthropy devoted to solving climate change in history, at the inaugural Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum. Held in parallel with the heads of state level World Climate Action Summit, the Forum will bring together 1,000 heads of business and philanthropy – alongside policymakers and other stakeholders – to spur tangible climate action.

While COPs have traditionally been seeing as a political process, opening the COP28 summit with this Forum will set an entirely new tone. To expedite the pathway to transformative action, the Forum will include a set of 22 actions that CEOs and philanthropists can take right away. These include game-changing climate ‘moonshots’ and breakthrough technologies, expanding indigenous peoples’ direct access to investment, accelerating food supply chain transformation across the Global South, accelerating technology transfer, de-risking green investments, enhancing natural capital, boosting green SMEs and start-ups, and increasing investment in resilience for vulnerable communities around the world. The goal is to provide an accessible way for the private sector to move beyond declarations, into implementation.

From the outset, we’ve established global partnerships with major players who will help galvanize business communities around the world. They include Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Economic Forum, Asian Development Bank, Africa Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and XPRIZE.

Fixing climate finance is a top priority. Global investments of over USD 3 trillion per year will be required to enable the world to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The private sector could play the most consequential role in generating the multiplier effect required to take us from billions to trillions.

For far too long, business and philanthropy have been relegated to the periphery of global climate negotiations, often dismissed as a part of the problem. But this is a terrible missed opportunity. Private capital markets have more than doubled over the past decade, reaching over $23 trillion. Philanthropic capital alone flowing through the global financial system every year is well above $1 trillion dollars. The latter can often be deployed in more flexible, risk-tolerant and patient ways than other forms of finance.

Combined, these capital flows are key to unlocking accessible, affordable and targeted solutions to closing the climate finance gap. And we mustn’t neglect the massive additional contributions that businesses everywhere and of all sizes can make to the climate action agenda through their networks, capacity to innovate, and engagement with local communities.

That’s why the COP28 Business & Philanthropy Forum will support governments, businesses and philanthropists to work together and in parallel, collaborating where they can while playing to their respective strengths. No individual stakeholder can succeed alone. Only when we blend capabilities and capital across these sectors, can we produce outcomes with the required scale and timeframe.

Business and philanthropy hold the greatest untapped potential for accelerating implementation of the world’s climate and nature goals. It’s time to mobilize the world’s private capital in service of the planet.

Badr Jafar is the COP28 Special Representative for Business & Philanthropy, and CEO of UAE-based Crescent Enterprises

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