The World Bank has announced the selection of a Nigerian, Damilola Ogunbiyi, among 15 chief executive officers, financiers and asset managers in its Private Sector Investment Lab.
Ogunbiyi is the CEO and special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. She is also a Co-Chair of UN-Energy.
The lab, initiated last month by the lender’s president, Ajay Banga, aims to mobilise additional private capital to address the challenges of climate change and promote investment in developing countries.
With the collective expertise and leadership of executives from AXA, BlackRock, HSBC, Macquarie, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Ninety One, Ping An Group, Royal Philips, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered, Sustainable Energy for All, Tata Sons, Temasek, and Three Cairns Group, the lab is well-equipped to tackle the challenges hindering private sector investment in these regions.
The lab’s initial focus will be on scaling transition finance in renewable energy and energy infrastructure, the bank said in a statement.
Recognising the urgent need to combat climate change and promote sustainable development, the lab intends to develop and implement financing structures and approaches to attract private capital to support the transition to renewable energy in emerging markets.
By doing so, it plans to drive inclusive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and improve the quality of life for people in these regions.
The lab will closely collaborate with the private finance sector, drawing on their experience and knowledge to identify scalable and replicable solutions.
It will explore innovative financing models, align the World Bank’s efforts with private sector requirements, and allocate risks effectively among investors.
Co-chaired by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, and Shriti Vadera, Chair of Prudential plc, the Lab will meet regularly to discuss progress and report directly to Mr Banga and the World Bank Group leadership.
Their guidance and oversight will ensure that the lab’s efforts align with the World Bank’s vision of poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The World Bank president expressed appreciation to the business leaders who have joined the lab and their commitment to addressing global challenges.
He emphasised the need for public-private collaboration and stated that the initiative has the potential to unlock significant investment, ultimately improving the lives of people in the Global South.
Ogunbiyi being the only African on the list, believes that developing countries are disproportionately affected by global crises, and there is a need to unlock finance at scale to accelerate renewable energy-based solutions.
“The multiple ongoing global crises affect developing countries around the world disproportionally. Despite already having the solutions to scale up renewable energy-based solutions to deliver development and climate progress, finance needs to be unlocked at scale in developing countries and underserved sectors. This Lab offers us the opportunity to work together to design the solutions that will speed up an inclusive global energy transition,” she said.
Shriti Vadera, Chair of Prudential plc, highlighted the lab’s focus on delivering tangible impact on the ground.
She emphasised the importance of scalable and speedy solutions, noting that every action and every penny counts in driving progress toward climate goals, poverty reduction, and inclusive growth.
Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance stressed the urgency of mobilising private capital to address global challenges effectively.
He highlighted the need for innovative solutions to catalyse investment at scale, particularly in developing countries.
The founding core members of the Lab– include Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA; Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, Noel Quinn, Group CEO at HSBC; Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Macquarie; Hironori Kamezawa, CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group; Hendrik du Toit, CEO Ninety One.
Others are Jessica Tan, co-CEO of Ping An Group; Feike Sijbesma, co-chair at Royal Philips; Sim Tshabalala, CEO of Standard Bank; Bill Winters, group executive Standard Chartered; N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons; Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO Temasek and Mark Gallogly, co-founder Three Cairns Group.