Posted on: March 4, 2024 Posted by: diasporadigital Comments: 0


African nations’ carbon credit policies have been examined from a diasporic perspective, considering the effects on domestic populations and individuals residing outside.

This viewpoint makes it possible to comprehend the policy’s impact on different stakeholders and the possibility of sustainable development in the area more thoroughly. However, carbon credits have become very popular worldwide, especially in African nations. To guarantee that the policy is successfully implemented and advantageous to all parties involved, it is crucial to consider the opinions of both local and diasporic populations as it continues to develop. In their attempts to tackle climate change, African nations may achieve more durable and inclusive results with an all-encompassing strategy.

Understanding Carbon Credits in Africa

Africa’s forests are crucial in absorbing CO2 emissions, with vast potential for carbon credit initiatives. However, only a tiny percentage of global carbon credits originate from African projects. The continent aims to increase its participation in the carbon market significantly, with initiatives like the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) targeting the production of 300 million carbon credits annually by 2030. African leaders are increasingly looking at carbon markets as a valuable source of capital, aiming to tap into the continent’s vast carbon credit potential. Africa currently utilizes only 2% of its annual carbon credit potential, aiming to sell $100 billion worth of credits annually by 2050. This presents a substantial economic opportunity for a continent with historically limited foreign direct investment. Kenya stands out as a critical player in the African carbon credit landscape, with President William Ruto highlighting carbon credits as a significant export opportunity for the country. Kenya’s efforts to generate carbon credits through projects like Wildlife Works demonstrate the tangible economic benefits that can be derived from participating in carbon markets. The country’s ambition to expand its share of the African carbon credit market reflects a broader trend within the region towards leveraging natural resources for economic growth.

Challenges and opportunities

Concerns about the legitimacy of carbon credit programmes have affected Africa’s capacity to draw in capital and purchasers. The expansion of the carbon market in Africa has been hampered by problems with governance, validation, and verification. Nonetheless, there appears to be increasing investor interest and momentum, as seen by promises such as the United Arab Emirates’ promise to buy $450 million worth of carbon credits from Africa. Several African nations have passed laws to control and advance carbon markets. To promote the development of carbon markets domestically, Kenya, for instance, recently modified its Climate Change Act to include provisions for market regulation. Tanzania has also passed laws creating a national carbon register and a framework for managing and controlling carbon trading. South Africa has enacted laws such as the Carbon Tax Act to track and lower its domestic greenhouse gas emissions. It is vital to tackle these obstacles to guarantee that carbon credit programmes in Africa are precise, dependable, and efficiently aid in reducing emissions. To strengthen the legitimacy of African carbon credit programmes, improved governance structures and effective integrity measures are essential.

Corporate climate claims and carbon credits

To achieve carbon neutrality or net-zero emissions, businesses are increasingly employing carbon credits to support their climate claims. The veracity of the underlying carbon credits significantly impacts the accuracy and integrity of these assertions. Reliability, extravagance, and effective management of carbon credits are essential for preserving confidence in business climate pledges. Some carbon offset schemes may not have been as honest as advertised, as evidenced by recent investigations that cast doubt on their integrity. This has raised concerns about the efficacy of some projects and how much they contribute to reducing emissions. Corporations must conduct a comprehensive due diligence process on the carbon credits they acquire to guarantee a substantial reduction in emissions. Establishing trust in corporate sustainability initiatives requires openness and responsibility in the carbon offset industry.

The New ‘Scramble for Africa’

Recent deals involving vast tracts of African forests for carbon offsetting have sparked debates about land rights, environmental impacts, and potential exploitation under the guise of carbon credit initiatives. The involvement of entities without experience in conservation projects raises questions about the benefits and motivations behind such deals. As Africa navigates its journey towards becoming a prominent player in the carbon credit market, collaboration between governments, private sector entities, and international organisations will be essential. Ensuring that carbon credit projects deliver real environmental benefits while supporting local communities and economies is critical to sustainable growth within the sector. Through learning from successful projects across the continent and implementing best practices in carbon finance, African countries can harness the full potential of carbon credits as a tool for economic development and environmental conservation.


In conclusion, while carbon credits present opportunities for revenue generation and job creation in Africa, ensuring transparency, integrity, and genuine emission reductions are paramount. The continent’s rich natural resources can be leveraged effectively through well-managed carbon credit projects that benefit the environment and local communities. By critically examining the current landscape of carbon credits in African countries, we can better understand their implications and work towards sustainable practices that genuinely contribute to combating climate change.

By: Eric Muhia

Author Image Attribution: Eric Muhia

Eric Muhia

Eric Muhia is currently pursuing an MSc in International Business and Strategy at the University of Dundee, and obtained a Master’s of Science in Diplomacy & International Security (MSc Diplomacy & International Security) at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He is a young diplomat. His ambition is to serve and contribute to the promotion of peaceful coexistence among communities, as well as to make a positive difference in their lives – which is why he is passionate about debating issues such as war and climate change.