SOEs are public entities that are partly or wholly owned by government to deliver services in a particular sector or sectors. To date, SOEs in Africa have not been deeply involved in climate adaptation activities, but they have substantial opportunity to be leaders in building climate resilience given their market share and public governance model which can set the standard for non-public actors.
To date, the most significant share of SOE investment in Africa is from China: approximately 25% (USD 26 billion) of all infrastructure investment in Africa in 2018 flowed from China. Much of this investment flowed from Chinese state-owned financial institutions including the China Overseas Infrastructure Development and Investment Corporation, and the China-Africa Development Fund. SOEs within Africa include the Kenya Pipeline Company (a state corporation responsible for transporting and delivering petroleum products), South Africa’s Eskom (an electric public utility), and National Railways of Zimbabwe. To date, the vast majority of this investment has not been in adaptation activities, but the size of investment is substantial and represents an untapped opportunity for an adaptation focus.