Building New
Alliances at
Round Tables

Scroll down
A diverse group of individuals is seated at a long table, actively engaged in conversation and exchanging ideas. © Photothek / Florian Gärtner.

The program for the Hamburg Sustainability Conference 2024 is being co-created with extensive involvement from a diverse set of stakeholders. The HSC Round Table format offers a unique opportunity to actively shape the conference agenda and access highly exclusive networking opportunities throughout the year. In dedicated sessions, the pressing issues of our time are discussed, proposals for concrete solutions are developed and new alliances for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs are established. The results of these Round Tables will serve as a foundational basis for designing the conference program and approaching potential participants allowing a dynamic exchange of ideas and proposals, ultimately shaping the future of sustainable development.

  • Accelerating Transport Decarbonisation in LMICs

    Felipe A Ramirez Buitrago, Dr. Stéphane Straub, …

    Photo © Lena Plikat

    Accelerating the Just Transition Towards Transport Decarbonisation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
    December 4, 2023 | Dubai, UAE

    The global transport sector, responsible for nearly 25% of energy-related CO2 emissions, gains prominence in climate negotiations. Three noteworthy Round Table Sessions took place during the CCG Transport Day at the UAE COP28, having captured the core of the Data-to-Deal approach in the realm of transportation.

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    LMICs have lower transport-related carbon footprints than HICs. Net-zero strategies are crucial for an inclusive transition, ensuring that no one is marginalized in the process, yet challenges of „just decarbonisation“ persist, particularly in LMICs. 3 significant aspects were put on the agenda. Primo, weak regulation policies to informal transport, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secundo, insufficient access to open transport data and models impedes informed decision-making for policy actions and sustainable investments. Tertio, the need to align climate finance with greener transport development.

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    There is a panoply of possible measures: improving informal transport services and facilitating its integration into the NDCs; enabling open access to data and tools by strengthening regional and global initiatives, such as the ADB Asian Transport Outlook (ATO), the Transport Data Commons Initiative (TDCI), and the Transport Decarbonisation Index (TDI); aggregate procurement of clean vehicles (e.g. Indian Electric Bus Initiative); introducing new instruments (e.g. Blended Finance Vehicles); developing more bankable projects; establishing smaller-scale funds for active mobility; ensuring more transparency through finance tracking.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    It is necessary to engage Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) for both long-term investment programs and smaller-scale funds; involve international stakeholders and donor organisations; strengthen dialogue with private sector, development partners and national/city government; support local operators and workers.

    Felipe A Ramirez Buitrago (Urban Mobility Director WRI), Dr. Stéphane Straub (World Bank Chief Economist for Infrastructure), Eléonore François-Jacobs (Deputy Coordinator MobiliseYourCity), Carlos Eduardo Enríquez Caicedo (Vice Transport Minister of Colombia), Dr. Vivien Foster (Principal Research Fellow at Imperial College London), Josh Wale (CEO Ampersand), Jane Lumumba (Africa Delivery and Transformation Lead at Climate Champions), Malindi Msoni (Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research), James Leather (Chief of Transport Sector Group at the ADB), Claudia Adriazola-Steil (Director WRI), Maruxa Cardama (SLOCAT Secretary General), Nicolas Peltier-Thiberge (World Bank Transport Global Director), Lucie Anderton (Head of Sustainability at UIC), Urda Eichhorst (Programme Director GIZ), Liza Castillo (SLOCAT, former Costa Rica’s Deputy Minister of Transport), Gianpiero Nacci (Director EBRD), Hazem Fahmi (Transport for Cairo)


    Moderated by
    Mohamed Hegazy
    (Transport Lead for the Climate Champions), Holger Dalkmann (CCG Transport Lead, CEO of Sustain 2030), Henry G. Kerali (former World Bank Country Director)

  • Access to Finance and Entrepreneurship

    Benjamin Knödler, Edward Claessen, …

    Photo © Stephen Kariuki

    Access to Finance and Entrepreneurship
    December 6, 2023 | Kenya, Nairobi

    In 2021, the Harvard Business Review declared Kenya as the upcoming „Global Hub of FinTech Innovation“. Round Table discussed the Fintech sector in Kenya as an example for the interdependence of local entrepreneurship and international financing.

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    Despite SMEs in Africa are at the heart of developing countries’ entrepreneurship, the shortage of capital is still the major growth deterrent for them, restricting their ability to create jobs, pay taxes, and provide goods and services.

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    Within the spectrum of possible solutions could be, firstly, a robust focus on job creation and employment, aiming for a simultaneous inclusion of 1 million new workers annually in Kenya along with a total of 30 million across Africa. Secondly, innovative ways to build credibility beyond traditional collaterals, i.e. local innovators create trust-based micro-credit systems, allowing micro-entrepreneurs to start small and enhance credibility by following established rules.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Addressing, integrating and activating more women is seen as one common goal in the area of finance. Furthermore, youth organisations and people with disabilities need to be part of such discussions.

    Benjamin Knödler (Head of Private Sector Cooperation BMZ), Edward Claessen (European Investment Bank), H.E. Sebastian Groth (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kenya), Zainabu Mohamed (Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Roselyne Njino (Kenya Bankers Association), Dr. Sheila Ochugboju (Alliance for Science), Elizabeth Nkukuu (The Financial Inclusion Fund – Hustler Fund), Bernd Lakemeier (GIZ), Mutembei Kariuki (CEO at Fastagger), Agosta Liko (CEO of Pesapal), Susan Mang’eni (State Department of MSMEs Development), Jelle Pentinga (The German Development Finance Institution DEG), Kennedy Odweyo (State Department of MSMEs Development), Moses Njenga (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis)


    Moderated by
    Juliana Rotich (Vice Chair of the HSC Council, Head of the Department-Fintech Solution at Safaricom)

  • Sustainable Urban Mobility in Yaoundé, Cameroon

    Amadou Ngounga Mouchili, Patrick Mfoulou, …

    Photo © Lena Plikat

    Sustainable Urban Mobility in Yaoundé, Cameroon:
    Overcoming Urban Mobility Challenges

    December 1, 2023 | Yaoundé, Cameroon

    The Round Table took place at SotM Africa, having engaged the key urban mobility players in Yaoundé, specifically the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINHDU) and the Yaoundé Urban Community (CUY).

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    Improving sustainable urban mobility in Cameroon is imperative, with the lack of road infrastructure and paratransit challenges constituting three major interconnected hurdles for the country’s economic, social, and environmental development. Despite existing measures to mitigate the negative impacts on air quality, climate, and citizen well-being, the fulfillment of these actions still faces obstacles, such as a shortage of funding, insufficient technical capacity, and resistance to behavioural change.

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    The primary approach is to implement current National and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (NUMP and SUMP) in cities like Yaoundé and Douala. Key projects include the medium-term implementation of mass public transport (BRT), improvements to road infrastructure, and the fight against air pollution.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Government ministries should enforce policies, collaborate, and allocate resources to turn sustainable urban mobility into reality. Local governments should prioritize effective urban planning and infrastructure investment. Private sector engagement brings valuable resources and knowledge, while operators should be aware of their impact on society and the environment.

    Amadou Ngounga Mouchili (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development MINHDU), Patrick Mfoulou (Yaoundé Urban Community CUY), Arnaud Ndzana (Yaoundé Urban Community CUY), Vincent Flament (European Union Delegation), Rigobert Kilu (Project Lead MoVe Yaoundé at GIZ), Angelin Zegha (Project Manager MoVe Yaoundé at GIZ)


    Moderated by
    Lena Plikat (Advisor on Sustainable Mobility at GIZ)

  • Economy and Development in Transition

    Dr. Werner Hoyer, Niels Annen, H.E. Roberto …

    Photo © Photothek / Florian Gärtner

    Economy and Development in Transition:
    A Fair, Green and Digital Future

    October 31, 2023 | Berlin, Germany

    An exclusive EIB High-Level Round Table Dinner took place at Landesvertretung Hamburg in Berlin by invitation of Association for Latin America (the LAV) and Agency for Economy and Development (AWE).

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    The pivotal objective is to realign the economy towards a socio-ecological orientation. This implies reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing digitalization in both the energy (SDG 7) and the mobility (SDG 11) sectors. Furthermore, it is critically important to ensure universal and equitable access to clean drinking water (SDG 6), and to guarantee the sustainable procurement and utilization of raw materials (SDG 12).

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    The most promising solution is a shift towards value-based international partnerships (SDG 17). Fostering strategic alliances with the private sector, scientific organisations, and other multilateral institutions is essential to effectively tackle global challenges.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Firstly, international and multilateral approaches are crucial not only between the economy and politics but also through collaboration with science, civil society actors, trade unions, multilateral institutions such as development banks. Secondly, there is a pressing need for cooperation on equal footing with developing and emerging countries, emphasizing the formation of partnerships with local actors, including NGOs and local authorities.

    Dr. Werner Hoyer (President of the European Investment Bank together with EIB Delegation), Niels Annen (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development together with BMZ Delegation), H.E. Roberto Jaguaribe (Ambassador of Brazil to Germany), H.E. Yadir Salazar Mejia (Ambassador of Colombia to Germany), H.E. Francisco Jose Quiroga Fernandez (Ambassador of the United Mexican States to Germany), other multisectoral stakeholders, e.g. Energy & Meteo Systems GmbH, Boreal Light GmbH


    Moderated by
    Almuth Dörre (Acting Director of the Agency for Business and Economic Development), Orlando Baquero (Executive Director at Association for Latin America)