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East Africa Carbon Markets Forum: Bridging the Gap for Climate Action

People posing in front of the EACMF x 1MTN photowall
1MTN at East Africa Carbon Markets Forum 2024

On May 9th and 10th, Kampala, Uganda, became a hub of collaboration and knowledge exchange as 1MTN organised the East Africa Carbon Markets Forum. This dynamic platform brought together local and global stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, focusing on the latest regulatory developments in the carbon market landscape and climate finance in East Africa.

At 1MTN, our primary focus is on developing high-quality nature-based carbon removal projects. While the move to organise a forum might have seemed unconventional, our year spent at global climate conferences and our active participation in the local market revealed the urgent need for alignment and mutual understanding among stakeholders to efficiently and intelligently advance the market. With Uganda finalising its regulations on participating in Article Six of the Paris Agreement and the continent facing challenges like the lack of climate finance flows and fragmented financing approaches, the sense of urgency is undeniable. Committed to Uganda and the broader African context, we knew it was time to bring local and global stakeholders together for meaningful dialogue and collaboration. And we were not alone, as the event would not have been possible without our invaluable partners—Seagrass, Space Intelligence, NSSF, Space for Giants, Net Zero Climate Investments, Deloitte, Stanbic, Innovation: Africa, Trees for Future, Upenergy, Oribfy, Bukona Agro, Burns, NBS, KTA,, Verra, and Uganda Investment Authority. By all means, this truly was an event by market participants, for market participants.

Why the East Africa Carbon Markets  Forum Came to Life

1MTN's own motivation behind the East Africa Carbon Markets Forum stemmed from a clear recognition of the critical gaps in dialogue, knowledge, and trust that hinder effective climate action. However, if we start to bridge the gaps effectively, the benefits will be far greater than the sum of their parts.

Dialogue Gap

Discussions around climate change are pervasive in regions like the EU. However, this is not the case globally. Many regions with significant future emissions and vast lands capable of absorbing CO2 are not part of this crucial conversation, nor are they considered from this perspective. The forum aimed to bring the spotlight on this, furthering dialogue between different market participants, particularly in East Africa.

Knowledge Gap

Political debates in Africa have recently delved more into climate change and carbon. Carbon regulation in hand with carbon revenue, taxing opportunities, land restoration, and community benefits are often central to conversations. However, the concept of carbon markets is relatively new. Ensuring long-term benefits for the country's market demands coherence and a profound grasp of crucial concepts like distinguishing between avoidance and removal credits, defining high quality, and utilizing available technological solutions to uphold project claims. Bridging the knowledge gap concurrently aids in aligning governments' carbon revenue expectations with realistic outcomes while emphasising the significance of transparent frameworks and opportunities technological innovations create for transparent and tracked carbon markets.  By addressing these areas, the forum sought to empower decision-makers to establish a thriving bio-economy independent of foreign aid.

Trust Gap

As a European company, we notice a prevalent question about why reforestation efforts focus on Africa rather than Europe. The truth is that Europe's limited land and agricultural subsidies pose challenges for large-scale reforestation. Africa offers a promising solution with its vast lands and potential for significant carbon sequestration. The numerous co-benefits can amplify the positive impact of carbon projects on the continent most affected by climate change. Bridging the trust gap and demonstrating the feasibility of reforestation projects in Africa is vital. Understanding the difference between perceived risk and actual risk, the realities on project sites versus those in distant glass buildings, advancements in methodologies, and the increased awareness about technological innovations on the market are all key in reducing the trust gap among stakeholders in the market.

Key Highlights and Outcomes

Panel discussion particpants on stage
Panel Discussion: Investing for the Planet: Strategies in Carbon Markets and Beyond featuring Ilkay Demirdag, Impact & Investment Strategist, Anete Garoza, Co-founder & Chief Climate Officer, 1MTN, Andreas Reger, Head of Project Development, Volkswagen ClimatePartner GmbH and Roy Kahangwe, Managing Director, Khala Labs

The two-day event featured two stages with 75 speakers, 11 workshops, 8 project

showcases, numerous panels and keynote addresses and 300 participants, creating a rich environment for learning, networking, and collaboration. As organisers we of course had many valuable learnings. However, what is most important for us is that the forum's success was evident in the organic connections formed, the serendipity of interactions, and the contagious enthusiasm of participants, underlining the necessity for in-depth conversations on carbon markets and their impact and opportunities in East Africa and Uganda. From Harvard professors to ministers, project developers to carbon buyers, the diversity of expertise in the room fostered not just ideas but actionable plans, new partnerships, and tangible business opportunities.

Highlights from Participants

Picture of a man and  his quote on EACMF
CEO & Founder of Mandulis Energy Peter BenHur Nyeko on East Africa Carbon Markets Forum

  • "Excellent! Comprehensive conversation around carbon markets and their implications for people in East Africa and Uganda."

  • "Sustained interest throughout, with discussions on how to access opportunities. An important first step!"

  • "Excellent speakers, connections, and business opportunities! It truly embodied the people-planet-profit approach."

Notable Outcomes

  • Commitment from 1MTN to host the East Africa Carbon Markets Forum 2025.

  • Establishment of the Uganda Carbon Markets Association.

  • Hon. Anywar Beatrice's  announcement of the upcoming Uganda Carbon Regulations being endorsed by the government in the near future and the  emphasis on collaboration for Uganda's journey to net zero

  • New partnerships and business opportunities materialised at the event. As part of this, we are especially happy that Mandulis Energy is moving on with their 1MW project in Kenya and invite you to keep an eye on this!

We also witnessed several pledges and call-to-actions from participants at the forum, with a focus on translating knowledge and networking into tangible actions. Over time, we shall witness how effectively the pledges are translated into action.

Looking Ahead

As we gear up for the East Africa Carbon Markets Forum 2025, we invite partners and stakeholders to join us in fostering impactful climate action. Only through collaboration can we bridge the gaps and unlock opportunities for sustainable development. If you wish to join us as a partner, please get in touch with us via e-mailing

And it's a wrap! See you at EACMF 2025


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