With African economic growth threatened, green economy heralded
The 6th African Economic Conference has been going on since Tuesday 25 October in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The conference, which is being organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Economic Commission, the African Development Bank Group and the UNDP, has been bringing together some 300 experts, African ministers, bankers and other international stakeholders.
Speaking at a pre-conference workshop for Journalists covering the Addis Ababa meeting on Monday, Dr Nnadozie defined what green economy is and how huge investment remains the surest way of promoting quality growth in Africa.
As Africa’s rivers and lakes dry up and the tropical rain forest is depleting very fast, the ECA Chief Economist stressed the need to rethink the strategy and an economic transformation by focusing on renewable energy and boosting agricultural production in a sustainable way.
But the cost is huge. In order to prevent the deserts from spreading, Africa’s rivers and lakes from shrinking further as well as stopping the serious effects of climate change, it would cost up to 20 billion US dollars yearly.
But Dr Nnadozie said the urgent need for climate change adaptation can’t wait and that political leaders and policy makers must come up with measures that would reduce high energy cost, high level of carbon emmission, high and ecological footprints.
According to him by investing in green economy, African leaders would be acting in the people’s best interest, and warned that biofuels production should not be used at the detriment of food crops production.
So, the stage had been set for a week of serious discussions by politicians, economic experts and other stakeholders on how to build a green economy in Africa. This is by striking the balance between the big industry interest in planting crops to produce bio fuels and not triggering high food prices and more food insecurity.
But as the UN ECA chief economist, Dr Nnandozie says there’s a crucial need for institutional reform, good leadership and policy that would that would create descent employment for Africans, propel economic growth, and I may add restore Africa’s green pasture nature gave us.
As WADR’s Frank Sainworla reports from the Ethiopian capital, , this week's African Economic conference is being held under the theme, Green Economy and Structural Transformation.
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