A green economy: reconciling man with his environment

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The promotion of green growth and the construction of a green economy in Africa aim to assure the well-being of humans, in the face of climate change. This issue was at the core of the debate “Africa’s transition to green economy” organized on May 28, in the context of the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco. The panel gathered experts from the AfDB and governmental authorities to exchange experiences.

The discussions placed an emphasis on the consideration of numerous factors like pollution, waste, environmental deterioration and climate change, demographic growth, urbanization and modes of consumption in the quest for green growth.

There are some positive examples that can be shared, such as the case of Morocco, which has enshrined its commitment to a green economy in its constitution. For the General Director of the National Office for Water and Electricity in Morocco, Ali Fassi Fihri, all countries should have the same definition of green economy. “We need to go beyond the concept of green economy and reconcile man with his environment.” Several programs such as Morocco’s policy on dams and the program Water for All are a testament to the country’s transition towards a green economy. Each region, in turn, must establish its green economy plan.

For Sierra Leone, green growth was integrated in its Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the reduction of poverty. According to the Energy Minister, Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, this strategic choice includes the sustainable development of infrastructure, energy and cities, the management of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, as well as the reinforcement of resilience facing exogenous shocks.

The participants evoked the issue of a green growth in the mining sector. The example of the Government of Mozambique was cited – a country that chose a roadmap that considers the green economy concept and the need to progressively reinforce national capacities. Launched in April 2012, this process for the preparation of a roadmap towards a green economy has the objective of achieving an effective transition towards a green economy growth model.

The roadmap determines the key steps needed for the realization of Mozambique’s vision in becoming a country with intermediate income by 2030, founded on the protection, restoration and rational use of the natural capital and the ecosystem revenues to assure a sustainable, inclusive and effective development, considering the limitations of the planet.

Does the AfDB play an important role in this green transition? According to Hela Cheikhrouhou, Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, the AfDB “brings its support to the governments to develop their action plans for green growth and also provides the support of its staff to help effectively implement those roadmaps.”