Addis Ababa, 3 April 2016 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa on Sunday launched its flagship Economic Report on Africa 2016 with the ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, saying as a latecomer to industrialization, Africa should adopt the green pathway towards sustainable and inclusive development to avoid pitfalls and mistakes made by some developed nations.
Addressing close to 200 delegates gathered to witness the launch of the report titled ‘Greening Africa’s Industrialization’, Mr. Hamdok said the continent can define and design its own pathway to industrialization based on its own realities and learning from history and experiences of other regions to leapfrog traditional, carbon-intensive methods of growth, while championing a low-carbon development trajectory.
“There is now growing commitment among African countries to pursue inclusive green development,” he told the high level delegates in attendance. “Collective commitment from across the African Union would strengthen the speed and effectiveness of such a strategic shift.”
Mr. Hamdok said Africa can take advantage of new innovations, technologies and business models as it optimally and efficiently utilizes her natural resources as inputs to an industrialization process powered by domestic endowments of clean sources of energy.
“In this regard,” he said, “the ERA 2016 encourages the region to pursue a pathway to green industrialization that economic growth is sustainable and inclusive through the creation of green jobs and other positive spillovers.”
Mr. Hamdok said a strategy for green industrialization, in its many dimensions, will deliver a more competitive and resource-efficient industrial sector.
Greening industrialization, according to the report which also provides governments with greening policy suggestions, provides the impetus for turning current supply chains linking natural resources to markets, into value chains that diversify Africa’s economies and ensure greater value added.
Discussants were in agreement that in this era of growing scarcity, resource-rich Africa must shift away from being a marginal supplier of raw commodities, to harness the full potential of its natural resources by diversifying into greater value addition, through processing and marketing.
The 2016 ERA, Mr. Hamdock said, heralds an era for Africa to pursue an alternative and sustainable path through green industrialization.
This year’s follows the adoption of landmark global agreements that align with Africa’s need to industrialize, by generating greener and more inclusive growth, he said.
ERA 2016 highlights that Africa is poised for growth through green industrialization.
Also covered in the report are issues related to how the continent can achieve green industrialization. It highlights projects in a number of countries, among them Kenya and Malawi, that show how countries can develop through green industrialization.
It, however, notes a lack of or inadequate infrastructure conducive for greening Africa’s industrialization process but adds there’s willingness on the part of governments to transition from coal to greener pathways of development.
Ultimately, reads the report, a greener future holds the key to making good of Africa’s long-term development plans.
The report was launched during the ECA’s inaugural African Development Week.
To access the report, please click here
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