Addis Ababa 30 September, 2020 (ECA) – From 25 to 29 September 2020 the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Ministries of Environment of Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya organised two virtual validation workshops to discuss and strengthen country studies on “unleashing the potential of the private sector to drive green growth and job creation”.
The meetings are part of a regional study covering five countries that have been selected for more in-depth research. These countries are Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. The overall aim of the study is to outline key opportunities and provide recommendations to unlock private investments for green growth and job creation in Africa.
In the face of growing degradation of natural resource assets, climate change and low employment, it is more crucial than ever to scale up efforts that promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, while creating decent jobs in the region. The private sector is particularly well-placed to drive green growth: it is an engine of job creation, an important investor in the economy and a major source of finance. The study will make substantial contributions to the achievement of various goals and objectives of the AU Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
During the validation workshops, the reports were presented to experts, followed by an in-depth discussion. Various representatives from the private sector, government, academia, research institutions, civil society and the United Nations system brought in their expertise and provided inputs to enrich the reports. The meetings also provided platforms for experts and practitioners to dialogue and network to foster support for the private sector to drive green growth and job creation in Africa.
Special attention was given to identifying and strengthening the COVID-19 related dimensions of the country reports. The unfolding crisis has led to significant job loss and SMEs have been disproportionally affected. Environmental degradation has further worsened the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. At the same time, the crisis provides a unique opportunity to put inclusive green growth at the core of the development agenda. During the validation workshops, participants identified concrete policy actions to ensure resilience to future shocks through private sector-led green growth and job creation.
Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, Director of the Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division pointed out that the study was part of ECA’s effort to support Member States to build back better through an inclusive green recovery. ECA’s readiness to assist member states was also emphasised by Mr. Robert Lisinge, Chief of the Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division. On their part, Mr. Gustave Aboua and Mr. Augustine Kenduiwo, who hold key positions at the Ministries of Environment of Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya and chaired the validation workshops, stressed the importance of the study and expressed their countries’ commitment to work with partners to promote an inclusive and green recovery from COVID-19 and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Aside from inputs to strengthen the role of the private sector to drive sustainable growth in the post-COVID era, key recommendations included – amongst others – the development of a national green manufacturing strategy, an innovative blue and green financing framework, strengthening capacity building and stakeholder platforms and measures that specifically target micro-enterprises and SMEs.
The validation meetings resulted in the formulation of bold and practical recommendations that can be owned and operationalised by diverse stakeholders to enable transformative investment by the private sector to drive green growth and create decent jobs.
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