A number of African countries are amongst the fastest growing economies worldwide. Still, the level and speed of lifting a vast majority of the African people from poverty remains low. A key question, therefore, is how the growth can transform the African economies towards efficient and competitive engines that reduce poverty and do not threaten the environment.
The African Consensus Statement, which was endorsed by the Eighteenth Session of the African Union Summit (2012), underlined the need to reorient the current development models towards a more efficient, inclusive and sustainable economy by enhancing the resource efficiency of national economies. It further reaffirmed that the transition to Green Economy offers prospects of speeding up Africa’s progress to sustainable development through economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
The transition to Green Economy is already underway in Africa with different countries pursuing diverse pathways to greener and more inclusive economies across the continent. At the national level, a number of African countries have taken measures aimed at realigning their national economic development strategies with a low-carbon and Green Economy path by developing national strategies, road maps and action plans for a greener economy. However, practical applications at the sub-national level in Africa are still rare.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are implementing a regional project entitled ‘Operationalizing Green Economy Transition in Africa’ in five African pilot countries; Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Rwanda through a financial support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The objective of the project is to complement these countries’ national efforts by developing key planning and management tools for Green Economy at the local level, building the capacity of local governments and other relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector, supporting pilot demonstrations, developing an appropriate national framework for replication and designing an interactive knowledge management platform that facilitates the dissemination and replication of the lessons and best practices across the continent.
The “Green Economy Transition in Africa” Knowledge Platform intends to connect Green Economy policy makers and practitioners from around Africa and to help them learn from each other’s experience. It provides a forum where Green Economy local development in Africa can be up-scaled by disseminating the best practices gained in the pilot applications widely, making available necessary tools and information, and forming a community of practice amongst African stakeholders.