Photo by Khephren Fanga

With majority of Africans depending on natural resources for livelihood, a new African Development Bank report is urging the continent to embrace green growth in its development process.

The “Towards Green Growth in Africa” report which was produced by the African Development Bank, stated that the 21st century presents a number of challenges for Africa and mentioned climate change, population growth, and the combined influence of these factors on energy transformation and agricultural markets.

With an emphasis on agriculture which employs about 60 per cent of Africa’s total population and contributes a third of the continent’s GDP, the report said “greening agricultural practices through agro-forestry and organic farming practices deliver short and long-term development benefits.”

Apart from agriculture, the access to green technologies can increase productivity and efficiency in various sectors, urged the report.

The report suggests that Africa must ensure the progressive mainstreaming of green growth into upstream development planning and that the right institutional enabling environment is put in place.

It recommends that African countries should mainstream green growth in their development planning cycles, where the role that green growth approaches can play in meeting development objectives could have a more prominent role.

Also, the report indicated that strengthened planning requires a broader integration of sectors, and the need for high-level political commitment cannot be overemphasized in charting long-term development visions.

The African Development Bank and other multilateral and bilateral organizations should ensure the transition of Africa by facilitating awareness, knowledge sharing, and upstream technical support, as well as providing guidance and resources for programmatic and project-specific interventions.”

While there may be efficiency gains and cost savings associated with green growth, there are likely to be upfront investment costs, which could constrain the transition.