News / Africa

UN Urges Africa to Create Green Economy

A Masaai herdsman looks after his cattle near the power-generating wind turbines at the Kenya Electricity Generating Company station in Ngong hills, southwest of the capital Nairobi, July 17, 2009.
A Masaai herdsman looks after his cattle near the power-generating wind turbines at the Kenya Electricity Generating Company station in Ngong hills, southwest of the capital Nairobi, July 17, 2009.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA - The United Nations said African countries can avoid the mistakes of early-industrialized countries by growing their societies in an environmentally sound way.  A new UNCTAD report said African nations need to modernize by using their abundant natural resources in an efficient “green” manner.  
 
The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development said industrialized nations have become rich by using the world’s natural resources in a profligate manner, with little regard for the environment. As a consequence, they now are paying the price of having to clean up the damage they have caused by polluting the space in which they live.  

U.N. economists say Africa, which is still in the early stages of industrialization, does not have to go down the "grow now, clean up later" path. The new UNCTAD report said Africa can raise its living standards and protect the environment.
 
UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi said Africa can and must grow its economy through the efficient use and consumption of domestic natural resources.
 
“Africa is not using a lot of resources. What Africa should do is to use more resources for sure.  But, to use more resources in a way that they can make sure that the uses are more efficient. Africa has been using very little energy, said Panitchpakdi.

"Now we need for African economies to have real accession, to have energy use, but energy not in the same old way like burning woods and timbers," Panitchpakdi continued. "But energy in a cleaner way, like biomass, like, what we call kerosene or some of the liquefied petroleum gases and things like that.”  
 
The report noted the rest of the world is flocking to the continent for resources that are increasingly scarce elsewhere. At the same time, the report says Africa, with its abundant supplies, uses only about half the global average.
 
UNCTAD senior economist Taffere Tesfachew said Africa has a great opportunity to shift to “green” production by developing renewable energy resources. He told VOA that hydroelectric power is a good source of clean energy for countries that have a large water capacity.  He said "a lot of focus now is on solar energy."

"The technology on that has advanced. Apparently, one of the problems with the solar was the storage ...  But, there have been some advances now, Tesfachew said. "So this will be very effective, especially in the rural area because you can install them very easily, apparently. They are very effective and Africa has a lot of sun.  So the wind turbine is still being developed and it operates apparently on a larger scale.”  
 
The U.N. study said it will not be easy to implement sustainable structural transformation in Africa.  It noted there is no "one size fits all" approach.  Each African country will have to design strategies and policies based on its own resource priorities, environmental challenges and domestic capabilities.
 
It cited Kenya, Mauritius and South Africa as countries that are well embarked on the path of harnessing their energy resources.  
 
To achieve a green economy, UNCTAD says developed countries will have to increase financial assistance to Africa, particularly to productive sectors such as energy.  It said there also will be a need for greater technology transfer from developed and emerging countries to Africa.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid