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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid