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Efforts to revive the African economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic should ensure a “green recovery” that and strikes a blow against climate change, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said in a report published on Monday, March 1, 2021.

ECA Green Recovery
Some of the participants at the virtual event

Findings of the report titled “Building Forward for an African Green Recovery” showed it was important for economic recovery programmes to invest in future jobs that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in coming years, rather than aim for a return to business as usual.

“We thought that as we continue to look at how we get out of this crisis (COVID-19), we should begin to see how we also plan for the future. The report we are releasing today continues to emphasise the need for support for the recovery. We would like that recovery to be green,” ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe said during a virtual media briefing to release the report ahead of the official opening of the UN 7th Session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Congolese capital city Brazzaville.

“What the report is showing is that there are actually good stories to tell in terms of how we grow green but the green recovery requires investment and so how do we get this investment. We need to find ways to mobilise the finance. It’s good business,” Songwe added.

Results of the report suggest that green projects such as boosting renewable energy create more jobs, deliver higher short-term returns and lead to increased long-term cost savings relative to traditional stimulus measures.

The report highlights four main pillars for Africa’s priority interventions and resource mobilisation including infrastructure, food security, natural capital and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“When we turn to the Blue Economy- we are particularly conscious of the finite nature of resources. The African continent is blessed with significant oceanic resources, but these resources are increasingly under-pressure due to overexploitation and climate change. The importance of biodiversity in a country’s economy cannot be overemphasised,” said Jean-Paul Adam, the ECA Director, Technology, Science and Climate Change Division.

By Arison Tamfu

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