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Africa launches green stimulus program

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2021-09-17 20:21
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Giraffes are seen in Tanzania, Africa. [Photo/IC]

Environment ministers from the African continent on Thursday pledged mobilization of additional resources to accelerate a post-pandemic recovery that is green and inclusive. The announcement came against the backdrop of an online platform for the African Green Stimulus Program being launched to provide an overarching framework to support a green recovery from COVID-19.

The African Ministerial Conference on Environment, which took place virtually under the theme of "Securing people's well-being and ensuring environmental sustainability in Africa", was also attended by representatives of multilateral organizations and continental blocs.

Barbara Creecy, South African minister of environment, forestry and fisheries and outgoing president of AMCEN, said enhanced protection of habitats and climate financing will revitalize Africa's quest for a green pandemic recovery. She also described the rapid progress in the development and implementation of this African-led and owned initiative as a source of pride for the continent.

"The session has agreed to adopt the continent-wide African Green Stimulus Program to support the continent's recovery from the devastating socio-economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 in a sustainable manner. This program is intended to contribute to Africa's green recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and support the continent's journey towards a sustainable and low-carbon development pathway," Creecy said.

"We can use environmental sustainability as a vehicle for post COVID-19 recovery in Africa. The continent should adopt green stimulus packages to support its journey toward low carbon growth pathways."

Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program, said Africa has suffered the most from the climate crisis, from nature and biodiversity to the pollution crisis. She also stressed Africa's ability to overcome pandemic shocks hinges on green investments.

"The African continent is suffering extensively from the climate crisis. From the nature and biodiversity crisis. From the pollution crisis. And the challenges are accelerating. Only this week, in UNEP's host country Kenya, the National Drought Management Authority announced severe impacts in view of a combination of drought, locusts and other factors driven by diminishing resources," Andersen said.

Abdou Karim Sall, Senegal's minister for environment and sustainable development and incoming president of AMCEN, underscored the critical role of regional cooperation, sharing of best practices and policy harmonization to promote green recovery and restore degraded ecosystems in Africa.

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