Economic Report on Africa 2016

Greening Africa’s Industrialization

image of Economic Report on Africa 2016
The 2016 edition of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA 2016) focuses on greening industrialization and highlights sustainable and people-centred industrialization. Given the impacts of climate change, resource scarcities and environmental degradation, measures for de-risking Africa’s development are critical. The form and pattern of Africa’s industrialization, shaped by its abundant natural resources especially water and renewable energy sources, are discussed within the scale and scope that tackles inequality and promotes inclusivity. The report employs a value chain approach in analyzing the decoupling needs of key economic sectors towards low carbon intensive economic growth in Africa. Country case studies are used in demonstrating ongoing greening activities across key sectors. This is supported with modelling of future development scenarios under ‘Business-as Usual’ and “Greening” to demonstrate the additionality of greening policies and investments in making a business case to support the industrialization and transformation momentum in the continent’s development agenda. The report therefore provides evidence-based information to policymakers and other stakeholders on greening Africa’s industrialization to achieve inclusive and sustainable structural transformation and growth on the continent.

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Progress in the greening of Africa's industry

A business-as-usual (BAU) industrialization trajectory in Africa not only reduces the rate of growth in the medium to long term but is also unsustainable (Chapter 5). Africa consequently has no real choice if it is to industrialize but to promote the greening of industry—a sometimes difficult path. It will require painful changes in the pricing system (for example, charging users for the externalities involved in energy and water production and in the cost of cleaning up pollutants), which will need appropriate compensatory mechanisms for poorer consumers and producers. However, as this chapter will show, much—not all—industrial greening provides short-term positive returns alongside longer term gains, and some involves heavy upfront costs. Greening also will require changes in attitudes throughout the population, not just the industrial sector.

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