HomeOpinion & AnalysisIs Africa ready for green growth?

Is Africa ready for green growth?


THERE is growing political commitment to green growth in Africa.

Gabon, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia have shown signs of making inroads with regards green growth.

Green growth is the means to promote and maximise opportunities for sustainable economic development through building resilience and managing resources efficiently.

For the African Development Bank, investing in green growth requires both policy interventions and adequate financing, especially that green growth investments require significant upfront financing to harness the innovative environmental solutions and clean technologies.

This includes building resilient and low-carbon economies, smart and sustainable cities, greening industrialisation, and building climate-resilient infrastructure.

Data-driven decision-making is fundamental, especially associated to climate change-related issues.

A large spectrum of opportunities and practical recommendations have been suggested that will help African leaders to play a critical role in supporting green growth models.

The Global Green Growth Institute, as an intergovernmental organisation, is dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies.

African leaders are actively championing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and simultaneously implementing the nationally-determined contributions, a component of the Paris climate treaty.

In addition, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia have enshrined the fundamentals of green growth, including the right to a clean and safe environment and citizens’ right to consultation, in their constitutions.

The governments of Rwanda, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Mozambique have adopted green growth and climate-resilient economic strategies.

On the other end of the spectrum, the remaining indicators left the most room for improvement, namely sectoral, legal and regulatory, financing and budget, research and development and innovation, human resources and capacity, and monitoring and reporting.Fabio Scala

Open letter to Kimberly Process Certification Scheme

THE Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable it to certify shipments of rough diamonds as “conflict-free” and prevent conflict diamonds from entering legitimate trade.

Under the terms of the KPCS, participating States must meet “minimum requirements” and must put in place national legislation and institutions — export, import and internal controls — and also commit to transparency and the exchange of statistical data.

The lives of the people of Marange are worsening by the day as the KPCS watches without taking action, even a sign of willingness to intervene and help address the myriad of challenges brought by diamond mining in Marange.

As long as the diamonds are not benefiting the local communities, as is the case in Marange, then the diamonds are conflict diamonds and do not deserve certification by KPCS.

Driving around the area makes one realise that mining companies are not improving the lives of the people of Marange.

The country is failing to meet minimum requirements for our diamonds to compete on the international market.

On the issue of transparency, no one is aware of the quantity of diamonds that have been mined so far, how many pieces were auctioned, how much exactly was and is remitted to Treasury.

The issue remains secretive and this clearly violates the dictates of the KPCS.

There is serious evidence of reluctance by government and mining companies to avoid conflict. There is no evidence that they are willing to be transparent.

We urge the KPCS to help government to bring meaningful development to Marange, avoid unnecessary house searches, reduce heavy presence of security forces in the area, and be transparent when it comes to the auctioning of diamonds; lest we consider the Marange stones conflict diamonds.

Locals should at lease be able to at least point at some meaningful infrastructural development brought by diamond mining.

Moreso, can KPCS help us in addressing challenges to do with security forces, peace, safety and security of Marange people which have seriously deteriorated.Fungai Nhaitai

Policy consistency panacea to drug abuse scourge

THE 2021 World Drug Report projected an increase by 40% in the number of people who use drugs by 2030 in Africa.

This equates to a projected increase in the estimated number of people (age 15 to 64) who use drugs in Africa from 60 million in 2018 to a staggering 86 million.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this projected surge is attributed to a number of factors that include the fact that Africa’s population is younger, and drug use is higher among young people than old people.

Moreover, the population of Africa is projected to grow faster than that of other regions; a projection influenced, among other things, by the continent’s low-income status and related upward trend in urbanisation.

In its recent assessment of the UNODC’s analysis titled The World Drug Report 2021: A Critical Assessment of Projected Increases in African Drug Use, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) focused on the uncertainty surrounding the data upon which projections are based and related policy implications.

African countries, Zimbabwe included, have a history of failed policies. Over the years, Zimbabwe has crafted several policies and frameworks in trying to deal with various challenges, but most have been a pie in the sky due to lack of political will and because of lack of extensive consultations among key stakeholders.

Zimbabwe is among countries that have of late witnessed an increase in drug use, although there is no official data on drug or substance use because a population size estimate has never been done before, anecdotal evidence points to a lot of illicit drug use in the country.

It is estimated 60% of young people aged between 16 and 35 years could have used or are using drugs or substances while 60% of admissions to mental health institutions are linked to drug and substance use.

There is a likelihood of an increase in the population of people who use drugs by 2030 as projected by the UNODC if Zimbabwe sits on its laurels when it comes to addressing issues to do with laws, policies and blueprints such as the recently adopted Zimbabwe National Drug Master Plan (ZNDMP) 2021 to 2025.

The ZNDMP aims to provide a clear roadmap to addressing the cross-cutting drug use problem as well as highlighting a results-based implementation matrix to illustrate the roadmap as well as to ensure rigorous monitoring and evaluation.

According to the IDPC assessment, if African countries, Zimbabwe included, fail to implement policies or blueprints, there is a likelihood of a massive increase in the population of people who use drugs by 2030.

The ball is in Zimbabwe’s court to implement the ZNDMP although there are gaps that need to be addressed to fulfil the blueprint’s aspiration. The implementation of the ZNDMP should be led by a national co-ordinator, not the current set up where Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima leads the implementation in his capacity as the chairperson of the interministerial committee on drugs.

A situation where there is a national co-ordinator, like in the case of the COVID-19 taskforce which is led by Agnes Mahomva, is the most ideal. The national co-ordinator should report to the minister. The heads of government departments, in this case permanent secretaries, should report to the national co-ordinator issues to do with drugs under their various departments.

The existing legal frameworks such as the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, [Chapter 9:23] (57) and the Dangerous Drugs Act [Chapter 15:02], are outdated and do not sufficiently deal with the importation, exportation, production, sale, distribution, use, abuse and trafficking of drugs. Since these laws do not adequately address issues surrounding drug use, particularly prevention and treatment, there is a possibility of a surge in the number of people who use drugs in 2030. Possession of illegal drugs like cannabis and heroin as well as the recreational use of prescription drugs such as Histalix and Pethidine should attract a long jail sentences.

Zimbabwe also has a high level of pre-trial detainees — up to 30% of prisoners — meaning that even before being convicted of a crime they are forced to endure harsh conditions in prison.

Prisons in Zimbabwe are in a deplorable state, they lack proper ablution facilities and prisoners’ diet leave a lot to be desired, which is at variance with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages.

Target 3.5 of the SDG is aimed at strengthening the prevention of substance abuse and treatment of addicts, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network

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