Trevor Manuel urges shift to a new, greener economy for Africa

Mr. Trevor Manuel, second from right, at the Green Growth: The Future of Africa panel.

The former Honourable Minister in the South African Presidency, Mr Trevor Manuel (second from right), member of the New Climate Economy’s Global Commission, was a recent panelist on the “Green Growth: The Future for Africa” at the African Development Bank Group Annual Meetings held on 20 May 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda. Panelists reflected on the strategic rationale of their respective countries and organizations for promoting green growth on the African continent. In his remarks, Mr. Manuel highlighted the urgent challenge of pursuing economic prosperity and development while navigating the challenges, and opportunities, of climate change. He also briefed participants on the efforts of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the New Climate Economy project. 

During the high level session that brought together African leaders, including CEOs, Heads of State and heads of international and civil society organizations, Mr. Manuel urged an exploration of the current green investment landscape and its relevance to a shift to in a new economy:

The carbon economy has run its course. We need to be clear about the need for a paradigm shift. Generations have helped create the problem. How do we resolve that legacy?”

The challenge we face is to help the different strata of society - to help governments, businesses and society - make better-informed decisions on these crucial issues. The objective here, when we meet like this in Africa, is about how we unpack the science, add voice and enable action that is meaningful.

Mr. Manuel pointed out that policies, such as redirecting subsidies and fostering strong private sector investment, are crucial to make the transition to a green economy a reality. African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, who was in the audience, made a crucial point to the economics discussion. He noted that “I do believe green growth will provide jobs for the future provided we do it right,” Kaberuka said.

The panel also highlighted the challenges for African leadership to move towards a different economy from the high carbon economy to the new low carbon economy. The research, the economics, and the evidence are all in place to move towards a new economic paradigm. What is needed is the narrative and leadership to make the shift.

Click here to read more about the African Development Bank’s call for renewed efforts to support Green Growth in Africa.

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