On the sidelines of the High-Level Policy Forum in New York
Maat holds a side event on Green Economy in Africa
Okeil: The international community is becoming aware of the seriousness of the environmental situation
NEW York 18 July 2018
Maat for Peace, Development and Human rights was convened side event on the sidelines of the high-level political forum entitled “Agenda African Union 2063 and Sustainable Development goals: the relationship between the blue and green economy in Africa” in cooperation with African Union Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) and African Union, Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC) at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Ambassador Jalal Shalbeh, the president of the Civil Society section of the African Union, Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC)opened the side event, Jalal Shalbeh stressed the importance of the African Union role in achieving sustainable development, Jalal Shalbeh noted that Africa was going through a promising period, and exploring ways to enhance Africa’s performance towards realizing the aspirations of agenda 2063 and the sustainable development plan 2030.
Mr. Ayman Okeil president of Maat spoke at the side event and pointed out in his speech that the thing that distinguishes the 2018 high-level policy forum is that most of the goals focused on environmental conservation. This shows that the international community has become aware of the seriousness of the environmental situation on the whole world. Okeil said that the focus on the environmental and economic situation in Africa, which has suffered so much over the past years, and its wealth has been plundered, is very important. Okeil also noted that the 2030 and 2063 agendas address together a range of political, economic, social and environmental challenges facing Africa.
Mr. Samuel Dutsi who is from Ghana, climate change expert and member of the African Union, Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC) also spoke during the side event. Mr. Samuel Dutsi made a detailed presentation on the status of the green and blue economy and defined it as that kind of economy that is profitable but also preserves the environment. Moreover, the Ghanaian expert explained that agriculture has long been the backbone of African economies. But, agricultural development requires a large-scale water supply, as statistics indicating that 64% of Africans depend on very limited and variable water resources; 25% of Africa’s population are affected by water stress and 96% of Africa’s agriculture is dependent on rainwater. Besides that, the water allocations in the agricultural sector is still very low- much lower than the recommended 10% by the Maputo protocol.
Also, Mr. Christian Clunzzo, chairman of the African Platform Research Group, spoke about the importance of developing the sustainable development Agenda 2030 and 2063 as a basic vision for all African countries, Mr. Christian Clunzzo shared some of his experiences in the field of green economy, as he stressed that achieving profits and conserving the environment are not inconsistent. Conversely, if investors and businessmen want to make greater gains in the long run, they must work to conserve the environment and develop the available resources.
Mr. Richard Ssewakiryanga; presiding officer of the ECOSOCC, has moderated the session and emphasized on the importance of cooperation among governments, Civil society and private sector. As well; Mr. Richard highlighted the positive steps in the African continent towards Agenda 2030 and 2063. However, the continent still faces several challenges that it must strive to overcome. In addition, he pointed out the current environmental risks facing the whole world, and in order to overcome these risks; officials and stakeholders should promote the green economy, so that, it can achieve financial gains and preserve the environment.
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