Africa day: A call to achieving Africa’s post Covid-19 Green recovery.

While we celebrate Africa day in light  of our continental unity, solidarity, diversity, successes and economic potential, this year’s Africa day comes at a time when the world is still battling with a pandemic that has affected livelihoods, especially in Africa. It has affected Africa’s food systems, energy access and further worsen the impacts of climate change.

As African countries scramble to recover from the debilitating impact of the pandemic, the solutions being put forward need to be more strategic to address the systemic challenges the continent faces. For Africa to achieve a meaningful and inclusive economic development, a green post Covid-19 recovery is required. This would enable recovery efforts to be more equitable and sustainable in the long term.

Through the adaptation of these 4 steps, a  green post covid-19 recovery can act as  a clear pathway to attaining Africa’s sustainable green recovery:

  • Prioritise natural capital; Since African economies predominantly rely on biodiversity, it is imperative that key economic actors  take up immediate action against biodiversity loss. Through steering biodiversity conservation and protection campaigns across the continent, a communal mission to restore and protect biodiversity will be achieved.
  • Accelerate energy access for the most vulnerable; Energy access has significant impacts on social economic outputs. Accelerating  renewable energy access in rural economies is critical since it will improve on rural economies and therefore hasten recovery efforts.
  • Implement market-based incentives to reduce deforestation; Africa has lost 45% of its forest cover due to deforestation and forest degradation that have also endangered the continent’s biodiversity. The application of REDD+ in which people are rallied and paid to reduce forest loss and degradation through planting more  trees will help boost and protect Africa’s forest cover.
  • Improve access to sanitation and safe drinking water; Having access to safe drinking water is paramount for public health and sustaining healthy livelihoods. Boosting Africa’s water accessibility will  require channelling funds into directly  supporting vulnerable communities  through implementing household water treatment and storage initiatives and promoting safely- managed rainwater harvesting.

These  steps not only reduce the vulnerability of communities to pandemics but also have the potential to create more green jobs, ensure environmental sustainability, reduce  inequalities  and catalyse economic growth across the continent. On the other hand, a sustained green Covid recovery,  will require collective effort from citizens, private organizations, and all stakeholders in order to achieve effectiveness.