Events

Events

Announcement: UPLIFTing THE ENVIRONMENT: OGUN STATE - NIGERIA GOING GREEN

Abeokuta,  Ogun State, Nigeria,

23 - 24  April, 2013

International Conference & Workshop

hosted by UPLIFT Development Foundation

 

ICPEKEN2

upLIFT

 

 

Purpose and Scope of the Conference

Africa - the continent with the richest natural resources and the youngest population on the planet - faces serious development challenges. The environment - probably the most important among the challenges - is linked to issues of energy, transport, waste management, climate change, deforestation, soil degradation and decline of biodiversity. In many areas there are also issues of pollution, lack of irrigation and drinking water, and threats of unsustainable urbanization.

 

The response to all these challenges is Going Green, whereby Africa can achieve sustainable development and leapfrog through the right choices and by effectively drawing on its vast resources, including the young and dynamic population, rapidly turning into valuable human capital which is the crucial factor in the development process.

 

Why is Going Green bringing great benefits to the continent and its people?

 

It means adjusting policy options and business models, which will lead to higher economic efficiency and corporate responsibility. With appropriate regulatory environment companies will pursue profit in more sustainable ways, making environmental and economic benefits equally important. These important goals will also be achieved by creating green enterprises that tap into new markets with green products and services. And green jobs, aiming at reaching sustainable levels, have the importance, too, in this process: they contribute to reducing the harmful footprint of enterprises, by reducing the energy and raw material consumption, avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing waste and pollution – thereby contributing to an improved ecosystem (securing clean water, flood protection and biodiversity).

 

While searching for its own development paradigm, Africa should come up with original and innovative approaches, being aware of its potential and limitations, as well as benefiting from several good practice cases and experiences from all corners of the world.  Africa has the chance to avoid certain mistakes committed in the past by the industrialized countries. Some of such good practices will be presented at the Abeokuta conference in order to support Ogun State, Nigeria and other African countries in confronting their environmental development challenges in most responsible way, applying creatively all the available knowledge and experience.

 

It goes without saying that implementing the right policies can contribute to shifting more investment flows towards green projects, in particular in middle and low-income African economies. Clean technologies, along with the innovation and entrepreneurship associated with green industries, does not only accelerate Africa’s development in general, but also increase African competitiveness on the global markets, as well as attract FDIs needed to generate economic growth and jobs. As for green jobs, they could be created in both urban and rural areas, and should include occupations across the spectrum from manual to the highly skilled ones.

 

In our global world Africa alone can not meet all of its sustainable development challenges. The conference aims to contribute to identify and elaborate models, ways and instruments through which the international community can offer to African nations some know-how, technologies and financial resources needed for achieving these important goals.

 

A healthy balance between private and public sectors represents a crucial challenge for both national and regional economies in times of bullish economic growth, and particularly in times of global economic crisis. Such a pragmatic policy responds adequately and timely to changes in economic circumstances, to shifts in regulatory framework, and to needs and priorities of society as large, and of consumers in particular. Accordingly, the potential and challenges of public-private partnerships (PPP) will be explored in detail.

 

There is a rich pool of experience in PPP developments worldwide, and many African countries are increasingly encouraging this model. The Abeokuta Conference and KEN Workshop will take stock of these experiences and bring together policy makers and stakeholders from private and public sectors to identify and discuss possibilities to apply this model productively in their own local, regional, national environments.

 

The PPPs should tackle the growing complex and multifunctional issues in building infrastructure projects; to help meet the demands for creative, functional and efficient delivery of projects; and for private investors to participate in profitable social development projects through partnership with the public sector.

 

The key questions, to which the conference and workshop will attempt to find appropriate answers, are the following:

 

(a) Which are the best possible contributions of government policies and NGO activities to the creation of the conditions necessary for green growth?

 

(b) Which are the most effective instruments of awareness building on environmental issues and green growth – in order to secure full participation of all relevant stakeholders in the process of sustainable development?

 

(c) What kind of regulatory environment should be created to encourage domestic and foreign investors to be involved in green projects, and to use PPP as a model for partnership?

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