Skip to main content

Forum wraps up with suggestions for sustainable use of Africa’s Natural Resources


The eighth African Development Forum (ADF VIII) wound up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on last week Thursday with the adoption of a Consensus Statement suggesting better ways in which African countries can use their natural resources to promote people-centered sustainable development.
The 11-page document is the tangible result of the October 23-25 forum on the theme “Governing and Harnessing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development.”
It focused on how to generate maximum benefits from the exploitation of Africa’s lands, minerals, fisheries and forests for the benefits of the people.
On land, which has come under intense speculative pressure from local and foreign investors, the document calls for scientific and methodical approaches to land issues that would guarantee transparency, equity and sustainability.
These include strengthening policy, access, property rights, and investment in large scale agriculture in line with the existing Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
Africa accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land that need to be protected against rapacious speculation.
In an open letter to Forum participants, OXFAM said some 50 million hectares had been acquired in 700 transactions in recent years.
However, the mining sector incarnates the paradox of Africa’s natural wealth, where bounty breeds penury. According to the Consensus Statement, Africa ranks first or second in known world reserves of bauxite, chromite, cobalt, industrial diamond, manganese, phosphate rock, platinum-group metals, soda ash, vermiculite and zirconium. The continent is home to one-fifth of global gold and uranium supplies, while over 30 countries produce oil and gas in commercial quantity.
To resolve this dilemma, the Forum, among other measures, called for the implementation of the African Mining Vision adopted by African leaders in 2009. The vision sets out how mining can be used to drive the development of their countries.
According to the document, “transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development is the major challenge for African countries today.”
On fisheries and aquatic resources, the Forum called for the strengthening of policies, legislation, strategies, investment and collaboration among states in various areas to develop the sector.
Greater attention also needed to be paid to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) action plan on inland, coastal and marine fisheries and aquaculture at the national and regional levels. Africa loses a million tons of fishery resources estimated at over US$600 million annually to illegal and unreported fishing.
The forum dwelt at length on the need for the sustainable exploitation and preservation of Africa’s forests estimated at 675 million hectares or 17% of global forests. The need for sustainable exploitation of the Congo Basin, the second largest forest in the world, was a recurrent theme at the gathering.
The Statement cited policy, legal, regulatory, economic, governance, equity, knowledge, institutional and environmental constraints as critical to the sustainable management of Africa’s forest resources with a developmental vision.
“Overcoming these constraints is key for attaining inter-sectoral linkages between agriculture, forest, industries and human settlement in Africa,” the document added.
The ADF, a United Nations Economic Commission for Africa biennial event is convened in collaboration with the African Union Commission, African Development Bank, and other partners to establish an African-driven development agenda that reflects consensus and leads to specific programmes for implementation.
It is usually attended by some 1,000 participants including Heads of State and Government, African Member State policy-makers, development partners, other United Nations agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (IGOs/NGOs), academia, practitioners, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, eminent policy and opinion leaders, and the media.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deputy AG sues Facebooker over 'malicious' Ameri deal

The Deputy Attorney-General and Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East, Mr Dominic Ayine has filed a defamation suit at an Accra High Court against a Facebook commentator, Evron Hughes.
In Mr Ayine’s statement of claim, sighted by Graphic Online, he accused Mr Hughes of defaming him in a post he authored and published on Facebook on December 21, 2015, titled “RE: AMERI TRANSACTION”.
According to the Deputy A-G, the “false and malicious” post has provoked “public disaffection” against him and exposed him to public ridicule and contempt.
Describing Mr Hughes as a “self-styled social media blogger and a social commentator”, Mr Ayine said the Facebook post had brought his hard-won reputation “as a respected politician, teacher and lawyer” into “hatred, ridicule, odium, discredit, contempt, opprobrium and reproach”.
The Deputy A-G said the “defamatory words” were authored with the sole intent to reduce him in the estimation of all right thinking Ghanaians, adding that he had received numerou…

Meet Ghanaian female shoemaker

The Saint Ozwald shoe brand

By: Fred Yaw SARPONG
The Daily Express

From her humble beginning in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, a senior high female graduate from the Twene Amanfo Senior high in the Brong Ahafo Sunyani and a Ghanaian now boasts of being one of the most popular Made-in-Ghana shoe brands and has the most number of celebrity endorsements.
Sandra Ozwald, CEO of Saint Ozwald

After Sandrah Ozwald completed school in 2013, her parent couldn't have enough money to help her continue school so she planned to do something for herself by selling ice cream, groundnut cakes or food. Back at the senior high, Sandra used to make groundnut cakes, condensed toffees and ice cream to support herself since her mother couldn't provide all for her.

With 12 siblings and the only girl child (2nd born) among them, and whiles planning which of these to sell, Sandra attended a friend’s wedding and the grooms shoe looked so attractive to her.

According to her, the groom’s shoes were Ma…