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ECA calls African countries for a transition towards green economies (+Photo)

Harare, Feb 29 (Prensa Latina) The 42nd meeting of the Committee of Experts of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development called for a transition towards inclusive, low-carbon, and efficient green economies.

The annual conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), organized by the government of Zimbabwe, will meet until the 5th under the theme “Financing the transition to inclusive green economies in Africa: imperatives, opportunities and policy options.”

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion, Mthuli Ncube, said that only about 13 percent of 127 million hectares of potentially irrigable land is currently supplied with water.

Ncube lamented that the continent’s resources, including land, are not being utilized. “We have vast bodies of water to irrigate our rich soils; all we need is an investment in advanced irrigation technology and enough financing to make agriculture climate-resilient and thus, have food security.”

The Namibian functionary also pointed out that financing the transition to inclusive green economies has a cost, and the support of the international community and promoting investment in renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources are needed.

The outgoing president of the Conference of Ministers, Ugandan ambassador to Ethiopia, Rebecca Otengo, considered that countries should strive to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) for the free movement of people, goods, and services on the continent. Additional financing and mechanisms are also needed to meet this growing demand and drive economic growth.

ECA Deputy Executive Secretary Antonio Pedro highlighted key transformative areas that can have catalytic and multiplier effects on all Sustainable Development Goals, and mentioned the urgent need to transform food systems by prioritizing the development of regional value chains, eliminating investment risks, and accelerating the implementation of the AFCFTA, which will help insulate the continent from global food security crises, he assured.

Other areas identified were improving energy access and affordability; maximizing the use of solar, wind, and geothermal resources and the potential of green hydrogen; increasing connectivity and digital inclusion; transforming educational systems, and creating more jobs.

The Expert Committee meeting takes place from February 28th to March 1st, followed by side events on the 2nd and 3rd of next month. The ministerial segment will be held on March 4th and 5th.