By Duncan Mboyah                                                                                                 Scientists have asked African governments to develop laws to safeguard the development and management of green growth in the continent.

Led by Dr Nicholas Ozor, the executive director of African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), the scientists noted that green growth has a potential impact towards the improvement of economies of African countries.

“This potential is unlikely to be tapped in the absence of laws that are capable of protecting the new green growth sub sector which has significant potential for delivering inclusive economic development in the continent hence the need to put in place policies and strategies to harness the potential,” Dr Ozor emphasized during a recent workshop on Governing Inclusive Green Economy in Africa.

He observed that the laws will help guard and also create awareness on the dynamics of this potentially paradigm-shifting phenomenon that is helping reduce the effects of climate change globally.

He called on the governments to create an inter-disciplinary approach to identify and help create awareness in creating sustainable growth. “Mainstream green growth in all school curriculums to help build capacity of people from early age since the approach is poorly understood,’ he told the governments,’ he adds.

In recent years, many African countries have started to embrace the concept of green growth, prompted by a combination of factors including national circumstances and the encouragement of international development partners.

Countries such as Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa have sketched ambitious plans to embrace economic growth from environmental pressures and jump to green, sustainable economies.

Renewable energy offers opportunity for countries like Kenya to join important green growth projects. However, the countries have challenges that range from absence of incomplete strategies and plans, weak human resource, technical and institutional capacity.

According to Dr Ozor “the sub sector requires financing, policies and strategies to enable it have an impact and commends Kenya for embracing and allocating funds for green growth in its development plans including vision 2030 and other plans. South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria have started green growth projects in the past few years.

Chukwumerije Okereke, Professor of Environment and Development at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, says that Africa’s economic growth has depended so much on export of minerals such as coal, gold and diamonds.

He observes that there is need to form partnerships to come up with innovative research agenda for the continent and governments must start developing policies, generate academic literature and engage private sector.

“Governments must begin to tap funds from development partners and international bodies to fund green growth activities in the continent in an organized manner and there is need to emphasize the dynamics of inequality, justice, and inclusiveness while exploring the benefits of green growth, Professor Okereke moted.

Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya are the only countries that have developed independent framework on green growth. Other countries have unclear frameworks that don’t emphasize green growth