Concept RAF 2018

Green economy in Africa: Challenges and opportunities

For the past four years, the consecutive editions of the Rebranding Africa Forum (RAF) have methodically embraced the theoretical scope of African emergence, and catalyzed synergies and initiatives towards this achievement, considering the challenges ahead. These overarching challenges include: the eradication of poverty, good governance, the rational and sustainable management of natural capital or African natural resources that are the subject of fierce global greed, even as the continent has more than ever to cope with the explosion of its demographic, as shown by the fourth RAF; the diversification of its (windfall) economy whose growth is based on parameters that it does not control; the equitable redistribution of the benefits of growth; investment in training, industrialization, innovation, biodiversity or the preservation of the environment, the poor being the most vulnerable to its degradation. All these challenges indicate the prerequisites, corollaries and outlines of the so-called green economy, and which logically will be the theme of the fifth edition of the RAF.

The green economy is actually defined as “an economy that produces human well-being and ensures social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities” (UNEP, 2011). Thus it’s dual dimensional, one of them being regulatory and related to environmental constraints, and the other economical and bearing on the opportunities for profit and investment of new eco-activities. The bet of growth driven by green business therefore lies in the articulation of these two dimensions. However, this equation will be less focused on creating sufficient green economic opportunities to offset losses from environmental constraints. It will be more about transforming these constraints themselves into multiple opportunities, sustainably exploiting natural capital and thus growth, innovate and create new green technologies, efficient and more profitable, new eco-jobs, labor-intensive, creators of wealth and inclusive well-being professions.

Most developed countries have understood that, to emerge from the financial crisis that has been raging since 2008, have invested heavily in green energy and green industries, with many studies showing that in the long term, green investments are more profitable and job creators, with the added bonus of preserving natural capital and improving living conditions. Given its incomparable green potential (water, sun, soil and subsoil resources, etc.), it would be absurd for Africa not to initiate a similar economic transition. The green economy is neither a fashion to hold on to, nor an unaffordable luxury, but a vital necessity and an opportunity to seize imperatively, in a collaborative and meticulous approach.

  • What political, financial, fiscal, normative and socio-cultural leverages are necessary to activate this transition to the green culture and economy in Africa?
  • How can the ecological potential of the continent be better exploited in order to operate, at low cost, the industrial transformation needed?
  • How to develop and make the most of the multiple economic and financial opportunities that result?
  • How to develop the green market at regional and continental levels, with subsidies distorting the rule of competition on an international scale?
  • How to attract investors in the green economy and the kind of partnerships to consider to acquire and develop related knowledge and technics?
  • How can we develop professions, ecological jobs, with respect to local and regional specificities?
  • How to make them the pillars of the economy of tomorrow, of a shared, inclusive and sustainable development on the continent?

It is around these major issues that the fifth edition of the RAF will gather on 5 and 6 October 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the most appropriate skills, as well as economic and financial actors and partners wishing to participate in the takeoff of the green economy in Africa. The theme of this 5th edition is: “Challenges and opportunities of the green economy in Africa”.


Panel I : The green economy in Africa: state of play, issues and challenges
Panel II : Financing the ecological transition in Africa: modalities and perspectives
Panel III : Investing in Ecological Economy in Africa: Opportunities and Key Sectors