Who will make Africa's future green and sustainable?
Photo: Silvia Richter


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Africa has a huge wealth of natural resources. However, exploiting them without giving any consideration to social and environmental concerns is widespread. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the German Africa Foundation recently held a joint event discussing how environmental protection and sustainable economic growth could be reconciled and what politics and civil society could contribute in this respect.

With its 53 sovereign states, Africa holds tremendous wealth. The continent bears many mineral resources, is rich in agricultural resources such as land, water and fertile soil, and has countless people with ideas. So the prerequisites for a green and sustainable future are there. In late November 2018, the German Africa Foundation discussed how the continent’s future could be made greener with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin/Germany.

Marion Lieser, Managing Director of Oxfam Germany, sees the main problem in Western Europe’s consumer economy, which is acting “on the never never at the expense of others’ livelihoods”. The economy was oriented too much on commerce and gave too little attention to people’s well-being.

Who is setting the standards?

Lieser calls for a post-capitalist model that has abandoned the growth paradigm and advocates binding norms in international trade. However, Germany’s former Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks cautioned that without growth, society would be unable to maintain the lives of nearly ten billion people in 2050.

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