Africa's New Climate Economy: Economic transformation and social and environmental change tomorrow

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November 2016
New Climate Economy (NCE), Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Africa stands at the threshold of a tremendous opportunity: its economies are seeking to shift to higher productivity sectors which can boost prosperity and drive developmental goals. At the same time, the right kind of economic transformation can also ensure that Africa’s growth is sustainable and resilient in the face of the increasing impacts of climate change.

This report offers key insights for policy makers seeking to deliver better growth and a better climate in African countries. It aims to help decision-makers take stock of the region’s recent experiences and draw lessons for the future. In particular, it seeks to crystallise ideas on how to harness the forces of economic, social and environmental change to accelerate inclusive and sustainable development across the region.

For Africa to achieve this better growth, the report identifies five action areas for governments to consider as they formulate development strategies and action plans for the future. These are:

  • Getting the fundamentals right, namely by: ensuring macroeconomic stability, better governance with greater voice and accountability, and policies to drive social and human development and improve natural resource management.
  • Transforming agriculture and land use through, for instance, climate smart agriculture and landscape management approaches.
  • Diversifying into high-productivity sectors, like industry and services, while investing in much-needed infrastructure.
  • Unleashing the power of urbanization to accommodate the further 800 million people who will be living in its cities by 2050.
  • Fostering a modern energy transition, especially through investments in renewable energy generation and improving efficiency, in order to provide access to the 620 million people who currently lack it and to power the transformation of its economies.