PAGE South Africa participates in Green Africa Forum

6 – 8 September 2017, Livingstone, Zambia - Zambia hosted the first “Africa Forum on Private Sector Inclusive Green Growth and Decent Green Job Creation” on 6-8 September 2017. This event was jointly organized by the Finnish-funded Zambia Green Jobs Programme, the Government of Zambia and the Government of Finland, in collaboration with the International Training Centre of the ILO and the ILO Green Jobs Programme. Thematic and sectoral discussions were held and focused on what shape the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 8 could take when private sector and governments join forces to develop markets for green growth and job creation.

Convened by the Zambia Green Jobs Programme, the forum built on the collective knowledge of 150 business, policy-makers, social partners and development practitioners from more than 25 countries in Africa and elsewhere, including representatives from PAGE South Africa.

Topics for the parallel sessions ranged from macroeconomic and fiscal policies, social protection for informal and rural economy workers, green employment projection, green building/sustainable construction, sustainable waste management, sustainable agriculture/forestry, green industry and trade, clean and renewable energy.

PAGE South Africa delegates contributed to the knowledge sharing by featuring research products and policy-oriented work in the field of Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policies, and Green Industry and Trade, including sharing the summary for the upcoming South Africa Green Industry and Trade Assessment (available here). 

PAGE South Africa participated in knowledge sharing sessions featuring Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policies, and Green Industry and Trade. In the first elective session, Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga (UN Environment) and Matthias Ploeg (on behalf of the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development DCED) seated as panelists to discuss the role of macroeconomic and fiscal policies in stimulating the transition to an inclusive green economy and supporting delivery of the SDGs. This session offered participants an in-depth understanding of different policy instruments, regulations and standards for green business environment reform by reviewing examples from different countries. Case studies came from the research work conducted by UN Environment in the area of fiscal policy reform for a low carbon and inclusive green economy and by the Green Growth Working Group of DCED on Business Environment Reform and Green Growth. 

Furthermore, the evolution of green economy policy landscape in South Africa stimulated some reflections in terms of policy effectiveness across different economic sectors. Agriculture, food production, fisheries and forestry sector proved to have a high potential to create direct jobs, and investments in resource conservation and sustainable waste management contributed to deliver substantial social and environmental benefits. However, with 32 green economy-related policies and strategies, South Africa could gather greater results and attract additional investments through better streamlining and coordination from national to provincial and local levels.

In the second elective session, Gaylor Montmasson-Clair (Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies - TIPS) participated with Yaya Ouattara (International Trade Centre - ITC) and Japhet Banda (Zambia Sugar) in a panel discussion on the potential for African countries, and particularly South Africa and Zambia, to seize green trade and industrial opportunities. Further discussion was continued on where green manufacturing opportunities are, and what tools and international support are available for governments to support the development of green opportunities and enable SMEs to be competitive while complying with Green Trade Standards and connecting to international markets. 

In terms of PAGE contribution to the regional dialogue, this session offered an opportunity to share the findings arising from the analysis undertaken in South Africa, in the framework of the Green Economy Industry and Trade Analysis (SA-GEITA). Carried out by TIPS, this research aims to identify and assess sectors or industrial segments that offer particular opportunities for green industrial development, both for import substitution and for and exports. High trade-potential sectors include small-scale renewable energy and smart grids, biogas-transport value chain, composite materials, and water-related technologies.

The forum closed on September 8, 2017 with local and international experts adding to their repertoires innovative solutions and engaging on action plans and ideas for collaboration for promoting private sector inclusive green growth. Contributions of experts from PAGE was critical to share latest research outcomes that stimulated a peer-to-peer and south-south productive exchange of ideas and information in the formulation of green economy and green growth policies for the African region.

Learning materials can be accessed online http://www.itcilo.org/africa-forum-2017 and the discussion continues at #greenafricaforum.