Over 70 representatives of policy, research and analysis institutions rallied on the first edition of the Green Economy Academy in Dakar, Senegal, on 3-5 May 2016. Convened under the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) supported by UNEP, ILO, UNIDO, UNITAR and UNDP, the national Green Economy Academy offered a space for representatives of government, the private sector and leading think-tanks and academic institutions to review the state of knowledge, research and analytical gaps and ways to improve training and human capacity for a successful transition to a green economy.
The event was organized as a national replication of the global Green Economy Academy, held in 2014 at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy, following the same type of format.
Dr. Amadou Lamine Diagne, from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, noted that this national academy demonstrates an uptake and ownership of the needed intellectual effort to bridge knowledge gaps and fill training needs. It addressed critical areas of public policy for inclusive green growth, private sector development, social protection, green industrialization and employment creation, which are in line with the priorities that Senegal has put forward in its “Plan Senegal Emergent” – the national development plan towards 2030.
Participants highlighted the important role that policy-oriented and solutions-focused research and training must play to inform the shift to a green and climate-resilient economy and society. Environmental and social entrepreneurs leading start-ups in waste management and recycling, forest management, and renewable energy, among others, stressed the need for better training and the provision of enterprise development services to enable motivated young Senegalese women and men to create and nurture innovative enterprises.
Speaking from the perspective of the Ministry of Labour, Ms Khadidiatou Ka Agne, from the Directorate general of employment and social protection, noted that the green economy is not an environmental issue, but rather a cross-sectoral agenda that should involve all relevant government departments in a coordinated manner.
Participants concluded the academy with the establishment of a national platform bringing together a dozen institutions including the national statistical agency, the Institute of Environmental Sciences, the Center for Economic Development Policy of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and ENDA Energy, with the aim to progressively integrate green economy learning content in their research and academic programmes.
Participants also agreed on further work with policy makers, to collectively formulate a national strategy on green economy, building on the green jobs components of a recently adopted national employment policy in 2015.