Africa - a WWF Agenda
While we work globally, one of our major focuses is Africa, where the fundamental role that sustainability plays in social development and economic transformation processes perhaps is most visible and urgent. Despite tangible economic progress over the past 20 years, Africa needs to lift over 400 million people out of poverty while employing the additional 250 million young men and women expected to join the labor force over the next decade. With 70 percent of Africans already relying on a rural sector, increasingly vulnerable to environmental and ecosystem degradation, exacerbated by the impact of climate change, new development approaches, policy reforms and practices are pressing.
Given the natural resource dependence of most African economies, we are, together with our WWF colleagues, international partners, partnering with development institutions and governments across the African continent in order to:
- Promote enabling policies and institutions: Building a common and integrated vision for development and sustainability, focusing on the national and regional level, while at the same time engaging and influencing global development processes to align policy, practices and investments.
- Mobilize investment in the rural sector and capturing the value of Africa’s natural resources: Raising productivity of the rural sector and adding value to on-farm, off-farm and non-agricultural economic activity – supporting shift away from agriculture towards off-farm business activity, manufacturing and services, and from self-employment to formal wage employment.
- Promote green economic development pathways: Mitigating tensions, promoting policy synergies and innovative financial and technological measures to address climate change, safeguard ecosystem services, reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcity.
MPO Program Representative
Director, External Relations and Partnerships, WWF Africa and Madagascar Programme
WWF Senior Fellow
Dr. Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki
CEO NEPAD Agency
The Rural Futures Program
As part of these efforts, WWF is partnering with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) in support of their newly launched Rural Futures Programme. The Programme is unique in its commitment advance rural transformation within an integrated and transformative development model. Together with African governments, civil society, the private sector and other international partners, we are working on multi-sectoral approaches to rural transformation that connect poverty reduction, agriculture, sustainability and climate change goals to the broader ambition of African leaders for structural change and economic transformation.
Building blocks for action
The ambition of the program is large and long-term. Working with, and drawing on expertise from regional partners, governments, civil society, communities, the private sector and global development and environmental organizations alike, it will create space for strategic thinking, policy design and action to advance the rural sector as a more effective engine for development. As such it will identify, develop and support implementation of practices, policies and institutional frameworks and partnerships necessary at local, national, regional, continental and global levels.
Key components include:
- Building the knowledge base and broad consensus around a rural transformation agenda as an African-led integrated development strategy for economic growth and sustainability;
- Strengthening and creating the institutional and policy architecture to advance rural transformation and integrated development;
- Investing in rural transformation and structural change;
- Mobilizing for change and broad based long term support to advance rural transformation.