Towards a Green Economy in Coastal East Africa

Posted on 14 June 2012

Coastal East Africa has a current population of over 20 million people living along coastal forests and landscapes in Eastern Africa. Their survival is highly dependent on the availability of basic natural resources such as land and water for agriculture, forests for timber and fuel wood, and fish and other natural products for food supply.  This brief outlines advances made by Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in the journey towards a Green Economy in Coastal East Africa for the benefit of the people residing in these three countries.
The economies of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique are largely based on natural resource use and extraction (natural gas, oil, minerals, agriculture, tourism, fisheries, timber, etc.). There is an increasing recognition that the “Green Economy” principles are therefore highly applicable to these countries as a basis for stimulating economic growth, well-being and job creation. New revenue to be generated by growing oil, gas and mineral extraction sectors can play a strong role in supporting sustainable development and the transition to a Green Economy.  In addition, the potential for renewable energy generation (wind, geothermal, hydro, solar, etc.) in the region is enormous. Various initiatives in this regard are already underway.  

Given the similarities of the economies of the three countries including shared resources and cross border trade, the countries have embarked upon a sub-regional initiative geared towards sharing experiences and lessons learned on Green Economy between the three countries and beyond. Partners in this process include UNDP, UNEP, ILO, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Institute of Environment and Development, the Millennium Institute, WWF, Care International, UN-HABITAT and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). This partnership was solidified during a sub-regional Conference on Green Economy held in Maputo, Mozambique from the 23rd to 25th April 2012.