African nations urged to promote green economy
Chairperson of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Prof. Damilola Olawuyi, has advised African nations to promote sustainable prosperity.
He noted that the move would accelerate and maximise the green economy.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who doubles as global vice chair of the International Law Association, made the appeal in his high-level opening plenary address to the second African Business and Human Rights Forum, convened by the African Union, in partnership with the United Nations, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Themed: “For Africa, From Africa,” the gathering brought together continental leaders, development experts, businesses, civil society and the academia to brainstorm on the best way to foster best conduct across all sectors of the economy.
Reviewing progress so far made in addressing adverse human rights impact on business activities and investments in key economic sectors, Olawuyi called on African countries “not to stop at better, when best is possible.”
He stressed that with less than seven years to the 2030 date for actualisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global attention has shifted towards developing legal and institutional frameworks for “greening” national economies and promoting a progressive shift to green growth and nature-based economic development.
Olawuyi clarified: “The green economy approach emphasizes utilizing environmental protection, conservation, resource efficiency and decarbonization as tools for promoting economic growth and development.
“The green economy model is the task and opportunity of the century for all forward-looking governments in Africa. In my travels, I see that several investors worldwide are seeking new hubs for green investment. But, are we ready for such green opportunities?”
While lauding Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya for being the first few African nations to have adopted national action plans on business and human rights, the senior lawyer sued for the needed political will to successfully drive the process.
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