Disruptive plans for a greener future
Almost two years after the United Nations adopted the “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, Zambia hosted the first ever “Africa Forum on Private Sector Inclusive Green Growth and Decent Green Job Creation”.
Jointly organized by the Finnish-funded Zambia Green Jobs Programme (ZGJP), the Government of Zambia and the Government of Finland, in collaboration with the Centre and the ILO Green Jobs Programme, the event took place in Livingstone, Zambia, on 6-8 September 2017. The event was inaugurated by the Minister of Labour and Social Security of Zambia Joyce Nonde-Simukoko and attended by high-level delegates, including the Minister of Employment of Finland Jari Lindstrom, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia Margaret Mwanakatwe, Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen and ILO director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Alexio Musindo.
Discussions at the Forum focused on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 and the potential role of the private sector in boosting green growth in Africa. Starting with the Zambia Green Jobs Programme, the interactive learning platform built on the collective knowledge of 150 businesses, policy-makers, social partners and development practitioners from more than 25 countries in Africa and elsewhere, including representatives from the Partnership for Green Economy (PAGE) and SWITCH Africa Green.
“SDG 8 is about merging what is good for people with what is good for business, today and for future generations”, stated the ILO Country Director in his final remark. “By adopting sustainable practices, companies can gain a competitive edge, increase their market share, and boost shareholder value. At the same time, the growing demand for 'green' products has created major new markets in which sharp-eyed eco-entrepreneurs are reaping rewards.”
He concluded: “We do not have a Planet B. We therefore have no choice but to change how we develop, how we produce, how we push the planet’s boundaries for us and future generations. Green is the future. Green jobs are the future.”
While engaging in thematic and sectoral discussions, participants made use of “Future Foresighting” learning techniques to identify drivers of change and assess alternative complex scenarios countries could be facing in the transition towards inclusive green growth.
Inclusive governance, compliance with international standards, investments in eco-innovation and smart technologies, and changes in national laws were identified among the main drivers for African countries to fast-track the sustainable development route.