Nhamo appointed to AU high-level panel

Prof Godwell Nhamo, incumbent of the Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change at Unisa, has been appointed to a four-member African Union (AU) high-level panel (HLP) on the development of the AU Green Innovation Framework (AUGIF).

Nhamo says he feels honoured to be among the four members of the HLP tasked with drawing up AUGIF. “Through the African Union Green Innovation Framework, I look forward to contribute towards a sustainable development pathway for our continent. Such a pathway will certainly serve as a catalyst toward the continent’s renewed development.”

He says that in the era of the 2030 global Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda 2063, African academics and professionals alike need to raise their hands, stand up, and be counted. “Where there is no vison; continents, countries, organisations, and individuals perish. To this end, I am positive that AUGIF will support the AU vision to excite development.”

“It is also confirmation of the relevance and value of my research in the fields of green economy transition and sustainable development. I am ready to take on the task and contribute.”

The framework will be a panacea to sustainable development as it serves as a catalyst toward renewed development. AUGIF will guide the member states in transitioning to a green economy with the rest of the world, as Africa was left out of the first and second global industrialisation eras. These saw the advent of various steam engines and machinery invented to improve production and increase efficiency that gave birth to the manufacturing era.

Global transition towards eco-friendly innovation

As a major turning point in history, almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way with high economic gains. The technological breakthrough was followed by an exponential increase in innovation in the quest for improvement and growth that saw carbon emission taking a centre stage. However, the continued release of carbon emissions from plants and machinery into the atmosphere has triggered several negative effects that have depleted the ozone layer, resulting in the most drastic climate change ever experienced in the history of humankind.

Therefore, in order to avert the dire consequences looming on Earth’s horizon, there is a global transition towards innovation and technological advancement that is eco-friendly and not harmful to the environment. Consequently, for a harmonised and integrated transition to a green economy, AUGIF shall be developed as an effective guide for member states to adopt in order to achieve sustainable growth and development.

In conclusion, Nhamo says that being selected to serve on the HLP is a testimony to the excellent work Unisa is doing on the continent through various other ways. “It is also confirmation of the relevance and value of my research in the fields of green economy transition and sustainable development. I am ready to take on the task and contribute.”

What is AUGIF?
The AU Agenda 2063 outlines the continental vision of integration, development, and prosperity that will propel Africa to be a dynamic force in the international arena. In furtherance, the Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) is the first-decade incremental strategy (2014-2024) that is designed to address Africa’s challenges with the ultimate goal of contributing significantly to the AU vision.
The STISA2024 mission is to “Accelerate Africa’s transition to an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy” with major emphasis on science, technology and innovation. Against this backdrop, Africa needs to progress from commodity-based economies to innovation-driven economies through technological advancement.
However, this must be sustainable, environment-friendly and not destructive of resources that must be preserved for future generations. Hence, the urgent need for an effective continental framework on green innovation to guide AU member states in a wholesome quest for growth and development.
Realising the enormous challenges faced by the AU member states from climate change and other environment related problems and the quest to preserve the carrying capacity of our environment, green innovation took centre stage. Hence the assembly of the HLP of experts within the AU Green Innovation Framework (AUGIF) for the continent.

*Compiled by Sharon Farrell

Publish date: 2018/11/21