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Africa needs to map its natural capital for growth 0

NAIROBI – Africa needs to urgently invest in the mapping of its natural capital or natural resources to develop evidence for fighting extreme poverty that afflict majority of the people on the continent, a forum has heard.


Investing in technologies and capacity for mapping the continent’s natural capital will not only help governments address poverty but it is also crucial in charting successful pathways for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Some delegates at the 2nd session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Kenya this week (23-27 May) observed that Africa is one of the world’s regions most endowed with natural resources yet extreme poverty still afflict a large proportion of its  population.

According to Hussein Abaza, senior advisor, Ministry of Environment of Egypt, Africa has to invest in technological and human capacity as key cornerstones for evaluation, ensuring cost-efficient and sustainable use of its natural resources, and improving the wellbeing of people on the continent.

“We need to talk the language of financing and planning around these resources, capture our priorities and put the right institutions for monitoring as well as strong governance systems to effectively reap from them,” he says.

According to a fact sheet of the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) shared at the meeting, Africa holds a huge proportion of the world’s natural resources. For instance, it has 30 per cent of the world’s mineral reserves, eight per cent of global natural gas, 12 per cent of oil reserves, 40 per cent of its gold and 80 to 90 per cent of its chromium and platinum.

Continue reading on SciDev.net

by SciDev Sub-Saharan Africa desk

Photo Credits: Getty Images

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