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Satellite image



This blog was started in May 2012, one month before the United Nations Rio+20 ‘Earth Summit’ where the green economy was the main theme. The blog so far has had three specific objectives.

In the run-up to the Rio+20 Summit the initial objective was to raise awareness of Africa’s huge green growth potential and role in rebalancing the global economy. Eight posts were published before the Summit and were sent to as many African environment ministries as possible. One post was published in August 2012 appraising the summit and Africa’s position: Africa, Rio+20 and the Green Road Ahead.

The second objective was to examine the case of Ethiopia, following the death of prime minister Meles Zenawi on 21 August 2012. At the time of his death Mr Meles was recognised as 'the voice of Africa' at international summits and conferences and a leader in Africa's green thinking. Four posts on Ethiopia were published between late August and early November 2012 exploring the paradoxical nature of his leadership with a focus on raising awareness of his green legacy and 21st century vision for Ethiopia and Africa.

The third and current objective is to raise awareness of the importance of the green economy in Africa's growth story. 2013 started with unprecedented optimism for Africa’s growth prospects. Summits, conferences, articles, books, blogs, films and other media now proclaim that 'Africa’s Moment' has arrived. But very few even mention the green economy as an essential tool in the process to achieve sustainability and resilience. For this reason the current focus of this blog is a call to action to 'put the green economy into Africa’s growth story'.

Part of this call to action is writing letters to the Financial Times. Not only does the FT have excellent coverage of Africa but it is also seen by many as the 'world's most influential newspaper'.

Friday, 25 May 2012


In the future investors will need to be explorers - HSBC,  'In the future' advertising campaign, 2012.

This blog is the beginning of an exploration of Africa's 54 green economies. It starts with an Urgent Call to Green Action. It looks at Africa’s position at the forthcoming United Nation’s Rio+20 ‘Earth Summit’ on 20-22 June. In support of Africa’s voice at Rio it hopes to raise awareness of the continent’s green economic growth potential, to outline the tremendous opportunities and to generate interest in the global importance of investing in Africa’s green economies.

The material for this blog has been gathered over many years, but it has been assembled in this form in a very short time. Due to time and space constraints the blog does not include many statistics or references. Over the coming weeks these will be added as 'links'. In order to arrive at a simple understanding of such a complex subject, the blog is presented in several stages or 'posts' which will hopefully lead to green action.

First is an Urgent Call to Green Action: Rio+20+Africa. The Call tries to show how investing in Africa’s green economies is vital to the rebalancing of the global economy. It also includes proposals for a draft green investment plan focussed on Africa's river basins as natural designations for assessing green growth potential.  Hopefully ready for Rio+20, the draft plan would be made up of 54 green investment blogs covering one river basin for each country built by 'green explorers' in Africa through web-based research tools.

Next is An Immensely Rich Cosmos, an essay on the subject looking more widely at the current situation in Africa, the short and long-term challenges and the possible green solutions including an unofficial, draft green investment plan assembled in time for Rio.

For readers who want to go further into the enquiry, hopefully join the conversation and make positive contributions, the next stage of the blog comprises five ‘original posts’. These five posts are the blog’s first green footsteps into Africa and explain its purpose in more detail:

1.  Africa: first green frontier (or last brown)

2. Africa’s Voice at Rio+20  

3. A draft green investment plan
4. Institutional frameworks  

5. Africa’s 3rd era of hope: globalisation on trial 

(At the end of post 5 I include a fuller personal profile which covers Africa's 3 eras of hope.)

Depending on the response to this call for green action, over the remaining days before Rio+20 the blog hopes to coordinate the green explorers’ findings. Post number 3, a draft green investment plan, outlines 7 green investment categories to explore. Ideas on how to begin the exploration will be provided to respondents and will be updated regularly. It begins with a green conversation....

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