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Planning for Development: Economic Development in Africa
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA REPORT 2012 
STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA
Published by UNCTAD

Cover - Acknowledgements - Note - Contents - Abbreviations
INTRODUCTION

The Economic Development in Africa Report 2012, subtitled “Structural Transformation and Sustainable Development in Africa”, examines how African countries can promote sustainable development. The main message of the Report is that achieving sustainable development in Africa requires deliberate, concerted and proactive measures to promote structural transformation and the relative decoupling of natural resource use and environmental impact from the growth process. Sustainable structural transformation, as defined in the Report, is structural transformation with such decoupling.
The Report builds on the Economic Development in Africa Report 2011 on Fostering Industrial Development in Africa in the New Global Environment. It also fits into UNCTAD’s broader work on the development of productive capacities. The report is timely in the light of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), 20–22 June 2012 and the renewed global focus on greening economies occasioned by the global financial and economic crisis of 2008–2009. The concept of sustainable structural transformation provides a dynamic understanding of the efforts which are involved in greening an economy, and also places such efforts into a development perspective.


CHAPTER 1: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION: CONCEPTUAL ISSUES

There are important differences among economists, and also between economists and ecologists, regarding the relationship between economic growth and the environment, the meaning of sustainability, and the policies necessary to make growth consistent with environmental sustainability. Against this backdrop, this chapter examines some conceptual issues critical to understanding different approaches.
The chapter is organized in four parts. Section A summarizes some fundamental differences among scholars on what sustainability is, how it could be achieved, and the policies deemed necessary to make growth consistent with environmental sustainability. In this context, section B identifies some conceptual issues related to the notions of the green economy and green growth. A particular challenge is to operationalize the idea of a green economy in a development context. Section C builds on one of the approaches of section A to discuss how resource use and environmental impacts change during the course of economic development. This shows that for countries at low levels of development, there will necessarily be a trade-off between structural transformation, on the one hand, and environmental sustainability, on the other hand. Section D introduces the concept of sustainable structural transformation (SST) as an appropriate strategy for managing that tradeoff and introducing a development-led approach to the green economy.

A. The relationship between the economy and the environment: alternative views
B. Conceptual issues concerning the green economy and green growth
C. The dynamics of development, resource use and environmental impacts
D. The concept of sustainable structural transformation

CHAPTER 2: RESOURCE USE AND PRODUCTIVITY IN AFRICA: SOME STYLIZED FACTS
A. Introduction
B. Stylized facts on resource use and productivity in Africa
C. Conclusion
Annex

CHAPTER 3: A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION

Promoting economic development is not a simple task and not all developmental States have successfully met that end. Successful developmental States have a common approach towards governance. Perhaps the most basic, and one which is often misunderstood, is that they have not sought to replace the private sector through State ownership or to directly control large parts of the economy. Rather they have sought to fulfil the vision through design policies and institutions that harness private ownership, the animal spirits of entrepreneurs and the drive for profits to achieve national economic development goals. Thus the creation of a dynamic and development-focused private sector should be at the heart of policies to promote SST by a developmental State. Key elements of the strategy are public CHAPTER 3. A Strategic Framework for Sustainable Structural Transformation 83 investment to crowd in private investment as well as production sector policies designed to generate a strong private-sector response geared towards increasing investment and technological change in the development directions the government is seeking to achieve (UNCTAD, 2009).

A. Why should Africa promote sustainable structural transformation?
B. Strategic priorities and drivers
C. The role of the State
D. The role of the international community

CHAPTER 4: POLICIES FOR SUSTAINABLE STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION
A. The development of sustainable energy in Africa
B. Green industrial policies in Africa
C. The promotion of a truly green agricultural revolution in Africa
D. Conclusion

CHAPTER 5: STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA: MAIN FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
A. Introduction
B. Main findings
C. Messages and recommendations

NOTES AND REFERENCES

BOXES

1. Measuring sustainability: Material Flow Accounting and Analysis, and Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production - 35
2. Land degradation, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity in Africa - 56
3. Some African initiatives relating to decoupling - 68
4. The investment costs of African energy infrastructure - 79
5. Policy instruments for promoting sustainable structural transformation - 85
6. Bagasse co-generation in Mauritius: An African success story - 99
7. Improving energy efficiency at a national level: The adoption of an Energy Efficiency Strategy in South Africa - 101
8. Renewable energy in export strategies in Africa: The case of Ethiopia - 108
9. Wastewater recycling in Africa: The Durban Water Recycling Project - 111
10. Policy pyramid methodology for industrial energy efficiency - 111
11. Use of eco-labels in African Industry: The case of leather sandals in Kenya and Ethiopia - 115
12. Sustainable intensification in African agriculture - 121
13. Example of technology solutions: Applying infra-red spectroscopy - 122

TABLES

1. Metabolic profiles of the agrarian and industrial regimes - 25
2. Domestic material extraction per capita, 1980–2008 - 37
3. Global and African material extraction, 1980–2008 - 38
4. Material extraction in selected African countries, by material category, 2008 - 40
5. Physical trade volume in Africa and the world, 1980–2008 - 41
6. Africa’s share of global production and reserves of selected minerals - 46
7. Absolute amounts of domestic material consumption, 1980–2008 - 49
8. Industrial development and per capita resource use in Africa, 2008 - 50
9. Population, output and carbon emissions, across regions, in 2009 - 54
10. HANPP levels and composition in African countries - 60
11. Projected growth for population, GDP, GDP per capita and material, energy and carbon intensities by 2020 and 2050 - 74
12. Renewable energy support policies in Africa - 106
13. Share of primary and final energy from renewables in selected African countries, future targets - 107

Annex table

1. Share of sectors in water use in Africa, 1998–2007- 63

Box tables

1. Forest area and depletion in Africa - 57

2. Indicative capital investment requirements of the African Development Bank to attain universal access to reliable electric power by 2030 - 79

FIGURES

1. The economy as a subsystem of the Earth system - 12
2. Stylised representation of the EKC Hypothesis - 20
3. Tunnelling through the EKC - 22
4. Components of decoupling - 28
5. A stylized representation of resource decoupling and impact decoupling - 29
6. Material extraction in Africa, by category, 1980–2008 - 39
7. Physical exports and imports of African countries, by material category,1980–2008 - 43
8. Physical trade balances of all African countries, 1980–2008 - 45
9. Domestic material consumption in selected African countries, 2008 - 47
10. Material consumption by region, 1980–2008 - 48
11. Material productivity, by region, 1980–2008 - 52
12. Trends in GDP, material use and energy use, in Africa, 1980–2008 - 53
13. Adjusted net savings, including particulate emission damage in sub-Saharan Africa - 72
14. Projected population, GDP per capita and the required throughput intensity to maintain 2010 levels of environmental impact - 75
15. An integrated framework for relative decoupling in Africa - 77
16. Official development assistance disbursements to the energy sector,2002–2010 - 89

Box figure

1. Overview of policy instruments that promote resource and impact decoupling - 85

EXPLANATORY NOTES
The $ sign refers to the United States dollar.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Except where otherwise stated, this includes South Africa.
North Africa: In this publication, Sudan is classified as part of sub-Saharan Africa, not North Africa.
A hyphen (-) indicates that the data are either not available or not applicable.

For more information, please contact:
UNCTAD Press Office
T: +41 22 917 5828
E: unctadpress@unctad.org
Web: www.unctad.org/press


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