Green growth: It's not business as usual


Participants at the launch of Green Growth Week in Kigali on Monday. File.


RE: “Innovative financing ‘key to implementation of green growth agenda’” (The New Times, December 5).

With green growth and climate resilience strategy, human capital development cannot be business as usual.

Rwanda’s green growth and climate resilience strategy is a footprint to continued sustainable growth. The term is used to describe a path of economic growth that uses natural resources in a sustainable manner.

It is used globally to provide an alternative concept to typical industrial economic growth. With more terms used to confirm this new path, you hear so much around this concept, for example clean energy, less carbon emission, green technology, green jobs etc.

However, you will agree that green growth is not a replacement for sustainable development. Rather, it provides a practical and flexible approach for achieving concrete, measurable progress across its economic and environmental pillars, while taking full account of the social consequences of greening the growth dynamic of economies.

The focus of green growth strategies is ensuring that natural assets can deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis.

That potential for green growth includes the provision of critical life support services – clean air and water – and the resilient biodiversity needed to support food production and human health. Natural assets are not infinitely substitutable and green growth policies should take account of that.

The worrying factor in all this, and the one that needs full attention by all relevant players, is the need to look at the implication of this to human capital. How ready are we or how prepared are we to adopt this path.

When it comes to the international discussion of the correlation between human capital development and green growth, the discourse mainly revolves around the topic of skill development, the need to upgrade education programmes now provided and providing training that reflects the changes of the time.

With this in-focus, the outcome is to tap into potential areas that could create green jobs but also make green growth strategy a shared path by all.

Creating green jobs goes hand in hand with the potential of green growth to bring newly adopted green technology and knowledge to Rwanda. Opportunities exist in areas such as the preservation or restoration of the environment in various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining and research or service delivery.

These sectors tend to be the pillars of growth for any economy given the potential to create opportunities for many.

Therefore, the new path opted by the world and well steered by Rwanda calls for shared understanding and collective collaboration and forward looking on potential triggers for change and human capital is pivotal to this.

Business cannot be done as usual.

Richard Niwenshuti