Knowledge Sharing

The two biggest scopes that sustainability is built upon remain the Environment and the Society, and Africa plays a major role in both. Africa holds the youngest population in the world with over 50% of the continent’s population being under the age of 20. By 2050 the African population will more than double and will represent a quarter of the world’s population. By 2100, it will climb to 40% of the world population, putting Africa at the forefront of the world human capital.

The continent holds around 30% of earth’s remaining mineral resources, 40% of which are the gold reserves and 90% of the platinum reserves. Africa will undoubtedly undergo the biggest mineral resource extraction — with significant implication for greenhouse gas emission — that will undoubtedly occur over the coming decades.

Societal welfare portends heavily in the political priorities of many African governments. Calls for enhancing societal welfare in Africa as a whole — focusing primarily on economic growth to drive up wellbeing and prosperity for all — has unfortunately been answered with programmes that have produced meager or poor results. Economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa stands as a tandem “policy-response” objective in the Millennium Development Goals and the SDGs, social welfare can be also understood differently.

Africa presents unprecedented institutional challenges that other areas of the world did not face during the early & middle stages of industrialization, among others, pressure on low greenhouse gas emission, the equal importance of socio-economic goals and resource conservation. Moreover, the sourcing of data has been scarce and complex.

Narrowing the knowledge gap in Africa is the main concern of understanding the curious case of Africa’s development. Critical to the continental development agenda is a sustainability progress yardstick. That is, a benchmark to gauge data and interpret findings into easy-to-understand language by reorienting knowledge production and dissemination patterns using innovative means of communication and exchange.

We can all play a role in problem solving for Africa’s development, with ideas for policy intervention and restoration of harmony between the state, the private sector and civil society. The creation of an institution that integrates economic factors, rule of law, empowerment and partnership is essential for the advancement of sustainable development.

We find that states in Africa need assistance in the implementation of both policies and development projects. The pragmatism of our Think Tank, facilitates evolution through the sharing of experience, popularization and transparency essential to SD.

With growth taking place at unprecedented rates on the African continent, states are in desperate need of strategic policy-making guidance, and data will help guide the industrialization phases many economies are undergoing. Indeed the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda requires in-depth indicators to meet the targets set out in the Agenda. ASCENT, through the Africa Sustainability Progress Initiative – ASPI would like to assist the process in a sustainable, inclusive and efficient manner; with regards to infrastructure, governance, agriculture, natural resource protection, food security, human development and social welfare, the bulk of the continent is struggling to meet acceptable data standards. There have been several well-intentioned efforts to track and report on African economic development but the metrics can be designed more reflectively of current African political, socioeconomic and environmental issues without neglecting projected growth rates in prevalent sectors of the economy. Above all, that is the ultimate goal of the ASPI.