In line with the outcome of the Rio+20, the UN Economic Commission for Africa commissioned its 2016 flagship report to explore opportunities for greening Africa’s industrialisation, recognising the need for deepening analysis and policy for structural transformation of Africa’s economies, in line with continental sustainable development challenges. In targeting economic decision-makers in Africa, OneWorld’s formulation of and research for this report provided a framing chapter on trends, policies and benefits of green growth, globally and implications for Africa with consideration of: (i) the status of (green) industrialization; (ii) the benefits of Greening Industrialisation; (iii) value chain analysis approach to GG entry points and iv) policy options for greening Africa’s industrialisation with reference to continental and global case studies and benchmarks. The framing chapter mapped the motivating factors for green growth in Africa and, more specifically, identified points of entry for green growth interventions using scenario planning and analysis.

Two scenarios—Business-as-usual (BAU) and the Green Agenda (GA)—explored alternative trajectories for Africa from 2015 through 2050 under the assumptions:

  • BAU as a scenario portraying a continuation of current patterns and trends. The forecasts under BAU illustrate how the current development trajectory affects different sectors, highlighting areas of concern.
  • The GA as a scenario that models policy interventions in a range of sectors. Together, these interventions are intended to model a structural shift in the development trajectory of the continent towards a greener, more inclusive economic growth pattern than under BAU.

Critically, OneWorld analysed the co-benefits of adopting a GA, emerging from transitions in the energy sector (to renewables), other renewable resource sectors (particularly water) and agriculture and food. In addition to analysing the co-benefits of economic growth and regional integration, population growth and urbanisation (including the demographic dividend) and employment, we explored the intra and inter-sectoral cause-and-effect pathways of transitions. An important outcome reflects an example of the energy sector analysis, comparing renewable energy growth under a GA scenario compared with BAU and how that transition reflects a decline in both fossil fuel production and, eventually, fossil fuel imports. Overall, the GA scenario also demonstrated positive implications for development, showing for example a sharp decline in extreme poverty levels, with an increase in GDP.


UNECA Economic Report Africa 2016

Project Data


United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)




September 2015 – April 2016
Development of a climate change and green economy Country Programme between the Governments of Flanders & South Africa
Capacitating vertically integrated climate governance development (V-LED)