Green economic transition in Africa

Project description

Title: Operationalising Green Economy Transition in Africa
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia/Mozambique
Lead executing agency: Ethiopia: Ministry of Environment and Forest; Ghana: Environmental Protection Agency; Kenya: Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; Rwanda: Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA)
Overall term: 2014 bis 2018 


More and more African countries are entering the ranks of the world’s fastest growing economies. Even so, a large number of people continue to live below the poverty line in these countries. It is vital, therefore, to ask how to turn the economic growth into an effective and competitive driver, not only of poverty reduction for as many people as possible, but also for the environmental sustainability of the economic growth.

A number of African countries have recognised the potential of a green economy, and have started to change course strategically. Despite this, practical and local-level applications are still rare in many African countries.


A toolbox has been developed for the transition to a green economy, and this has been introduced in the partner countries at the sub-national levels (county, district, region). A knowledge platform has been established, which is accessible to all interested parties. In the local administrations and government bodies, capacities have been put in place to improve the conditions for the introduction of green economic approaches.


The project is to be carried out in five countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda, as well as either Namibia or Mozambique. In recent years, these countries have committed themselves to the inclusion of green economic strategies in their national planning and strategies. However, they all lack the necessary capacities at local and regional levels to achieve such plans. This project will introduce a number of planning tools to support implementation of the green economic measures included in the local development plans.

To this end, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is creating a toolbox that can be used for integrating national strategies for a green economy into regional development plans. It is also carrying out training measures aimed at improving the know-how of institutions at the local level.

Through capacity development measures at the local level, GIZ is enabling the institutions to utilise the new toolbox for the creation of development and transition plans, and for knowledge management. The collected experiences and knowledge are made accessible by means of a digital knowledge platform.

The project targets planning units in national ministries, regional and local administrations, private enterprises and civil society groups. The intended beneficiaries are small-scale entrepreneurs and the self-employed, who will improve their own incomes while also creating new jobs. Measures should include women and young people in particular. At the same time, the training and promotion activities should also benefit the employees of the partner institutions engaged in development measures.

The packages of measures conducted by GIZ entail the following separate activities.

Capacity development at local level, and pilot applications of the toolbox

  • Selection of pilot areas by the stakeholders
  • Training measures to build the capacities of institutions
  • Completion of a baseline study in each pilot area, with relevant ‘green economy indicators’ that reflect the economic and social development
  • Consultations with public- and private-sector actors, with civil society representatives and with various interest groups
  • Identification of private-sector partners at national and regional levels, who provide sustainable business concepts that fit the needs of the pilot regions
  • Provision of technical advice to the toolbox users on its application
  • Provision of technical support to the regional authorities during the initial phase

Knowledge management

  • Identification of the most important lessons learnt and best practices from the development and application of the toolbox
  • Production of case studies and further documentation needed for the wider dissemination of the toolbox
  • Development of an interactive knowledge management platform for low-carbon and resource-efficient development, which should prompt replication at the local level.