Africa urged to include sustainable development as it industrializesListen /
A new report released on Wednesday urges African countries to use their natural resources in a sustainable manner to modernize their economies.
The report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says Africa should adopt policies that promote economic growth to raise living standards and protect the environment.
It says African governments should restructure their economies to shift from traditional to less polluting sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro power.
The head of UNCTAD Supachai Panitchpakdi says Africa should also begin to use its natural resources for domestic consumption.
"Africa is so rich, is so filled with resources. But what Africa did was to extract the resources and export, particularly the so-called non-renewable resources. So what actually is happening, Africa extracts a lot of materials, get rid of all this and somebody else consumes it particularly in Asia and countries in the rest of the world and Africa imports back the kind of non-renewable resources to be consumed. At the same time Africa stays very very low in terms of resources used." (Duration: 28")
UNCTAD says careful domestic planning and international financial support are needed for what it terms "sustainable structural transformation" as domestic material consumption increases in Africa.