Civil Society Organisations have been encouraged to see Africa’s problems as opportunities to create value and jobs.
Speaking during the briefing workshop for NGOs on Engagement with UN Environment Assembly, UN Environment Regional Information Officer for Africa Mohamed Atani said finding solutions to Africa’s problems could lead to the creation of jobs.
He noted that pollution is viewed as being bad for the environment but good for business, but challenged workshop participants to find ways of fighting pollution such as waste management, which he said could bring revenues.
“Other people come to Africa and see these opportunities and invest while we who are here do nothing about them,” he noted.
The information Officer further noted that conflict in Africa is brought about by the desire to access and control natural resources, adding that we as Africans don’t hate each other.
“In Africa we have conflict because we want access and control of natural resources,” he stated.
Speaking during the same meeting, Dr Alice Oluoko from the University of Nairobi noted that Pollution has become a global pandemic, adding that we all must stand up against it for a sustainable world.
She added that Civil Society Oganisations have a voice that can influence the future stability of the society.
“CSOs have a voice that shapes, moves, and causes change and we must use this voice for the future stability of our societies,” she stated.
On his part, Mr Innocent Maloba from WWF International encouraged CSOs to speak up whenever they see the destruction of the environment, adding that authorities will then take over from there and halt the destruction.
The meeting was held at the UN Offices in Nairobi and attended by NGOs, CBOs and CSOs from across the country.