Sustainable Environment, Economic Growth And Poverty Eradication Measures: The African Context: Why There Is No Meeting Point?
Poverty and hunger are the gravest challenges facing the African continent in the 21st century. About One third of African population live below the United Nations poverty line of 1.5dollars per day .Most African governments are struggling with poverty, epidemics, hunger, famine, insurgency, domestic conflicts and poor governance of both human and abundant natural resources found in Africa. However, some African states are well endowed with human and natural resources but are equally enmeshed in wars, ethnic conflicts and resource curse. Majority of African population would prefer poverty eradication measure, at any cost, over environmental sustainability measures. This is because, hunger and epidemics face most Africa states with agonizing contempt .However, there is a genuine desire by most responsible African leaders and governments to eradicate poverty and to catch up with the developed west, with minimal cost to the environment. This desire, sometimes, brings these African States into collision course with not only their natural environment but also against some basic fundamental objectives of modern global institutional frameworks for sustainable economic development. Drawing from a socio- cultural perspective, and considering the level of poverty among some selected African states, this paper seeks to develop a mechanism for balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability in Africa. The methodology includes a discourse on some selected African states against the background of their existing policies and legal frameworks on economic sustainability.The significance of this paper is that an understanding of the impacts of the social- cultural backgrounds of the economic and environmental sustainability practices in these selected African states, may throw more light on why there seems to be no meeting point in Africa, between environmental sustainability practices and poverty eradication measures in Africa. The paper will recommend ways on how this balance could be achieved.
Keywords: environmental sustainability, economic growth, poverty eradication and Africa.