Eco-inclusive enterprises lead the way to West Africa’s sustainable growth - 2017 SEED West Africa Symposium
Mr. Fredua Agyeman, Director of Environment at Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) of Ghana, and Nestor Batio Bassiere, Minister of Environment of Burkina Faso inaugurated the event with highlights of their respective commitments by their local governments towards achieving green and inclusive economies. SEED was honoured to have Joe Tackie, Acting Chief Director, Ministry for Business Development of Ghana, Christine Evans-Klock, Resident Coordinator for UN in Ghana, as well as Benoist Bazin, Head of Operations, Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, Delegation of the European Union to Ghana as the Keynote speakers who present who brought great insights for the various stakeholders in the eco-inclusive space.
This has resulted in a number of Small and Medium Enterprises retooling and adopting Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production to reduce environmental impact and become socially responsible in setting economic goals.
These are part of plans that the government of Ghana is taking to mainstream sustainable consumption and production into the national development planning in all sectors.
Mr. Agyeman’s sentiments are echoed by Nestor Batio Bassiere, Minister of Environment for Burkina Faso. Since 2016, Burkina Faso’s transition to a green economy has benefited from real political commitment at the highest level. This political commitment is reflected in the presidential program of His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kabore Bâtir avec le peuple un Burkina Faso de démocratie, de progrès économique et social, de liberté et de justice (Building with the people a Burkina Faso of democracy, economic and social progress, freedom and justice).
SEED West Africa Symposium 2017 was attended by more than 150 key stakeholders from government, enterprises, financial institutions, policymakers and accelerator programmes from Ghana and Burkina Faso. Sustainable approaches to innovation and multi-stakeholder partnerships were established to support the promotion and replication of business models that can successfully contribute to an inclusive green economy and sustainable development in West Africa. Also present were representatives of the United Nations, European Union and actors in the eco-inclusive space.
The event also hosted a session on Reinventing? Replicating! – Maximizing Impacts Through The Transfer of Successful Eco-Inclusive Business Models in partnership with the British Council, where entrepreneurs from local tourism, waste, and manufacturing sectors convened to discuss replication approaches in these industries.
In the Tourism sector, for instance, replicable approaches such as home and room sharing were particularly identified to have great potential in Ghana and West Africa. Kofi Ampomah of Afrijourneys shared that adapting the Airbnb model (and calling it “Bra be da”) in Ghana’s touristic sites could significantly help reduce the high costs of accommodation which hinder travel, especially among Ghanaians.
In the Waste sector, models such as franchising and subcontracting buy-back centers came out promising for most participants. Many agreed that waste volumes could be tremendously decreased. Participants also noted that this will particularly be possible due to the low cost of investment and skill set needed in setting up buy-back centers, where collectors can bring waste for cash.
In Agro-processing and Manufacturing, many sector players agreed with Gloria Asare of Global Bamboo Products Ltd, that out-grower schemes may provide a viable replicable path that can multiply impacts in the sector.
The Policy Prototyping session explored actions to close policy gaps and accelerate the transition to a green economy. This requires advanced enabling conditions for sustainable consumption and production practices. Specific measures identified at the session include implementing a Renewable Energy Act, tax rebates, benchmark indicators, more advocacy work, and cross-industry networking, amongst others.
In closing, SAG-SEED Award Ceremony celebrated the winners of the award and highlighted the innovative solutions and business cases from Ghana and Burkina Faso that significantly contribute to locally implementing the 2030 SDG Agenda.
These notable winners are:
- Coopérative Sahel Vert, Burkina Faso
- Lagazel, Burkina Faso
- TECO² Carre, Burkina Faso
- RECFRAM Pride Pads, Ghana
- WASHKing, Ghana
The SEED West Africa Symposium 2017 Summary Report is available here.
The 2017 SEED West Africa Symposium was held in partnership with the following organisations and the British Council.