EU, Ghana pushing for creating sustainable environment & jobs
The European Union (EU), in collaboration with the Government of Ghana (GoG), has held a Circular Economy seminar to create awareness and promote how resources can be effectively used to achieve a sustainable environment and jobs.
Although Ghana claims Circular Economy is nothing new to it, since time immemorial the various cultures in the country revere nature through their customs, norms and taboos. The EU also holds the view that overt action is needed to protect the environment in the wake of Climate Change and its devastating effects.
A reason the EU saved €120 billion in energy expenditure for consumer in 2021 alone, through eco-design and energy labeling legislation, and also providing funding for setups in green projects – green jobs, recycling and energy saving – in Ghana.
Addressing the seminar in Accra last week, Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union, explained that Circular Economy was tailored towards enhancing the use of natural resource to create sustainable jobs and economic growth.
The seminar, which is the third of its kind, he said, hoped to support Ghana to create the balance between nature and economy, for the attainment of a green economy agenda.
Ambassador Razaaly commended Ghana for taking steps to implement green economic policies to engender the Circular Economic agenda on the African Continent.
Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), indicated that the concept of Circular Economy was not an European invention, but something Africans had known in their belief systems, including not fishing or swimming in certain rivers, going to sea, farm or hunting on some specific days.
He contended that although Circular Economy was nothing new to Africans, the very people who helped in the destruction of the environment were the same people preaching environmental protection as a new concept.
Nevertheless, Minister Afriyie said Ghana was working to diversify its economic influence, growing consumer demand for greener/circular and less harmful products, build national and regional self-sufficiency through collaboration, and regulate those trade flows that negatively impact the circular transition of consumption and production.
“Transitioning to a Circular Economy will be advantageous to Ghana, and will help the country generate decent jobs, reduce inequality, minimise the impact of Climate Change on the environment, and provide the economy with a competitive advantage,” he added.
By Bernice Bessey & Agnes Ansah