In line with state policy and with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Government of Madagascar launched a countrywide dialogue on green growth on June 3. This dialogue will involve taking stock of challenges and opportunities presented by green growth in Madagascar. Discussions are also meant to define a roadmap for the large island nation's move to sustainable development that benefits all citizens, while preserving its natural capital.
Under the auspices of the President of the Republic, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the national dialogue got underway on June 5 in Antananarivo, during a workshop attended by government officials, civil society representatives, the private sector and technical and financial partners. Each of these groups has been called upon to actively contribute to the implementation of greener and more inclusive growth in the country.
The island of Madagascar, with its very rich, world-renowned natural heritage, is in the grips of environmental challenges that hamper its sustainable development. Environmental degradation is costing the country an estimated nine per cent of GDP annually. Ecological deterioration is aggravated by the populations' poor resilience to natural disasters, while most of the productive sectors of the Malagasy economy have proven to be very vulnerable to climatic vagaries.
In President Rajaonarimampianina's words: "We are aware of the challenges facing our country, as clearly reflected in the General State Policy, which seeks to establish inclusive and sustainable development grounded in inclusive growth, to counter poverty. [We must learn] to better preserve our natural resources, and optimally draw economic benefits from them. We must also more effectively distribute income and profits, build durable infrastructure, better prepare to limit the risk of disasters, and transform the stakes of climate change into development opportunities."
The workshop provided an opportunity to initiate collaborative reflection and define a common vision for approaching green growth that suits Madagascar. Discussions summed up the impacts of previous initiatives aimed at ensuring sustainable development, and reviewed the notions of green growth and the challenges it poses for the country. Participants also identified potential obstacles as well as factors for the successful implementation of a green growth strategy in Madagascar.
Lastly, they agreed upon a medium-term road map charting the actions to be undertaken to set the country on the path to greener, more inclusive development.
Abdelkrim Bendjebbour, AfDB Resident Representative in Madagascar, stressed that "AfDB's support to the launch of the national dialogue on green growth is consistent with its strategy for 2013-2022. That strategy targets inclusive growth and a transition to green growth. We at the Bank firmly believe that this transition to greener, increasingly inclusive growth will make it possible to more effectively meet the pressing challenges of the continent. "For two years, AfDB has been supporting countries that have opted for greener and more inclusive growth, such as Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Kenya, Cape Verde and Rwanda.