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Cameroon, China Urged To Adopt Green Vision 

By Marriane Tabi Enow — The Cameroon and Chinese governments have been called upon to adopt a green economy vision, to ensure that development strategies recognize and sustain the economic, ecological and social value of natural capital.

The call was made recently, during a workshop organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, with the objective to enhance stakeholders’ dialogue and sustainable development of Chinese Foreign Direct Investments in Cameroon. Enhancing forest management and protection of nature, increasing corporate social responsibility in extractive operations and related infrastructures, and the increasing of corporations on renewable energy were other priority projects identified to be embarked on by participants.

The Post gathered that Chinese foreign investors and development assistance are providing the government of Cameroon with financial and technical knowhow needed for the realisation of projects such as the Kribi deep sea port, the Memve’ele hydroelectricity dam and the Yaounde-Douala auto route. Speaking at the workshop, the Deputy Country Representative of WWF China, Dr. Li Lin, said the Africa and China cooperation for sustainability had 40 actions that will make the difference in the continent if adopted. 

“Chinese investments in African countries aim to develop green economies, promote clean technologies and ensure the provision of safe water, food and clean energy for all. As a result, African countries and China will share experience on ecosystem and natural capital management as these are the basis for a sustainable development agenda,” he stated.

He added that, “the Chinese government has recognised the challenges of environmental problems linked to economic development. WWF’s response to the rise of China as an economic powerhouse is the China for a Global Shift Initiative, aiming to make China’s overseas investment a driving force for green growth and ecological footprint reduction.
This initiative, The Post gathered, is an opportunity for Cameroon to capitalise and ensure policies which will set up a new legacy of a sustainable development model.

Going by the WWF 2012 evaluation brief, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC, is the most important platform for Sino-African dialogue. “It is within this forum that key decisions on China trade and investments in Africa are made every three years. If FOCAC’s core principles and deliberations integrate social and environmental principles, China’s investment in Africa can make positive contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs,” part of the brief reads.

The Post learnt that in less than 20 years, China has become the largest investor in Africa trade, with its investment having grown from US$10 billion in 2000 to US$166 billion in 2011.
Experts hold that, this relationship is much needed for Africa’s economic development, as only sustainable development will ensure food, clean energy, water supply for all, and the protection of natural resources upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods.

WWF opine that this new economic development strategy, which focuses on mineral exploitation, infrastructure and agro-industrial development will accelerate Cameroon’s objective of becoming an emerging economy by 2035.

First published in The Post print edition no 01443

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