Theories and Practices of Sustainable Development in Africa

Theories and Practices of Sustainable Development in Africa

Zekarias Minota Seiko
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3247-7.ch001
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Sustainable development (SD) involves economic growth with non-declining inter-generational benefit by maintaining environmental balance overtime. However, the conceptual and practical complexity of traditional SD has challenged its implementation. Consequently, this chapter provides a modified approach to SD called Institutionalized Sustainable Development (ISD) model, which augments the institutional governance into the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental aspects. It argues that SD can be achieved when capable institutions are established that can optimize resource use; integrate economic development, environment and social inclusion. The Sustainable development practice of Africa has been assessed and lessons are drawn for future development ends. The resource use, task, and goal prioritization are the main motivators of developing these models. Its application requires development of indigenous knowledge and local capacity, planned investment, good governance, research and innovation directed towards realization of inclusive sustainable development in Africa.
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Evaluation Of Sustainable Development

The origin of the concept of sustainable development can be categorized into four major international conferences: Stockholm United Nations Conference on Human Environment (1972), the UN World Commission on Environment and Development -Our Common Future (1987), Rio United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-UNCED (1992), and Rio Plus various conferences like UN Johannesburg Conference (2002).

The theoretical framework for sustainable development was emerged from 1972 to 1992 through series of international conferences. In 1972, the first major international conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm. This conference created considerable momentum and recommendations, which led to the establishment of the UN environment Program (UNEP) and numerous national environmental protection agencies at national level. The recommendations at Stockholm further elaborated in World Conservation Strategy (1980); which discusses about the collaboration between the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and UNEP; aimed to advance such development by identifying priority conservation agendas and key policy options.

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