Keywords: life cycle approaches, industrial ecology, sustainable development, African national development policies, Africa
Integrating life cycle approaches to African national development policies: considering the institutional dimension of industrial ecology
This paper considers developments in the area of industrial ecology applications and public policy, and the need to facilitate the proliferation of life cycle approaches in Africa through national development policies. It demonstrates the existing demand for systems approaches to sustainable production and consumption in Africa and identifies life cycle approaches as appropriate tools for application, focusing on those sectors, which support livelihoods and national economies. The paper identifies the framework conditions required for life cycle approaches to be effectively integrated into development policy and strategies, and highlights opportunities available for African governments to benefit from the process. The author shows that, in particular, in developing countries, there is a need to address the social, institutional and political preconditions and capacity building of/for life cycle thinking and management rather than the engineering or technical aspects of the life cycle approach.