Keywords: Africa, poverty, environmental degradation, sustainable policy, sustainable development, sustainability
Poverty and environmental degradation in Africa: towards sustainable policy for reversing the spiral
The nexus of poverty and the environment has led to a situation where the poor are both the victims and perpetrators of environmental damage in Africa. This paper examines the primary issues contributing to the downward spiralling two-way relationship between poverty and environmental degradation in Africa, and then discusses and analyses priority areas of a managed and sustainable policy framework for reversing that spiral. It is argued that Africa entered the 21st Century as the world's worst failure in social, economic, human and technological development. Consequently, poverty is an enduring challenge in the region for which policy formulation and implementation needs to be ratcheted up. Similarly, the approach to arresting environmental degradation in Africa must be given a greater focus within the context of the poverty and environmental damage nexus. This work shows that both local and national environmental concerns have immediate and directly attributable effects primarily on the poor.