A Viable Framework for Ensuring Environmental Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the mid-1980s, Timberlake asserted that "Africa is in environmental crisis", and argued that the continent had overdrawn its environmental accounts resulting in environmental bankruptcy (1985, p.18). Nwosu (1993) also points out that "Africans have numerous environmental problems with a rapidly expanding human population " (p.14). Two decades down the track, the environmental situation in Africa has hardly seen any improvemnet. Indeed, some would argue that it has worsened. So, why does the situation persist despite efforts at reversing it? I suggest that this is because of the adhoc approach to environmental change on the continent and propose a holistic approach to dealing with the situation. Bearing in mind that the causes of Sub-Saharan Africa's environmental bankruptcy are many and varied, this paper suggests a long-term comprehensive strategy (model) to stem the tide of environmental degradation. The integrated model, which incoporates factors such as economic improvement, environmental consciousness and socio-cultural attitudes and beliefs, seeks to create an enabling environment for ensuring environmental sustainability in the region. The value of this paper lies in the contribution it can make to attempts at reversing the downward spiral in Sub-Saharan Africa's environmental fortunes and balance the continent's environmental accounts.

Keywords: Environmental Degradation, Environmental Consciousness, Socio-Cultural Attitudes and Beliefs, Environmental Sustainability, Viable Framework

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.111-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 737.141KB).

Dr. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo

Lecturer, School of Humanities, Communications & Social Sciences, Monash University, Australia

Dr Kwansah-Aidoo has been in academia for the past ten years, teaching in the areas of Media, Communications and Public Relations. He is an arvid researcher whose research interests span the areas of media use and media agenda-seting, particularly in Africa; development, environmental and political communication; the communication of change within organisational and societal settings; and the adoption and use of new Information and Communication technologies (ICTS). His recent publications include "Topical Issues in Communications and Media Research, Nova Science Publishers, 2005 (Editor) and Public Relations Issues and Crises Management, Thomson Social Science Publishers, 2005 (Co-editor).

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