Thinking Societies’ Relation to Environment and Climate in Africa
1 / 28

Marco Zupi, CeSPI Rome Tuesday 21st April, 2009 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Thinking Societies’ Relation to Environment and Climate in Africa Sustainability, Development, Migrations & Conflicts. Marco Zupi, CeSPI Rome Tuesday 21st April, 2009. The basic idea: towards a more integral thinking.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Marco Zupi, CeSPI Rome Tuesday 21st April, 2009' - annick

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Thinking Societies’ Relation to Environment and Climate in AfricaSustainability, Development, Migrations & Conflicts

Marco Zupi, CeSPI


Tuesday 21st April, 2009

The basic idea: towards a more integral thinking Africa

  • Need to shift from a merely environmental approach to an ecological one: to talk in terms of human ecosystems and in the human fittedness for ecosystems. Need of a more integral relationship between socio-economic systems and nature (J. Kovel, 2007).

  • The environmental problems of sustainability on one hand and the social, economic and political problems of increasing poverty and inequality on the other are not separate: when these factors collide we have a new scale of problems.

  • Not only from climate change to migration to conflicts to migration, but also a combination of rapidly changing social and economic conditions (and correlated migrations and tensions/conflicts) and human driven climate change will set off a chain reaction of devastating crises.

The basic idea: towards a more integral thinking Africa

  • Society and nature are not independent bodies

  • In terms of refugees there are many drivers. Climate change is one.

  • But it is not correct to think as the only driver in the absence of the other drivers in the system: mode of production, export orientation, urban-biased policies, food production, population growth, instability of governances all affect local population stress and un-sustainability.

  • Climate change will not necessarily be the dominant driver of mass migration, but an additional, important stressing factor.

  • A estimate of the number of migrants induced by climate change is inevitably vague: all the stressing drivers and feedbacks should be balanced, not just climate change.

  • Need of a comprehensive approach to the non-linear and complex interrelations between the various factors.

Economic performance up to 2007 robust and strong
Economic Performance up to 2007: robust and strong Africa

Export growth (high commodity prices) and rising investment main drivers

Since 2002 Africa growing in tandem with global economic growth

Source: African Development Bank

Growing integration of africa into the global economy
Growing Integration of Africa into the global economy Africa

  • Decoupling more limited than previously thought:

    • private capital flows rising

    • the share of trade in GDP increasing

    • regional debt markets are expanding

    • more investors interested in African equities

Source: African Development Bank

Nevertheless... Africa Contribution to Global Warming (% of total)

Source: US Dept. Of Energy

Carbon Emissions per person (tons) Africa

Source: World Resource Institute

Heterogeneity of GDP annual growth rate (percentage, geometric mean 1997-2006)

Source: IFDA Report

FDI to Africa by destination ($ billion) geometric mean 1997-2006)

Source: IFDA Report

The Consequences of Growing Integration of Africa geometric mean 1997-2006)

  • Polarization, concentration, unequal distribution of benefits and opportunities exacerbated traditional patterns of human mobility.

  • From traditional to additional new paths of human mobility.

  • 2.1% of African population have migrated out of the continent (almost 16 millions of people).

  • Women are 47.9% of immigrants and refugees are 17.4% (just 7.1% at global level).

  • Between 9 and 28% of doctors have emigrated

  • Persistent dichotomy of policies: from “urban bias” to “back to land” policies.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest proportion of intra-regional migrations in the world

And 80% of intra-African migration is cross-border

To the







0,5 millions

Within SSA


To the non-OECD

Rich economies


Source: World Bank, UN

Estimated and Projected Urban and Rural Population of More and Less Developed Regions, 1950-2030

Components of Migration and Less Developed Regions, 1950-2030

Some misleading dichotomous concepts and Less Developed Regions, 1950-2030

The contrast of Sending versus Receiving Countries (when most countries both send and receive migrants)

Permanent versus Temporary Migration (when most “permanent” migrants use to return to their countries or move on to other countries)

Brain Drain/Waste versus Brain Gain (when both are true, with net cost and benefit spread in unequal ways)

High Skilled versus Low Skilled workers (when labor demand/need is oriented to some specific segments of both of them)

Also traditional distinction between who is rural and urban is increasingly difficult, especially with the expansion of semi-urban areas where large proportions of populations rely on agricultural activities to meet their livelihood needs

Youth and labor markets in Africa and Less Developed Regions, 1950-2030

  • In Africa, 200 million people are in at the ages of 15 to 24 years (i.e. youth), comprising more than 20% of the population (UN2007).

  • In 2005, 62% of Africa’s overall population fell below the age of 25. The still very high fertility rate along with a demographic transition that is slowly taking place are likely to increase the pressure African countries face for job creation over the coming decades.

  • Worldwide, and in Africa as well, the ratio of the youth-to-adult unemployment rate equals three (ILO 2006), which clearly points out the substantial difficulties of youth participation in the labor market.

  • Yet, the youth employment elasticity to GDP growth is low and only a fifth of that observed for all workers (Kapsos 2005).

  • And unemployment among youth is often higher than among adults, but those out of the labor force are 2, 3 times higher on average (56% vs 21%)

World Bank Survey-Based Harmonized Indicators Program (SHIP): 13 cases

  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, 3 in 5 of the total unemployed are youth (ILO 2006).

Incidence of poverty among young people (< US$ 2 per day, in %)











  • According to WB-SHIP, in Sub-Saharan Africa on average 72% of the youth population live with less than $2 a day




Distribution of youth by job status (in %) 2 per day, in %)

Out of the labor force












  • According to WB-SHIP (but Ethiopia and Madagascar data based on LF Surveys): mean is 55.3 (for adults is 23.4)



Stylized facts of youth migration 2 per day, in %)

  • As a way to escape poverty, many youth look for better opportunities by migrating (WB, 2008).

  • Indeed, migration to urban areas is unavoidable and even desirable as a way to improve allocation of human resources, especially in land-scarce countries.

  • While youth are more likely than older people to move from rural to urban areas or to move across urban areas, this increased youth migration has a wide impact.

  • It increases the tension for jobs without necessarily improving the job conditions of those left in rural areas.

  • It impacts provision of public goods, education, utilities, housing, and infrastructure.

  • It affects demographic and skills composition in both urban and rural areas.

Stylized facts of youth migration 2 per day, in %)

  • Young male migrants are more likely to be unemployed and out of the labor force than their non-migrant counterparts (Garcia and Fares 2008).

  • Urban residents are less likely to be employed than recent rural-to-urban youth migrants (increased tension).

  • However, recent migrants who are employed are more likely to work in insecure jobs. In Ethiopia they are three times more likely to be engaged in informal activities.

  • In general: the youth at large comprise a vulnerable group facing challenges in labor markets, but youth attached to agriculture (non-migrants) and female youth face particularly stronger challenges.

  • Given that about 70% of the African youth population is still in rural areas, and that urban areas have been very slow to create job opportunities for most new job seekers, there is a need for an integrated urb/rur approach.

From traditional paths of human mobility 2 per day, in %)

Middle Eastern crops

(Corn, Barley, Green-pea,


Sahelian crops

(Sorghum, Millet)

Ethiopian crops

(Coffee, Teff)

Western crops

(Igname, Cola)

agriculture and stockbreeder-led

Asian crops

(Igname, Asian rice,


Source: J. Diamond

To contemporary corridors of human mobility 2 per day, in %)

urban enclaves, oil/diamonds and mines-led

The main corridors

The main countries of origin

The main countries of destination

Mortality Risks due to drought 2 per day, in %)

Source: World Bank

Rethinking urban-rural dichotomy 2 per day, in %)

  • Most of the poor in the world are living in unplanned towns.

  • 40 of the 50 fastest growing cities are located in earthquake zones. Another 10 m live under constant threat of floods (P. Brown).

  • Africa is less densely populated than Asia; nevertheless in some polarized areas the high density in environmentally threatened territories make them extremely vulnerable.

  • Urban growth rates in Africa remain high, at nearly 5% on aggregate, but cities simply cannot keep up with the demands placed upon them (Simone, Abouhani, 2007).

  • Cities are the places where Africans have been intensely engaged in the conflicts. Many Africans are urban residents, but they are not trulyurbanized.

Rethinking urban-rural dichotomy 2 per day, in %)

  • Across Africa, a new urban infrastructure is being built, but what kind of city and processes are being constructed is not clear:

  • Roughly 75% of basic needs are provided informally in the majority of African cities, and the processes of informalization are expanding across sectors and domains.

  • The prevailing common approach focused on transition from informality to formal economy: a provocative approach is to examine the ways in which such economies and activities themselves might act as a platform for the creation of a very different kind of sustainable urban configurations

  • New agglomerations beyond rural-urban dichotomy

Exploring the basis for a new approach 2 per day, in %)

  • Against risk of UNROOTED and lost of identity and source of tension and conflicts, migration should be an opportunity, degree of freedom

  • Against dichotomy of urban vs rural development, need of territorial and social cohesion as the key approach

  • Regional integration is a crucial institutional process to be supported: (1) to overcome the jurisdictional gap (global public goods such as environment and peace), (2) to facilitate human mobility within regions, and (3) integrate bioregions rather than dividing or polarizing them (4) to promote redistribution of benefits of globalization, (5) to promote peace.

  • Promotion of sustainability and equity as leading drivers of policies: new frontier of green-technological change, more equal and sustainable distribution and location of factors of production (manpower, capital, land, cities…)