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Greenshoots: A glimpse of sustainable development 5 minutes – 50 years ahead for SADAC

Posted by Flux on 

1 March 2024

By Bronwyn Williams 

This short keynote emphasises the importance of sustained, sustainable development for Southern Africa – development that balances human flourishing with environmental objectives and understands that we grow best and furthest when we grow together, in harmony with our neighbours and our world. 

Degrowth is not an option for Africa; but balanced growth is an imperative. The question becomes, how can we get more people what they need for less? Where are the shortcuts to sustainable transformation?

5 minutes

  • From apathy to anarchy to activism – Gen Z grows up and gets involved in building their future (from Luh Twizzy to Shadow Boards and teenage politicians)
  • Investing in the Alphas – the time is NOW to fix early childhood development and stop another generation from being physically and fiscally stunted. 
  • Energy FROM all – from loadshedding and tax revolts to lights on – transformation beyond greening (or from “net zero” Karpowerships towards real economic emPOWERMENT through public and private partnerships (and oil endowments in Namibia))
  • Optimism as a moral duty – investing in what we want vs hedging against what we don’t want.

5 years

  • Closing the skills gap – fixing structural employment through skills and technology, using AI as an enabler rather than an adversary and avoiding technological redundancy
  • The 6 pack secret to success – (high ROI Physical and Political infrastructure investment: 1. high savings, 2. access to healthcare, 3. access to education, 4. independent demography, 5. stable policy, 6. economic openness) 
  • Beyond BRICS, towards African Unity – the opportunities of “friendshoring” in a bi-polar, divided world
  • Metaversanomics – beyond the hype towards digital personal and national identity 

50 years

  • Demographic dividend – keeping human productivity on the asset rather than the liability side of the state leger. 
  • Feeding the future: unlocking the food-energy-water nexus, by planting today, as wise ancestors do
  • Connecting the continent- meme, medium, map and money – opportunities for literally and figuratively connecting Africa to itself and the world, from rail networks to starlink to power grids and frictionless movement of talent and capital
  • Moonshots – taking inspiration from Neom to Nairobi – and looking to the stars.

Contact info@flutrends.co.za for more information.

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