The environment is a source of opportunity for everyone, everywhere. This is the message Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), wanted to convey during his visit to New York.
A participant in the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Mr. Thiaw, whose office is based in Nairobi, stressed that Africa is a continent in transition which sees the environment as an opportunity for its development.
“Many well-educated young people enter the labor market and find through the environment an opportunity to innovate, create jobs and do business,” he said in an interview with UN Info.
For the Deputy Executive Director, the combination of technology and the environment can create enormous opportunities, not only in Africa, but also across the world.
“In 10 years, you will no longer have a bank account, your account will be on your mobile phone. In 10 years, we will no longer have a bank card, as the digitalization of commerce is underway. It is in Kenya that the first financial transaction was made on a mobile phone and it works enormously well ”, gave as examples Mr. Thiaw recalling that with the strongest cellular penetration,“ Africa is a continent which is particularly open to technologies ”.
Last week, 15 African start-ups were honored this week by UNEP for their planet-friendly innovations, demonstrating that “the environment is not a burden, that it is business and that there is opportunities to create jobs and wealth ”.