Green jobs, livelihoods and the post-carbon economy in African cities


Charisma Acey, Thomas Culhane


Africa, biofuel, green jobs, green livelihoods, informal economy, livelhoods


Local Environment

Year Published:


Policy Summary

The article analyzes how green jobs are defined and what ramifications that has on expanding the green economy in African countries. Increased urbanization in African cities has supported green livelihoods (and improved household income) in urban agriculture, solar energy, and biofuels. NGOs in Africa have been a key player in the expansion of green labor markets and industries across the continent. Some countries politicital structure provides subsidies for non-renewable energy sources, while green energies are not incentivizedin any amount. Local regulation of green energy is hotly contested because the big-energy companies in African countries want the energy services to remain consolidated. Importantly, cooking fuel is a major source of energy use in Africa, more so than energy used to heat living spaces. The author argues that there should be a shift from a green jobs approach to a green livelihoods approach. A green livelihoods approach shapes demand for renewable energy by focusing on increasing food security for all. This supports healthier livelihoods as well as greener energy use because cooking fuel and heating water account for the top energy users in African countries. Additionally, by providing green jobs from the bottom-up direct positive impact’s on people’s livelihoods will occur. By focusing on food security there are also direct increases in green energy production and consumption.