Africa’s natural wealth is key to fighting poverty – UN

Africa must harness its teeming mineral, freshwater, tourism and land resources to help fight poverty, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a report titled "Our Environment, Our Wealth" on Tuesday.

"The report challenges the myth that Africa is poor. Indeed, it points out that its vast natural wealth can … be the basis for an African renaissance," said UNEP’s new executive director Achim Steiner.

But he warned that without changes in policy or sufficient funding "Africa may take a far more unsustainable track that would see an erosion of its nature-based wealth and a slide into ever deeper poverty".

UNEP urged African leaders to consider a range of solutions to conserve the environment from water saving irrigation systems to increasing the amount of land for agricultural use by putting government-held land into production.

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