Focusing on sustainability through science and technology, this paper looks at the key environmental challenges for Africa in the near future. It also identifies environmental best practices and addresses the need for action before looking at ways forward.It is predicted that Africa will be particularly vulnerable to climate change and associated problems. African economies are closely linked to natural resources and rely heavily on agriculture. Although agricultural development is central to African economies, it has a long history of being considered of secondary importance in economic development. As the current food crisis shows, it is important to rethink not only agricultural policies, but also agricultural practices and particularly the role that science and innovation can play to address development and sustainability challenges.
The paper concludes by looking at the way forward. Key points include:
higher priority has to be given to scientific research and the development of environmentally sound technologies
African countries need to make use of advanced technologies to provide a range of new applications in agriculture, health, and environmental management
investing in new technologies will require specific investments in public and private scientific and technological research infrastructures
as there now is a better understanding of the importance of environmental services for economic development, African countries should seize the opportunity to move Japanese technologies to applications in Africa.