A Comparative Study Of Public Policy And The Environment: The Cases Of Nigeria, Egypt And South Africa

Olugbenga, Ebenezer Olatunji,


This paper examines environmental policymaking and implementation in the African states of South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt, against the backdrop of environmental challenges currently facing the continent. Against the backdrop of experiences from these countries, it argues that, there is a variation in public response to environmental issues amongst African states, particularly with respect to environmental policymaking and implementation. It notes that while a few countries in the continent are addressing environmental issues in concrete ways, others are yet to place this important issue on the front burner of public discourse. As a result, several of these countries are getting faced with the reality of environmental challenges for which they lack adequate responses in terms of strong institutional support and an alert, motivated and interested public. While noting the nexus between environmental sustainability and extracting the resource endowments of these countries for development, the paper argues that visionary environmental policy can be a potent weapon in pursuit of the developmental agenda of these countries. Using the comparative approach, the paper identifies some obstacles in the way of evolving sustainable public policy responses to environmental concerns in several African states. Among other options that can become open to African states in the immediate and near future, the paper recommends a continental commitment to the cause of the environment by using the instrumentality of the African Union (AU) for promoting this cause among African governments. This, it is believed, can boost the formation and encouragement of strong coalitions of environmental advocacy groups within the legislatures, the bureaucracies, the corporate world and civil society. This, it is believed, should help to galvanize social action in support of creating a positive atmosphere for environmental policy to thrive as a means of resolving environmental challenges that are facing the continent.

Key words: Environmental Policy, Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Advocacy Groups

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