Promoting sustainability through education in Africa is a business responsibility too

24 January, 2024

By Ana González, Agronomical Engineer at Incatema.

The International Education Day, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly, emphasizes the importance of education for sustainable development and building a fairer world.

At Incatema, we wish to celebrate this day by reflecting on the benefits of promoting sustainable growth through education in the African continent.

Africa, with its rich cultural and environmental diversity, is in a key position to lead the transition towards a more sustainable future. Education plays a fundamental role in this process, empowering future generations to address the socio-environmental challenges the continent faces, such as access to water, soil conservation, biodiversity preservation, or adaptation to climate change. Challenges are opportunities to adopt sustainable practices and build a more equitable society. That is why we understand that cross-cutting training in sustainability is essential to understand the connections in the triad environment-society-economy.

For over 25 years, Incatema has been working in the African continent implementing water management infrastructures, both to provide access to drinking water and to treat wastewater and improve sanitation. We also develop agricultural and blue economy development projects, leading to the enhancement of food quality and production while respecting and conserving the natural environment. In all these projects, we prioritize involved stakeholders training and capacity building, as recommended by UNESCO. We believe that it is a companies’ duty, not just NGOs, governments, and international cooperation, to develop relevant and accessible training programs in rural and remote areas, which are usually the most disadvantaged. Through training in agricultural, fishing, and water use practices in the projects we work on, Incatema actively participates and supports sustainable transformation as a catalyst for positive change.

A good example is the project we have been implementing since 2020 in Cuanza Norte and Malanje provinces in Angola, where we provide training in good agricultural practices and water use with a significant component of environmental education to various stakeholders in the value chains of staple Angolan diet products (grains, cassava, banana, sweet potato or poultry), horticulture, and other agroforestry crops (coffee and cocoa). This training aims at improving agricultural products productivity and quality while prioritizing environmental protection and agroforestry ecosystems. To achieve this, we have designed solutions that address training in efficient water use, environmental protection, sustainability, and the involvement of youth and women in farm management and decision-making, among other aspects.

If we continue to invest in sustainability training, we can build a future in which future generations can face the challenges of sustainable growth with creativity, knowledge, and understanding, contributing to global sustainable development.