Almost every African country has recently begun to plan for the future by developing strategies that will shape the future economy and environment of the nation.
Actions such as the National Environment Action Plans (NEAPs) and National Conservation Strategies, as well
as many problem-specific initiatives, are being taken by governments concerned about the future of their environments.
Planning for the future requires participation by the government at the national and local levels, the private sector, environmentalist groups, and the people. In addition, many African countries are beginning to develop special government agencies or other groups intended to coordinate environmental efforts.
In some countries, environmental progress is leapfrogging
that made by the more modern and wealthier nations of the world. For example, the constitution of Mali says that everyone has the right to a healthy environment.
More commonly though, African nations are trying to emulate some of the techniques that have been successfully employed in more environmentally-aware nations. For example, countries like Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Benin, and Cote d'Ivoire have all written environmental laws and established agencies to
enforce these policies.
Many countries are also beginning environmental education projects to increase public awareness and concern. Some governments are also beginning training programs to develop environmental experts who can lead national efforts. The governments also hope to promote more responsible environmental behavior among citizens.