Africa’s urbanization rate is 3.5%, the highest in the world. Due to the rapid urbanization in recent years, municipal solid waste management has become a big challenge for many cities, as lower-income cities in Africa are expected to double their municipal solid waste generation within the next 15-20 years.
UN-Habitat, with different partners, is working to address this ever-increasing waste issue in the urbanizing continent.
One of them is the African Clean Cities Platform (ACCP), which was established in 2017 in Maputo, Mozambique, with 24 African countries representative together with the Ministry of Environment of Japan (MoEJ), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the City of Yokohama, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) with the aim of sharing knowledge and good practice and promoting investment in waste management to realize clean cities in Africa by 2030.
UN-Habitat, with support from The United Nations for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), is implementing a project in Sierra Leone, South-South Cooperation in Sustainable Waste Management – Waste Wise Koidu, supported by the Government of China, facilitating city-to-city knowledge, experience exchanges and partnerships brokering through the form of south-south and triangular collaboration.
With the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA), UN-Habitat is providing capacity development training on waste and energy in the Covid-19 recovery context for Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Kenya promoting city-to-city cooperation and knowledge sharing around municipal solid waste management to mitigate climate change.
As a part of a joint effort of various initiatives above, the Africa Waste Webinar Series aim to share knowledge and experiences to tackle common challenges in solid waste management observed in the continent so that the member countries and cities can interactively learn solutions for improved solid waste management and shift towards urban circular economy. The webinar series consists of below five webinars:
- How to Improve Waste Collection Rate in African Cities?
- Covid Waste Management in Africa
- How to Turn Open Dumpsites to Controlled Waste Disposal Facility in African Cities?
- Waste and climate change – Appropriate technologies and good practices in Africa
- Plastic pollution from waste – How to “stop the tap” of plastic leakage in African cities?
COP 26 in 2021 also highlighted the prevention of methane from open burning and open dumping from waste management. Open burning is a common practice of waste disposal at generation point where people lack access to waste collection services, and most of the municipal solid waste generated in the African continent is currently disposed in open dumpsites. These are a major source of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon. The last webinar focused on this topic, recognizing the current status and challenges with different ACCP members, exploring appropriate solutions.