African delegates chart the way forward in creating clean cities
The meeting was held under the auspices of the ACCP to exchange knowledge and experiences and to form partnerships with people who face similar challenges.
A total of 566 people from 48 countries took part in a virtual exchange where recommendations were made on how to achieve clean cities and transition to a circular economy on the African continent.
The meeting was held under the auspices of the African Clean Cities Programme (ACCP) to exchange knowledge and experiences and to form partnerships with people who face similar challenges in African solid waste management.
Every three years, the ACCP Assemblies are held in conjunction with TICAD to share knowledge and experiences (Tokyo International Conference on African Development).
Following the first two meetings in Rabat, Morocco in 2018 and Yokohama, Japan in 2019, the third Assembly was held in Tunis on July 25-29, 2022, one month before TICAD 8, as part of the preparation process.
The ACCP members recorded the outcomes of activities outlined in the Yokohama Action Guidance, which was adopted at the Second Assembly in 2019 and agreed on ACCP activities for the next three years.
Participants actively discussed the challenges and exchanged knowledge and experience for improved solid waste management, aided by digital technologies and the new online format. A business matching platform was also established to showcase the innovative circular economy solutions offered by African private companies.
"Our meeting reflects the importance of shared responsibility in the effort to fight against environmental degradation," said Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Tunisia, who opened the Assembly, calling for more cities in Tunisia and Africa to join the platform.
Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Japan's Minister of the Environment, spoke about the link between waste and climate change, as well as the critical role improved solid waste management plays in combating plastic pollution, reaffirming Japan's commitment to continuing support for the ACCP.
Many best practices were shared, including waste data monitoring and action planning with the Waste Wise Cities Tool, controlled landfill site management with the Fukuoka Method, and awareness-raising activities. On the second and third days of the meeting, presenters introduced new opportunities for solid waste management training programs.
"SDG indicator 11.6.1 baselining survey and action planning supported by UN-Habitat informed the governments and other stakeholders. This led to new funding mobilisation to various projects to tackle plastic pollution", said Godfrey Nato, County Executive Committee Member of Mombasa County, Kenya, whose presentation provoked many questions from the other African participants.
Heidi Solba, founder of 'Let's Do It World' from Estonia, introduced and called for action to join World Cleanup Day on 17 September 2022.
"Even without a budget, you can create a partnership with the private sector or different embassies, making the event to work with community and people to clean your city, with joy", she added.
On the fourth day, active participation from the private sector shared innovations and solutions on the ground.
"In the West, financing is done through the government through tenders. In Africa, this model doesn't work.
“For various reasons, African governments lack the financial capacity to adopt the Western model. Most waste collected is done by the private sector in Africa. The average gate fee to dump 1 ton of waste in the US is USD 50, while the average gate fee for the same amount of waste in Africa is one dollar", Daniel Paffenholz, CEO of Taka Taka Solutions from Kenya, stated as he shared the reality of solid waste finance in Africa.
"Newly available data on SWM in the supply chain management can open the new financing such as carbon finance and plastic fund. We can't underestimate the power of data," noted Victor Boyle-Komolafe, Founder, GIVO, from Nigeria.
Donor communities also attended the Assembly, expressing their desire to strengthen their relationship with the ACCP. "We are interested in developing meaningful projects in Africa using UN tools and knowledge such as the Waste Wise Cities Tool and SDG data," said Jonas Byström, European Investment Bank's Waste Management and Circular Economy Expert.
The Assembly concluded with the adoption of the Tunis Action Guidance, which governs ACCP's activities in the coming years until 2025, the year of TICAD 9.