Int'l community mulls cooperation in waste management in Africa

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NAIROBI, June 6 (Xinhua) -- On the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations Habitat Assembly in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, participants mulled cooperation in promoting effective waste management in African countries to preserve the environment and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Government officials, industry leaders and researchers held a conference Tuesday to rally support to promote waste recycling and create jobs in developing a circular economy.

Festus Ng'eno, principal secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry of Kenya, said that robust policies combined with financing, adoption of technologies and innovations, are key to promoting a circular economy in Africa.

Providing technical skills and funds for African youth will spur the growth of recycling enterprises, which are important for urban renewal in the continent, Ng'eno said.

Kenya has partnered with other African countries to share best practices, experience and expertise required to promote waste recycling as a business, Ng'eno added.

The value of municipal solid waste generated in Africa is estimated at 8 billion U.S. dollars annually, according to the East African Business Council, an umbrella organization of the private sector in East Africa.

It added that only a small amount of solid waste is recycled in the continent, mainly by informal players, thereby escalating a pollution crisis in cities and towns.

John Bosco Kalisa, chief executive officer of the East African Business Council, said that sustainable waste management is key to the realization of a green, resilient, prosperous and inclusive future for African cities.

Kalisa said that businesses had prioritized investments in waste recycling as it would improve health and economic outcomes for local communities. Enditem

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