Port Elizabeth: 12 July 2017
Fairly advanced first world waste management methods may be attractive but may have one crucial weakness – an apparent severe limitation in terms of generating employment opportunities.
That is among important issues some participants at this year’s African Marine Waste Conference currently on in Port Elizabeth are grappling with, this against the backdrop of high unemployment rates in developing countries in Africa, including this year’s conference host country, South Africa.
Mr Thabo Magomola, a director for monitoring and evaluation at the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and a member of a project team tasked with the establishment of a Waste Management Bureau to manage the implementation of the DEA’s strategic waste management programmes such as the Industry Waste Management Plan, is among participants at the African Marine Waste Conference consumed with the subject of future waste management strategies and job creation.
Presenting on a topic themed Circular economy employment and SME development in southern Africa, Mr Magomola suggested that there was a missing link between much need job creation in Africa and current and future waste management strategies.
This required creative thinking and solutions responding to developing countries’ need for job creation rather than whole adaption without adaptation of first world methods in waste management.
According to Mr Magomola, an expected population increase in South Africa in particular, by as much as eight (8) millions people by 2030, but with further projections that in that period, the segment of South Africa’s youth (15-29 age group) will have risen to more than 15-million, with largely black youth between ages 15-34 year’s old currently unemployed and with little prospect, this presented a massive challenge for job creation across sectors.
‘If left unresolved this trend poses the single greatest risk to social stability. Goal 8 of the (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals seeks the creation of decent work and economic growth. The African Marine Waste Network in conjunction with Government and other roleplayers can realize this objective through the adoption of relevant best practices which can be found in Africa,’ he said.
He cited as an example the recent launch of a Recycling Enterprise Support Programme by the Waste Management Bureau of the DEA as one initiative towards finding balance between the two key issues: best practice waste management programs and job creation.
Ahead of his presentation at the conference this week, The 10th Province blog caught up with to squeeze more out of him about the subject.
Africa’s youth want in on solutions to waste management
Mauritian, Mr Rick-Ernest Bonnier, a Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders patron and marine education specialist in his home country, is among dozens of young people making up the more than 200 high profile delegates attending the African Marine Waste Conference in Port Elizabeth this week and there is a reason. Young people should be part of the solution finding initiative, he told this blog on the sidelines of the conference.
In the two (2) minutes video below, he explains why.