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April 28, 2017

Establishment of the African Clean Cities Platform: Aiming to solve waste problems in Africa’s cities

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On April 27, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) joined 24 African countries [1], the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the City of Yokohama in establishing the African Clean Cites Platform, in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique. The launch ceremony for the platform was attended by the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development of Mozambique, Celso Ismael Correia, the President of the Municipal Council of Maputo, David Simango, the State Minister of the Environment of Japan, Tadahiko Ito, and the Director General of the Global Environment Department of JICA, Kunihiro Yamauchi, and a declaration on the establishment of the platform to provide support for solving Africa’s waste issues was announced.

As part of the follow-up to the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), the African Clean Cites Platform has the objectives of sharing the knowledge of and experiences in waste management of each country, promoting the mobilization of public and private funds, and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [2]. In addition, the platform aims to achieve “Clean and Healthy Cities in Africa” by 2030, which is the SDG target date, through training, seminars, data collection, the dissemination of information and other efforts.

With economic growth and rapidly rising populations, Africa’s cities face waste issues that are growing ever more severe. Initiatives for improving urban living environments are priorities for achieving healthy living for people and maintaining sustainable growth. The SDGs include the first international targets established for waste disposal [3], and every country is seeking solutions to waste problems.

At TICAD VI, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016, JICA hosted a side event titled the “Capacity Development to Achieve the SDGs on Waste Management: Toward Clean and Healthy Cities in Africa.” In the seminar, there was reaffirmation of the urgency of appropriate waste management, which is closely connected to people’s lives, in order to improve the poor sanitation in African cities, and of the need for a platform to prioritize waste management policies in Africa and to promote international partnerships and the sharing of information. With that background, JICA has worked cooperatively with the MOEJ, the UNEP and UN-Habitat to prepare for the establishment of the African Clean Cities Platform.

Under the platform, the governments of each country and partner agencies will cooperate in sharing knowledge, developing information and mobilizing funds toward solving Africa’s waste problems and achieving the SDGs.

1: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

2: Sustainable Development Goals

At the UN Sustainable Development Summit held at the United Nations headquarters in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was unanimously adopted by the 193 member countries and the SDGs were established as successors to the Millennium Development Goals formulated in 2001. The SDGs are composed of 17 goals and 169 targets that encompass such issues as climate change, renewable energy and urbanization issues that remain after the MDGs or that have newly appeared, and were determined as challenges for the international community to work toward achieving by 2030.

3: Major goals and targets pertaining to waste
Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities): Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production): Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
12.3: By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
12.4: By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

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