Nothing to waste: Seizing agro-waste to create jobs and wellbeing
October 31, 2019, 13:00 – 17:00, FAO Regional Office for Africa (RAF)
- Every day, the Ghanaian capital of Accra produces more than 3,000 metric tonnes of waste. Unfortunately, that’s not unusual: around the world, highly-populated communities with poor waste management systems and unhealthy disposal practices rack up similarly grim statistics.
- In Accra — one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa — unmanaged domestic waste is often dumped into open spaces, streams or rivers, while agricultural outputs also result in water and land pollution. Over 47% of Ghana’s population is exposed to pollution that exceeds the maximum allowable rates. In economic terms, poor sanitation costs Ghana’s economy around US$290 million per year, which works out to around 1.6% of its GDP.
- Although these issues are yet to be resolved at the national level, innovative projects and entrepreneurs are emerging and offering solutions at the local government and small-business scale. For instance, a community in Tamale, Northern Ghana, is harnessing rice husks to build eco-toilets; meanwhile, in Kumasi in the south, young students are organized into small enterprises to recycle plastic and clear up agricultural land.
Photo by Patrick Sheperd/CIFOR
The National Dialogue Ghana 2019 will bring together experts, practitioners, policy-makers and citizens in an interactive session in Accra on October 31st, with the aim of making connections between existing solutions, and improving current waste management models and practices.
Supported by the Global Landscape Forum,the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO), and the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL), the dialogue will address the following questions: what are the main kinds of agricultural waste in Ghana, and how can they be turned into useful material? What is the relationship between general waste and agriculture in the country? And, how can we leverage the waste management sector to create opportunities for youth from different backgrounds?
Following on from the Global Landscapes Forum’s Accra conference, the National Dialogue offers a deeper opportunity to connect with local actors on one of Ghana’s biggest challenges. There is real potential to transform Ghana’s waste into profitable inputs to generate better living standards, new job opportunities, and landscape restoration across the African continent and beyond.
- Exploring practical solutions for the agro-waste management sector
- Developing pathways for upscaling focal agro-waste management initiatives and creating jobs that contribute to landscape restoration
- Building collaborative networks between organizations implementing agro-waste solutions
- Addressing the fragmentation of present innovations in waste management
Apply if you are:
- A Ghanaian citizen or resident seeking ways to overcome waste issues that affect your community
- A decisionmaker from the public or private sector
- An academic, technical expert or entrepreneur in the field of waste and/or agricultural management
In the morning of October 31st, youth leaders and activists will be gathered in a Youth National Dialogue to start a regional consultation on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.