Events

Webinar

Digital Innovations for transitioning to a Circular

Date

Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020

Time

2:00PM GMT+1/WAT | 4:00PM EAT

Recap

Event details

Sustainably managing plastic waste is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. This challenge is exacerbated in Africa due to poor infrastructure and inadequate waste management systems. The circular economy has been tipped to play a significant role in the global shift to a more sustainable planet. Its key principles; reuse, recycle, redesign, remanufacture, reduce and recover, will make a significant impact in managing the high volumes of waste in the ecosystem.

This webinar will highlight the state of Circular Plastic Economy in Africa, identifying opportunities and challenges. Particular emphasis will be on opportunities for digital tools/innovations to manage and accelerate the transition to a circular plastic economy (CPE) in Africa.

Speakers

Victor Boyle-Komolafe

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Davinah Milenge Uwella

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Sunday Leonard

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Dr. Selma Lendelvo

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Dr. Muyiwa Oyinlola

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Patrick Schröder

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Bosun Tijani

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Dr. Geoff Brighty

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Dr. Soroush Abolfathi

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TBC

Focus Group Discussion with Government and Policy makers

TBC

Focus Group Discussion with Digital Innovators and Start-ups

Thurs, 22nd Oct 2020

Focus group Discussion with Digital Innovators and Start-ups

Time

09:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

Country/Region

Southern Africa

Participants

  • Ms Lizzy Banda - Country Director Sunshine Group
  • Ms. Yolanda Makani - Environmental Policy Advocate
  • Mr Chifungu Samazaka - Co-founder Zero waste.Tech
  • Mr Chama Sikazwe - Founder Recycle Planet
  • Mr Rabson Chisha - Business development manager Recyclemania Zambia
  • Mr Ngabili Malumo - Data Analyst Live Clean Zambia

Fri, 16th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Digital Innovators and Start-ups

Time

14:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

The discussion ranged over the challenges for startups: ability to enter regional markets, access to labour, technology, equipment (which may come from outside). Expense of products, and participation of other industries needs supportive legislation about recycled content, extended producer responsibility. Policy needs to go along with awareness, though, and harmonization. Scaling seems to have different barriers depending on the regulatory context, which adjusts competition and incentive. Habits and expectations can be a barrier as well.

Country/Region

East Africa

Participants

  • Leon Nduwayezu - AGROPLAST
  • Aimable Rwanzunga - Managing Director, ESTEEM; Business Development, COPED LTD
  • Gitau WAMUKUI, GreenWise Ldt
  • Gideon Mpungu, Co-Founder, YoWaste Uganda

Fri, 16th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Civil Society

Time

09:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

Discussion of how civil society organizations tend to be holistic in approach and do door to door work. Training on waste separation could be a way to bring back in the informal sector, where there is currently a gap. From direct observation, incentives are missing: could turn-back schemes help? There is a stigma that waste collection is for poor people; but it is a highly active area, with significant mutual selling back and forth. Sense that as a society, we are behind on management and awareness: we do not have statistics on how much may be there, and is also collectable. It was noted that re-use can lead to entry into the waste stream.

Country/Region

Rwanda

Participants

  • Benson Rukabu - Excutive Director, Watoto Vision on Africa
  • John Musemkweli, Rwanda Climate Change Development Network

Thurs, 15th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Academia

Time

10:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

It was established that there is confidence to pursue research in plastic waste management as some governments have shown support and there are great potentials for job creation. Challenges identified in research include a lack of funding or awareness of funding opportunities, lack of multidisciplinary research and unwillingness of plastic producing companies to embrace alternatives. It was also raised that these challenges can be addressed with the development of policies to encourage plastic producers to support research, digital innovations to aid town-and-gown interactions and a need for researchers from different disciplines and institutions to work together. The need to assess the recyclability and marketability of plastic waste in Nigeria was discussed, as well as work done in training the youths on both entrepreneurial and technical skills. A glaring problem observed was that despite the large amount of plastic waste being generated in Nigeria, a shortage of materials to recycle exists. One of the reasons for this is the inability to get plastic waste from source hence the need for citizen education was emphasized.

Country/Region

Nigeria

Participants

  • Ms Edith Iriruaga
  • Engr Chris Ndubisi
  • Dr. James Akanmu
  • Dr. Rose Alani

Thurs, 15th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Academia

Time

12:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

Discussion moved around challenges of the circular economy, strategy of research, and links to academic programs. The material aspects of recycling demand attention to production and use as well as recycling. While collection is Rwanda is good, separation of wastes is a problem. The use of a platform could address the challenge of coordinating multiple stakeholders: waste producers, waste collectors, consumers, and ministries, who may need to work together, sometimes outside of their perceived responsibility. It was noted that academicians could have a better awareness of the problems faced by companies.

There are significant questions related to the specific types of wastes, effects of pollution, and the reality of porous borders with countries that may not have the same regulations. Also, it can be a problem that academics are perceived and perceive themselves as being leaders of an agenda, which can lead to silos without the right input. Civil society and government can be important sources of how plastic waste actually integrates with other problems, and for learning how to include stakeholders. This is especially important when it comes to innovation.

Observation that in pre-proposal stage, policy interest must be gauged to assess what the actual impact of research would be. A perception that there is a lack of financing for alternatives is a problem, that might be partly addressed by new start-up ideas, competitions, or incentives

Country/Region

Rwanda

Participants

  • Telesphore Kabera - Senior Lecturer, University of Rwanda
  • Christian Sekomo - Senior Lecturer, University of Rwanda
  • Elke Nijman - Founder, Circular Africa
  • Kutoma Wakunuma - Associate Professor, DeMontfort University

Wed, 14th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Investors/Funders

Time

13:30 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

"The purpose of this focus group was to discuss aspect related to innovations, nature of investments done to address plastic waste in Namibia and the challenges towards these investments. This discussion led to great engagement with different institutions. It emerged from the discussion that there is not a lot of innovation in circular plastic economy in the country. These examples emanated from a 2017 study commissioned on plastic waste in Namibia. It was suggested to look at other countries and the different innovations to get an idea and what could be feasible for the country. It was raised that there is lack of starts up and SMEs knowledge and awareness on funding opportunities as well as the establishment of financial feasibility projects; this is exacerbated by weak connections between local business and financial institutions. Moreover, it was raised that the current policies are not supportive measures for waste management personnel and start up. A need was raised to strengthen and start capacity building and awareness on waste management at learning institution such as schools to equip the future generations while still young. There was also a crucial point raised on mainstreaming of gender balanced projects, macro-level projects/initiatives are mainly dominated by males and micro projects by females. "

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Mr. Ruan Bestbier - Manager: Sustainable Investments & Deal Origination, Treasury Bank Windhoek
  • Ms. Victoria Kangombe - Content Strategist at Namibia Breweries Limited
  • Ms.Ursula Matzopoulos, Manager, Education Programmes, Pupkewitz foundation
  • Ms. Charity Mwiya - Chief Executive Officer, Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Wed, 14th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Investors/Funders

Time

12:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

The discussion spanned institutional investing, equity investing, and partnerships. It was noted that new companies can be enablers of transition to circular economy (waste management, material design, optimization) , or transformers (business solutions that change the production and supply systems). In general it has been found that there is a lack of fundable private sector projects. The discussion acknowledged that there can be different prospects for investment, at different stages. Growth equity and assistance with business models can be important to scale, before seeking institutional investors, at the first stage. A barrier to further scaling can be the collection capability: as this involves the informal sector, who are entwined with the value chain, that also leads to social impact. The recycling sector then needs attention, and policy makers may be needed to balance the penalties and incentives, in terms of waste generation and recyclable content laws. The final stage of investment opportunity is in innovation: materials, digital organization, collaboration.

The character of good investments was discussed; panelists agreed that key elements are a great business model, with social value creation for communities, and stepping in where the majors (like Coca Cola) do not have systems in place. KPIs can include tonnes of plastic diverted, tonnes recycled, C02 reduction, job creation in marginalized communities, local stakeholder involvement, how much the municipality may be saving. It was observed that a more structured way to leverage academia is needed, and that universities can exert a convening power that can be helpful for coordination. There is already a webbing of institutions in countries like Rwanda that are supportive of the circular economy. Universities and research networks can support by issuing calls, drawing attention to issues of common interest, and matchmaking.

Country/Region

Rwanda

Participants

  • Nathalie Mutalikanwa - Climate Finance Specialist: Rwanda Green Fund - FONERWA
  • Jean Olemu - Co-Founder and Principa GreenDev Inc, Impact

Wed, 14th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Parastatals and projects within government

Time

09:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This discussion included aspects related to the importance of data capturing and applications for quantifying plastic waste in Namibia. It was raised that digital innovation to capture data on waste in general as well as plastic waste is of a great need in the country emphasizing that one cannot manage what you cannot measure. In order for plastic waste economy to transform the socio-economic levels of local people, it requires strengthened relations and collaborated efforts. Moreover for efforts and initiatives to be implemented and operate effectively this requires research for fact findings to understand things on the ground

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Ms. Hilya Shikongo - Manager: Natural Sciences Research,National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST)
  • Mr. Henok Immanuel - Manager: IT, Namibia Statistics Agency
  • Mr Petrus Kosmas - UNDP Namibia

Wed, 14th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Government and Policy makers

Time

13:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This discussion acknowledges the existence of environmental policy/act that yield positive results in terms of plastic waste management such that at the moment plastic bags are accessed at price rather than for free as it was in the past.

The presentation transpired that there is more strengths than weaknesses, hence the strengths should be capitalized. This means that the planed environmental statistic desk with NSA should be expedited to be operational as this will be a reliable source of environmental pollution statistics.

Many African countries are known in the formulation of good policies and acts, and very poor in the coordination and enforcement of those policies.

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Mr. Olimpio Nhuleipo Environmental economist/Deputy Director Ministry Of Environment, Forestry & Tourism (MEFT)
  • Mr. Salmo Djuulume Chief Environmental Officer, Division: Environmental Information And Natural Resource Economics, Ministry Of Environment, Forestry & Tourism (MEFT)
  • Ms. Saara Niitenge, Trade Statistician: Namibia Statistics Agency

Tue 13th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Waste Management Organisations

Time

13:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

The event was a dialogue among waste management officials from City of Kigali, a significant waste depot with plastic recycling plans, companies that pursue collections and production of products from plastic waste, and a major beverage manufacturer that creates plastic models. Topics covered included barriers and commercial realities of plastic waste, collection and business modalities, and regulatory arrangements. It was stated that government incentives are key in order for companies to invest; for example, requiring use of recycled content in construction. A move by government regulators to compel manufacturers to recycle their waste in a cooperative (EPR) will be pivotal to develop meaningful and sustained processing of plastic waste, with the help of a bridge between collectors and recyclers.

Digital solutions have been helpful in arranging collections and trading between recyclers. It can still be a challenge that multiple companies are responsible for plastic waste.

Country/Region

Rwanda

Participants

  • Aimable Rwanzungu - Managing Director/ Business Development, ESTEEM / COPED LTD
  • MJoyce Gachugi Waweru - Country Program Manager, PETCO
  • Gathoni Methu - Project Officer, PETCO
  • John Mugabo - Solid Waste Specialist, City of Kigali
  • Parfait Mahoro - OEHS Manager, Inyange Industries Limited
  • Pascal Gatete - Managing Director, Depot Kalisimbi

Tue 13th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Government and Policy makers

Time

09:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

The event started with a discussion of issues that prevent policy from really being carried out, in particular around the single-use plastics ban in Rwanda. Invitation to Invest in alternative packaging is slow to be accepted. Also, there is limited public awareness on negative impact of plastic waste on environment, and limited enforcement of regulations at the grass roots level. It is hard to convince a trader or business person, because business people see short term benefit, rather than long term impact.

Efforts have included working together with use, making environmental leadership awards. There is an effort to domesticate an environmental levy in the tax regime. Outreach takes substantial energy, even if there are regulatory tools. Outreach is done on the radio to make people aware of collections. The main actors include government but also waste handlers and especially communities. There is an interest in employment opportunities derived from plastic waste, targeting both men and women, and some gender differences are perceived. At recycling companies, many people are involved after collections; women are distinguished by doing waste washing perfectly. Women are also agents of change: convincing family members, influencing attitude on household level. They are a cornerstone of waste management, and are also predominantly in charge of cooking, and therefore the creation of waste. Outreach is targeted directly at women in this regard. It is also noted that the cleaning services industry is 75% women. Habits such as milk consumption are central to the discussion of behavioral change.

There is an attempt to incentivize collection of plastic waste, and identify alternatives from the banana value chain. After the plastics ban, an opportunity was created to invest into other packaging solutions, and 9 companies now are involved in plastic recycling. This includes cooperatives at grass root levels: widows manufacturing environmentally friendly packaging, development of products from water hyacinth, and plastic paver.

Country/Region

Rwanda

Participants

  • Mr. Faustin Munyazikwiye , Deputy Director General, Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA)
  • Dr. Olivier Kamana , Head of Department of Applied Research & Development Foresight Incubatio, National Industrial Research Development Agency (NIRDA)
  • Mr. Philbert Niyonzima , Senior Officer in charge of Solid waste management, Rwanda utility Regulatory Authority (RURA)

Wed, 7th Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Academia

Time

09:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This focus group discussed wide range of aspects related but not limited to existing innovative solutions in waste management, circular plastic economy and some waste management projects. A general overview of various innovative examples and possible usage of plastic waste was given. It was pointed out that no structured coordinated response to plastic waste currently exists. Efforts are being undertaken to ensure that a waste management national data base is established for the country, this requires coordinated efforts and collaborations at various level. Regarding academic outputs related to waste management, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) coordinated several waste management project involving postgraduate students. The University of Namibia participants were more involved in teaching waste management to engineering and agriculture students. There were also views that there are cultural barriers related to plastic waste collection as this is manly seen as a dirty job for the poor people. A creation of socio-cultural incentives could contribute to reducing and discourage throwing away of plastics. Most students doing research on waste management were said to be women.

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Dr. Jack Kambatuka - HOD: Integrated Environmental Science, University of Namibia
  • Dr. Gotfried Uiseb - Lecturer - Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Namibia
  • Prof Damas Mashauri - Professor - Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Namibia
  • Dr. Lameck Mwewa - Senior Lecturer, Associate Dean:: Geo-Spatial Sciences and Technology, Namibia University of Science and Technology

Fri, 2nd Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Waste Management personnel

Time

10:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This discussion revealed challenges faced by waste management personnel. The participant from City of Windhoek had difficulties connecting and gave his views through email. During this meeting a chain of waste collection and handling in Namibia was illustrated where most of the waste collected and processed and exported to South Africa, leaving little room for Namibian companies to benefit adequately.
An issue of compost waste raised some contradicting views among the participants. It was suggested that it is important for the country to establish recycling facilities and be independent as there has been problems of transporting waste to neighboring countries such as South Africa.

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Mr. Moses Ashipala -System Analyst: Licensing & Investigations, City of Windhoek
  • Mr. Jan-Hendrik Duvenhage - Founder, Jhdtrust
  • Ms. Milne Hazel - Program Coordinator, Eco Awards

Thurs, 1st Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Civil Society

Time

13:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

The discussions raised gaps in legislation guiding waste in Namibia, for instance plastic waste levies are introduced but the implementation is not enforced or not strict enough as there are no fines imposed for littering or contravening with law on waste. In addition to waste sorted at landfills and waste collected by recycling facilities, it was raised that systems and/or technologies for tracking waste nationally still need to be developed or established. There was a point raised regarding creating waste facilities like a waste bank. Additionally, it was suggested to consider introducing training in various technologies related to plastic wastes and technical experts are required for such advancements. Although waste management initiatives are viable and waste management personnel are doing their part, it was raised that lack of funding/investments, awareness and networking for waste management is hindering the success of these initiatives. There is a need for multi-layer collaboration involving the government, businesses and civil societies. There is also a need to sensitize the people for behavioural change on general waste and management. People need to view waste as a resource and not waste. It was raised that incentives for waste collection by waste pickers in the country is rather low or marginal, this has discouraged interest and participation. As a result it was recommended to increase incentives for collecting waste to be appealing such as a living wage. Women are highly involved on the ground, but limited in decision-making of policies and strategies.

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Mrs. Anita Witt - Coordinator, Recycle Namibia Forum
  • Mr. Gotlieb Sheya - Coordinator, Development workshop of Namibia
  • Mr. David Ayimbo - Senior Research Technician, Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)
  • Ms. Raili Hasheela - Co-Director, Integrated Environmental Management Solutions
  • Ms. Elize Shakalela - Lecturer/ Activist, Waste management activst and Unam

Thurs, 1st Oct 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Digital Innovators and Start-ups

Time

08:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This discussion was attended mainly by different starts-ups and waste management activists. The discussion was mainly central on the aspects on the importance of plastic waste management and lack of data on plastics waste that enters the country and that which is recycled. The need for creating/developing technologies for data capturing, storage and transforming plastic waste into value addition products, was highlighted.

There was a call to involve institution of higher learning eg. universities to facilitate discussion with government based on facts and data regarding plastic waste in the country. In addition, a point made to establish engagements at the national level with waste management institutions, local authorities and community in both urban and rural areas to enable collective efforts and increased collaboration.
Presented during these discussions was a store initiating the reduction of plastic waste by encouraging the sale of second hand items for the purpose of promoting re-use of item. An interesting point was to initiate different waste management projects involving community awareness initiatives

Country/Region

Namibia

Participants

  • Ms. Luze Klopper - Manager , Recycle Lab
  • Ms. Florenas Amadhila - Founder , Epupa Cleaning Services
  • Mr. Tanswell Rooinasie - Activist, Let's Do It Namibia
  • Mrs. Christina Boehm - Founder, Zero Waste Sotre
  • Ms. Brigitte Reisnner - Founder, 2nd hand concept store
  • Ms. Liina Mutilifa - Director, Green Earth Creation
  • Ms. Adolfine Indongo - SHE coordinator, Impact
  • Mr. Ignatious Jingara - Founder , Inspired technology/E-waste

Tue, 29th Sep 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Civil Society

Time

13:00 PM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This was an interesting conversation with major players in the civil society space. A major point raised was the need to transform plastic waste into commercially viable products that can provide income streams and employment opportunities for the populace. Reuse of plastic for the same purpose must also be encouraged and standards and policies must be developed especially for food-grade plastic.

Another issue raised was that it is pertinent to go beyond sporadic cleanups to a more sustainable plastic waste management culture. This will happen by advocating and engaging the community in both urban and rural areas. There must be education of the youth as they make up most of the population. A call was also made for increased collaboration between the several players so that they can cover more ground together.

Country/Region

Nigeria

Participants

  • Mrs Arese Onaghise - Executive Secretary, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA)
  • Dr. Dorothy Bassey, National President of the Nigerian Environmental Society
  • Mr. Bankole Oloruntoba, CEO of the Nigerian Climate Innovation Center
  • Mr Adamu Garba, Senior Investment Analyst, Nigerian Climate Innovation Center
  • Mrs. Afolasade Nubi (Moderator) University of Lagos

Tue, 29th Sep 2020

Focus Group Discussion with Waste Management Organisations

Time

11:00 AM GMT+1/WAT

About Event

This focus group led to an engaging conversation and a lot of germane points were raised. From the discussions, it appears that the recyclers and collectors are playing their part but the producers and the producer responsibility organizations (PROs) need to do more. It was put forward that policies to address this gap need to be developed and effected. Apart from the producers, organizations that generate a lot of plastic waste need to be more involved in the drive to a circular plastic economy. There needs to be multi-layer collaboration among the government, businesses and societies. Another major point raised was the need for more incentives to encourage people to be involved in plastic waste management. Various examples of where this has been used were given. It was also noted that a lot of data on plastic waste management was not available and this needs to be worked on. Another major problem faced by the waste management organizations was that of logistics.

Some solutions like alert systems and apps were suggested. Another problem was the exorbitant fines the organizations had been charged just for carrying out their activities. It was suggested that tax holidays be given to these organizations and a general revision of the relevant government policies to enhance the effective running of their businesses. It was also recommended that the independent scavengers and recyclers need to be well integrated into a system that works.

Country/Region

Nigeria

Participants

  • Idu Okwuosa - Founder of Lasgidi Recyclers
  • Ashade Abdulsalam Abiodun - Executive Director, Green Janitor's Sustainable Initiative
  • Omoh Alokwe - Street Waste Company Limited
  • Blessing Onyelekwe - AFRICAN CLEAN UP INITIATIVE

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