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Research centre marries disciplines for a sustainable mining futur

Although mining faces severe challenges in the existing economic conditions, it remains an important sector for growth and transformation in Africa. So at the heart of any strategy to achieve resilience in African mining lies the requirement for appropriate knowledge, capability, attitude and behaviour of the mining leaders of the future.

Modern approaches

As a result of this need, a multidisciplinary Mining Resilience Research Centre (MRRC) has been established at the University of Pretoria (UP) to focus on research activities within the mining industry and to develop lasting partnerships with leading international research and academic institutions.

“Issues around legacy, responsibility, impact and innovation need to be addressed in order to achieve a sustainable mining industry in Africa. Establishing the MRRC is the result of thorough industry consultation.”

“The main aim of this centre is to provide modern approaches, world-class facilities and globally relevant topics, making it possible for researchers to excel and for the industry to build capacity,” explains Professor Jan du Plessis, Sasol Chair in Health, Safety and Environment in the Department of Mining Engineering at UP.

Mining inextricably linked to Africa’s future

The World Bank has said that Africa is home to about 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, 10% of the world’s oil, and 8% of the world’s natural gas. In South Africa the mining industry is responsible for an estimated 19% of all economic activity and supports at least another 25 % of up and downstream economic activities. Despite this considerable wealth on the continent, it is plagued by poverty, social inequality, and slow economic development.

However, mining remains a key driver for growth and is inextricably linked to Africa’s future – with mining comes employment and skills development, investment in education, the construction of infrastructure and the generation of much-needed revenue.

Envisaged collaborations

  • Mining education with the aim to co-create, develop and adopt a resilient African mining model as the blueprint for mine designs of the future.
  • New technologies including mechanised mining, automation, robotics and the associated workplace order and culture.
  • Socio-economic aspects of mining, on how empowered, technologically enabled and educated communities relate to mining operations.
  • Mining governance in Africa to meet the highest standards.

 

Fully-integrated centre

Faculties that currently form part of the MRRC are humanities, natural and agricultural sciences, economic and management sciences, engineering, built environment and information technology and law.

In the future more of the university’s faculties involved in mining research will become part of the MRRC activities, making it a fully integrated mining research centre. The MRRC is currently busy with six research projects in engineering, built environment and humanities.
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Supporting African Jobs, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development Through Aviation

Aviation is vital to the modern, globalised world, supporting millions of jobs and driving economic growth. But the benefits of connectivity must be protected with appropriate support from governments if the air transport sector is to help fulfil its potential as a connector of people, trade and tourism and a driver of sustainable development. These are the conclusions drawn in a new report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders, issued by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

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Worldwide, aviation supports 62.7 million jobs and generates $2.7 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP). Not only does air transport provide significant economic benefits, but it also plays a major role in the social development of people and communities all over the globe, allowing people to travel for educational opportunities and cultural exchange, more broadly. Across Africa, specifically, air transport supports 6.8 million jobs and contributes $72.5 billion to the African continent’s GDP.

In the next 20 years, forecasts suggest that aviation-supported jobs worldwide will increase to over 99 million and GDP to $5.9 trillion. Africa is the second-fastest growing region in the world as far as international air traffic is concerned. However, the overly strict regulatory environment in the region must be simplified if Africa’s true economic potential is to be realised. For decades, industry leaders have been urging governments in Africa to unlock this potential by moving ahead with the policy of open skies in the region, allowing aviation services to flourish and continue to support growth. Industry costs in Africa, including passenger fees, are among the highest in the world. These regulatory arrangements should be improved, according to industry experts in the region.

ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, says that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations highlights a number of goals that the international community should strive to achieve by 2030: “We found that air transport in some way supports 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, from decent work and economic growth to quality education and reduced inequalities. By continuing to grow in a sustainable manner, aviation can strive to be a force for good for many years to come.”

“A significant factor in our work on sustainable development is the industry’s world-leading climate action plan. We need support from governments around the world to agree on a key part of that plan at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly, where we hope an agreement can be reached on a global offsetting scheme for air transport. It is a vital part of our industry’s future role in helping to support development worldwide.”

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Elijah Chingoso, Secretary General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA): “Sustainable development of air transport in Africa requires that the industry be fully liberalised, industry costs are brought down to global standards through adhering to ICAO stipulations as well as removal of constraints to the development of the industry such as monopolies and visa requirements. Reliable aviation infrastructure, efficient, inexpensive and sustainable transport services are crucial for speedy socio-economic development, regional integration and for the continent’s competitiveness in the global economy.”

Boni Dibate, Director Africa Affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO): “As the second fastest growing region for international air traffic, Africa needs efficient, cost-effective and safe air traffic management (ATM) infrastructure to fully realise the economic benefits of aviation. CANSO is working hard with its industry partners to improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of ATM across Africa, by improving safety through its standard of excellence; providing training; disseminating best practice; and promoting opportunities for collaborative decision-making. States have a key role to play by investing in ATM infrastructure; modernising airspace by implementing the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades; and liberalising air transport by implementing the Yamoussoukro Declaration.”
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Ultra broadband is becoming more prominent in Africa

Huawei ICT Summit & UBBS (Ultra-Broadband Summit) was held in Pretoria on the 19th July 2016. With the theme of “Broadband for All, Building a Better Connected Africa”, the summit was attended by some 300 delegates, including operator executives, experts from industrial standards organizations and consultants. The attendees gathered at the summit to discuss the ICT strategies for Africa as well as ICT development trends and hot topics.

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Prof Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize the South African Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services gave a welcome speech in which she hoped that ICT infrastructure development can help improve government efficiencies particularly with regards to education, in order to improve educational standards and help job creation. In addition to this she launched in a ceremony, the statement of “Broadband for All, Building a Better Connected Africa”.

Li Peng, president of Huawei’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, stated in his opening speech that “ICT has become an important factor for GDP growth. We are pleased to see that most countries of Africa have already been planning ICT national strategies and to this end, Huawei, as a leading broadband solution provider with rich ICT infrastructure experience, are willing to cooperate with regulators, carriers and related industry partners to build a win-win ecosystem in our region, to build a Better Connected Africa.”

The Namibian Minister of ICT Honorable Tjekero Tweya highlighted the importance of ICT as a way to advance and develop African economies. He hoped cooperation with enterprises, 3rd party organizations and governmental agencies can be achieved and regulators need to adjust regulating policies to reinforce infrastructure construction. He further stated that “solutions must come from both inside and outside of the country to support affordable solutions” and that the use of ICT cannot be underestimated. “In Namibia we take ICT very seriously and our target is to have broadband connectivity available to 80% of households by 2020” he said.

Also at the summit, Sharoda Rapeti, Director of Technology Media & Telecommunications, Deloitte, stated that government support is the most important factor in the development of the ICT industry, other factors being legal and regulatory, spectrum and infrastructure, tax incentives and talent pools of qualified ICT professionals.

There was much discussion at the conference with regards to ICT development amongst the delegates, and the general consensus was that video traffic in Africa is growing at a steady pace and most countries in Africa are undergoing digital transformation which will require Ultra broadband network infrastructure. Governments need to encourage investments both at home and abroad to facilitate broadband development. It is also imperative that ICT policies are defined to support development of small- and medium-sized enterprises and foster ICT talent.

The Huawei ICT Summit & UBBS 2016 was organized by Huawei together with Extensia to provide a platform for a high level comprehensive and multi-stage dialogue, aimed at encouraging regional operator executives and broadband industry partners to exchange innovative ideas, share success stories, and discuss models for sustainable industry development in order to maximize the potential of ultra-broadband.
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Precision farming – the way to go for Africa

By Magreth Nunuhe

Windhoek – It is not wise and sustainable to continue practising conventional agricultural methods, such as ploughing and loosening the soil before planting as it puts stress on land resources and is worsened by effects of climate change, says global agricultural experts who convened in Brussels, Belgium, last week.

The meeting brought together participants from the ACP-EU (Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union) technical centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the European Commission, the EU Presidency, the ACP Group, Concord, and other partners on key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of EU-ACP cooperation.

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The participants, who attended the meeting titled “Affordable smart farming solutions for Africa: the next driver for African agriculture” on 13 July 2016, recommended farmers to use soil management techniques such as conservation agriculture to increase productivity as that reduces soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotation.

One of the critical aspects of precision farming is to make technology available to small-scale producers and help them to manage their farms more efficiently.

Precision agriculture (PA) or satellite farming or site specific crop management (SSCM) is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops.

African farmers, machinery company representatives with field experience as well as experts from international institutions committed in enhancing sustainable farming systems in Africa also attended the meeting, which focussed on how affordable and smart technology solutions are gaining ground among African growers; what changes and benefits IT tools can bring to farming communities in Africa and successful public-private partnerships that are helping in advancing agricultural strategies in the ACP countries.

For more than 10 000 years, farmers have cultivated crops using trial and error, received wisdom and how the soil feels when they rub it between their fingers and it is only until recently that mechanisation revolutionised the countryside with machinery and replaced horses with tractors.

A new farming revolution triggered by the adoption of staggering new technologies, such as satellites, high- precision positioning systems, smart sensors and a range of IT applications combined with high-tech engineering have emerged.

Furthermore, the participants also discussed issues on smart-farming, such as trends and new opportunities benefiting small-holders, the future of precision farming for farmers in Africa, financing African agriculture and agribusiness development and upscaling agribusiness successes in Africa.

There is a growing number of challenges, which have impacted on the agricultural and rural sector of the ACP countries, including climate change, migration, low interest and funding of the agriculture sector and low priority to rural development, impact of globalisation on small-scale producers, opportunities and challenges posed by biofuels.

But technological developments have transformed the agricultural landscape in Africa with smart farming tools, which have increased the quality and quantity of agricultural production and made farms more “intelligent”.

Speaking at the event, Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food & Nutrition Security, Europeaid and the European Commission, said that the session was important because rural development is important in the European Union development policy.

He added that food security was also an important factor on the EU development agenda, which is why they have decided to have cooperation with emerging economies and offer assistance to Africa.

“Farmers need to have access to new technology and to innovative approaches,” he emphasised, saying that one of the EU’s objectives is sustainable agriculture as it provides long-term solutions.

According to Halkin, more than 70 percent of jobs in Africa are in agriculture and it is therefore important to use that potential to generate jobs “so that the children of today’s farmers have an opportunity for a brighter future”.

He stressed the importance of the EU to assist farmers’ organisations in Africa so that they can enhance policy dialogue with their governments and the private sector.

Josef Kienzle, Agricultural Engineer Plant Production and Protection Division Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, said that there were mechanisation myths about conservation agriculture, in that it creates rural unemployment; leads to monoculture and industrial farming; it is only for large-scale farmers; it does not conserve natural resources and is not climate-smart.

In contrast, Kienzle said that conservation agriculture increases productivity, timeliness and incomes; reduces drudgery; enables improved resource use efficiency; provides employment opportunities and new skills development and has the potential to reverse migration; and provides opportunities for rural entrepreneurial activities and business models, among others.

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Facebook test massive Solar-Powered drone to beam Internet to Sub-Saharan Africa

Facebook has successfully tested its solar-powered Aquila drone, part of a fleet that will provide Internet access to parts of sub-Saharan Africa and beyond if all goes according to plan.

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The Aquila drone is massive, foreboding and terrifying, Quartz reported. It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 jet.

It also weighs less than a car, according to The Guardian, consuming only 5,000 watts — equivalent to three hairdryers or a powerful microwave — when cruising.

The drone has a 140-foot wingspan, weighs less than 1,000 pounds, and uses laser technology that represents a breakthrough, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg said, according to Daily Mail.

‘We’ve successfully tested a new laser that can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second,” Zuckerberg said. “That’s 10 times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away.”

The first test flight took place June 28 at low altitude in Arizona, Facebook announced Thursday. The goal is to have a fleet of drones like these flying at high altitude — 60,000 to 90,000 feet — receiving Internet data from a base station via proprietary laser connections, and beaming that data down to customers, according to Quartz.

Facebook wants the drones to be able to stay in the air, powered by just the sun, for months at a time.

In South Africa, about 14 million people use Facebook every month —  about 52 percent of Internet users in the country. A lot more needs to be done to connect the rest of Africa, said Nunu Ntshingila, Facebook head of Africa,  HTXT reported.

“There are 800 million people that yet need to be connect to the Internet, so it is important that we connect those people,” Ntshingila said. “We need to fast-forward the rate of connection, because if people can connect to the Internet, they will be able to connect to a business. This is important for businesses, but also important for the economy of a country.”

Facebook has had a remarkable year. It’s the world’s largest social network — 1.65 billion people use it every month. Its advertising business has grown faster than expected and rivals struggle to match it. Yet what Zuckerberg talks about most these days is basic Internet connectivity, The Verge reported.

In August 2013, Facebook introduced Internet.org, a controversial effort to bring online services to underserved areas including . Since then, Facebook’s connectivity efforts have expanded. It released open-source blueprints for telecommunications infrastructure in an effort to drive down data costs. It’s testing Terragraph, which delivers data 10 times faster than existing Wi-Fi networks. And it continues to expand its Free Basics program despite setbacks, such as India banning the program over net neutrality issues.

If Facebook succeeds at its goal of keeping Aquila drones in the air and delivering data for 90-day periods, the company believes it will have a powerful new tool in bringing Internet access to the entire world, The Verge reported.

Aquila was developed in Bridgwater, Somerset, U.K. The drone will use lasers to beam down Internet access to remote areas without online capacity.

Facebook has engineers at Bridgwater with experience in aerospace, avionics and software who worked for organisations such as Nasa, Boeing and the Royal Air Force, The Guardian reported.

Zuckerberg said in March 2015 that the company had been testing drones in the skies over the U.K.

The Aquila test lasted 90 minutes—three times longer than the team originally planned, according to Quartz. The drone team will work on its control systems in future tests before they attempt to fly at high altitudes. The team tested a small-scale model of the drone for months, working out kinks, before testing the real one, which is made of carbon fiber.

Whatever else Facebook does going forward, it starts with a connected world, Zuckerberg told The Verge. “If we make progress on this, it will be one of the great things that our generation can do to improve lives around the world.”

The internet-beaming super drones are part of Zuckerberg’s plan to “coat the world in Internet,” Quartz reported. The company has been criticized for potentially being able to profit from the Internet access it aims to facilitate with Internet.org, an initiative to bring Internet to the poorest part of the world.

In May 2016, Nigeria became the 40th country in the world, and the 22nd in Africa, to join Facebook’s Free Basics, Huffington Post reported.

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PM in Africa: Cipla announces biotech manufacturing facility in South Africa

In what seems to be a well timed announcement along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, India’s leading pharma company Cipla has announced that “proposed biotech subsidiary in South Africa will invest over 1.3 billion rand into the country’s first state-of-the-art biotech manufacturing facility, for the production of biosimilars.”

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A senior official of the company, referring to the company’s strong links with the region, said that about 11 per cent of the company’s revenues come from the region and the new investment will build on this and be the second biotech manufacturing site for Cipla BioTec; the first one is in Goa.

Cipla is a leading pharma player in South Africa and analysts feel the investment will not only expand its footprint in the region but will also give it cost advantages and an ability to ramp up volumes by local manufacturing. Cipla owns Cipla Medpro, South Africa’s third largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, as well as Cipla BioTec, a biotechnology company focused on affordable and accessible biopharmaceuticals.

The company’s media release quoting Steven Lehrer, director of Cipla BioTec, says: “Biosimilars are important to enable access to advanced cancer and autoimmune treatments. These treatments are only used by about 8 per cent of patients who should be treated worldwide mainly due to high costs of these drugs… Cipla BioTec aspires to transform the biosimilars market worldwide, by significantly increasing access with its strategy of one global product standard at affordable pricing.”

“Cipla BioTec’s unique manufacturing strategy is leveraged from its in house proprietary manufacturing software and single use technology,” Lehrer said.

The factory, located in Durban, will manufacture biosimilar drugs made from living organisms and used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2017, with full operations expected to commence in the third quarter of 2018. At full capacity, the facility is expected to create up to 300 jobs primarily in the engineering and biological science fields.
“It marks the entrance of Cipla subsidiary, Cipla BioTec, into South Africa and will be run independently of the pharmaceutical’s existing manufacturing division, Cipla Medpro Manufacturing (CMM).”  Subhanu Saxena, MD & Global CEO, Cipla, said in the press release.
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A future R14bn green village near Cape Town to get ‘lifestyle centre’

SWISATEC, the firm of architects and project managers for Blue Rock Village, has announced a new multimillion-rand addition to the village —the Santa Luzia lifestyle centre — which it says will embrace the “live, work and play” ethos.

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Earlier this year, Swisatec disclosed plans for the construction of what is dubbed Africa’s first green village — a R14bn green village in Somerset West, near some of the Western Cape’s popular wine farms.

The village, thought to be the first development of its kind in SA and on the continent, constitutes an upgrade of the popular Blue Rock Resort.

Construction was expected to start in August, with Swisatec forecasting that the project would take eight to 10 years to complete.

The Blue Rock Village would become one of the biggest mixed-use developments in Cape Town. Plans for the village include medical centres, boutiques, schools and colleges, nurseries, restaurants and cafés.

Swisatec said the addition of the Santa Luzia Lifestyle centre would add more value to the village and bring an “exclusive lifestyle”.

The Santa Luzia Lifestyle Centre will be a multifunctional centre boasting 14,000m² floor space, a seven-storey building 600m long, with a 10,000m² exhibition street designed for hosting conferences, exhibitions and interactive events such as local produce markets, product launches, and concerts or music festivals.

Lukas Reichmuth, founder and director of Blue Rock Village, said Santa Luzia lifestyle centre would house boutique shops, a doctors’ centre, clinics and professional office space.

Various hubs would be located in the centre, including The Dollar House — the financial hub — offering high-end office space to law firms, financial institutions such as banks, consultants, and other financial professions. Also included would be a wellness spa and sports centre.

Linked to the Santa Luzia lifestyle centre would be the multimillion-rand five-star Blue Rock Hotel and Conferencing centre, said Reichmuth.

The hotel and conferencing centre was envisioned to have about 150 luxury rooms, 30 condominiums, conference capacity for more than 500 delegates, high-end restaurants, a bar and lounge areas. It was expected that the conferencing centre would host similar events to those held at Cape Town International Convention Centre and Sandton Convention Centre.

Construction of the Santa Luzia Lifestyle centre was expected to begin in 2017.

According to Francois Viruly, a property economist and associate professor at the University of Cape Town, mixed-use property developments were growing in popularity because of their ability to create a “lifestyle”.
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Green construction to address SA student accommodation crisis

The shortage of student accommodation is one of the factors that contribute to dropouts and high failure rates. African Student Accommodation Group (STAG African) is on a mission to address the student accommodation crisis in universities. To tackle the issue, the group is exploring new innovative development techniques.

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Innovative building technology (IBT) is a green alternative to bricks and mortar building with lighter steel structures that are pre-fabricated off-site. In the building process, no water is required and 87 percent of the steel used is recycled. This reduces construction costs by 13 percent and time by 40 percent.

“Construction is one of the biggest drivers of climate change and within developing economies it is also a key to growth. It is the way of the future to promote green building practices and a workforce equipped to implement them,” says John Schooling, Director of STAG African.

Schooling saw an opening in the student accommodation crisis in 2008 and decided that with innovation, his company, STAG Holdings, could build affordable and sustainable residences. According to Schooling, their research found that the average spend per student per room for universities in Africa was around R280 000 ($19,500) which he thought was high at the time and saw an opportunity.

“Through optimal architectural design and product innovation, we brought construction costs down dramatically, to around R150 000 ($10,500).” says Schooling.

The University of Fort Hare has received 244 new bed facilities built by STAG African, totalling 880 facilities built for the institution this year. The company is also responsible for building a R45 million residence at the University of Stellenbosch using innovative building technology (IBT) material.

In 2014, STAG Holdings merged with the African Student Accommodation Group to form STAG African. Since inception, the company has successfully delivered over R9-billion worth of developments.

“STAG African has helped quantify the shortfall and convince government of the need to accept the use of IBTs as a solution; we still have a long road to travel, however, we can say with 100% certainty that optimal architectural design, product innovation, the reduction of operational costs and successful grant funding are key to addressing the student accommodation crisis,” Schooling says.

He believes that there is still time for an undeveloped Africa to use green construction methods to build a sustainable industrialised and developed continent which can be an example to the rest of the world.

“I have no doubt that it is the future of world, not only Africa. Africa is at a critical position in both space and time, where sustainable building methodologies and renewable energy have become a cost-effective reality,” says Schooling.
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Launch of African Marine Waste Network

On July 25th, the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), Plastics SA and other partners will launch the African Marine Waste Network (AMWN) in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

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The growing amount of debris and other waste that enters the seas of Africa, mainly from the land, is costing many millions of dollars each year. This debris is negatively affecting human health, degrading terrestrial and aquatic environments and is killing marine animals. While plastics and other debris are valuable resources, the reuse of this plastic is largely being lost in Africa.

The two day event will highlight this problem and explore ways of combatting this plight. It will allow for national and international experts to participate in a planning workshop, the celebration of the official launch, public lectures and the first meeting of the Network’s Advisory Panel. The purpose of this initiative is to look at ways in which organisations and individuals can work together at creating healthier and cleaner oceans for future generations.

The primary role of this Network is to bring people from around the African continent together to define, develop and implement a waste strategy. The Network aims to solve problems locally, but will also serve to help other countries strive towards waste free oceans. In working together, this strategy will encourage the people of Africa to reduce their negative footprint and promote their positive handprints in their own environment. This waste strategy will be the first ripple effect of what is intended to become a wave of change in Africa.

A central role for the Network is to bring people of Africa together to develop and implement the strategy, ultimately setting their own local, national and regional targets and monitoring their success. To be effective, the strategy must provide clear plans on what needs to be done to reach the set targets.

The keynote speaker at the launch will be Mr Kristian Teleki, currently the Senior Marine Advisor to the Prince of Wale’s International Sustainability Unit and the Director of Engagement for the Global Ocean Commission. His talk will focus on how valuable plastic is to our society and economies, but he will also discuss the massive impact that plastic has on our environment. The purpose of his talk is to look at ways in which we can co-exist with plastic, until other alternatives are found.

Other speakers at the event are Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, Prof Derrick Schwartz, Vice-Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University (NNMU) who is a Patron of the SST, Mr Anton Hanekom, the Executive Director of Plastics SA, Mr Kevin Hustler CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, and Councillor Rory Riordan will welcome the visitors to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Launching the Network in Port Elizabeth is appropriate, as Algoa Bay in Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s six Hope Spots. Although the launch is in South Africa, the African Marine Waste Network will be the first dedicated approach to address marine waste at a Pan-African level. The Network and its strategy will incorporate 38 coastal and island states of Africa, which makes the facilitation of this project in South Africa, a huge coup.

The problem is so great that no single organisation, town or country can meet the challenges alone. There must be a cross-border approach with all affected countries working together to solve the problem.

The official launch of this initiative is open to the public and will take place on Monday 25 July, at 18:30 at the NMMU South Campus Auditorium.
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African Leaders to Put Effort in Water Availability

As the sixth African Ministries Council on Water and Sanitation (AMCIOW) meeting draws close, African leaders have been urged to double their efforts to make sure the continent achieves universal safe water access by 2030.

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The historic meeting to map the way forward to achieve accessibility of clean water and basic sanitation is expected to be held in Dar es Salaam next week. Water Aid Country Director, Mr Ibrahim Kabole, speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the importance of the upcoming meeting, said African leaders need to add more effort to make sure the problem of availability of clean water becomes history in the continent.

“Our African leaders should undertake important measures in making water, sanitation and hygiene play an important role in economic development of the continent,” said Mr Kabole. According to available statistics, of the 1.2 billion people in Africa, 695 million people, which is more than half of the population, are without basic sanitation and 395 million are without clean water.

The statistics are expected to be worse if urgent measures will not be taken because by 2030 African’s population is expected to reach 2.2 billion. In Tanzania, 27 per cent of people do not have access to safe water, 66 per cent lack basic sanitation and hygiene and more than 33 per cent of our health centres are without safe water and sanitation facilities.

“Lack of water in health facilities puts the patients at risk of being attacked by communicable diseases, particularly women and children, therefore resulting in loss of lives of the children, the very future of any country,” noted the Water Aid Director.

He, however, applauded the government efforts to make sure the people of Tanzania have access to clean and safe water. “Water Aid is calling for a roadmap that will result in reaching everyone everywhere in Africa with safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goals.

I believe that the government has made good progress and given the efforts of the current leadership, Tanzania can do more to achieve universal access by 2030. All African governments and stakeholders must seize the moment and make this transformation change for the poorest being achieved,” he noted.

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