The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a new initiative to promote waste recovery in Ghana, through the creation of a digital and one-stop shop solutions platform that will connect all stakeholders along the waste management chain.
The initiative is funded by UNDP’s new “Country Investment Facility” which provides the organizations’ s country offices with the opportunity to promote innovation and the sustainable use of technology to expand the capabilities of people and communities.
The facility promotes catalytic investments in Growth and business development activities including resource mobilization with non-traditional partners; or formulating new types of partnerships with local and/or national governments and existing donors.
Ghana’s proposal on waste recovery, which falls under the category of Areas of visionary interest and innovation, was among the first twelve proposals to be selected and funded by the UNDP facility.
Its activities are targeted for longer term benefits to invest in innovations related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking at the inception workshop, Ms. Gita Honwana Welch, UNDP Country Director for Ghana, emphasized the importance of effective waste management for the achievement of SDGs, and encouraged stakeholders to view waste as a resource that present opportunities for economic development, job creation and technological innovation.
“We call on you to partner with us and start a journey that will see us working together in the coming months to co-design tools and solutions […] as we continuously think through the deliverables of this initiative to ensure that they adequately meet the expectation of all stakeholders, and offer the country the best way forward for waste recovery, in line with the national development agenda”, Ms. Welch stated.
The “Multi-Stakeholder Waste Resource Platform” initiative will facilitate investment and access to market, fill data gaps, build capacity of local government operators, raise visibility of service providers in the private sector, and increase awareness across society on the importance of sustainable waste management.
In the medium and long term, it is envisaged that the digital platform will provide ready and consistent data that will serve as a basis for economic and policy decisions on waste management and resource recovery.
In addition, the initiative will launch a national competition to provide technical and financial support to various projects that will test innovative waste recovery solutions.
The inception workshop brought together more than hundred participants from the waste management sector in Ghana. These include representations from government, private sector (recyclers, plastic manufacturers, waste collection associations and companies), academia, NGOs and media. The participants lauded the initiative and pledged to collaborate with UNDP to co-design the platform and its features (such as a mobile app), in what is going to be a continuously evolving and iterative process.
Mr. Oliver Boachie, Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, stated that “the Ministry is fully committed to ensure the success of this initiative, which clearly contributes to our policies and plans, like the National Plastics Management Policy currently being developed”.
Similarly, Ms. Kate Opoku, Country Leader of the NGO “Let’s Do it Ghana”, expressed excitement. “We are grateful to UNDP for coming up with this great initiative, that I believe will connect all of us in the waste sector to share ideas to enhance synergy”, noted Ms. Opoku.