Our Africa, Our Thoughts
A selection of blogs from the African Development Bank Group
In Africa, solid waste management is a major developmental challenge with serious consequences for environmental quality, public health, fisheries, agriculture, and sustainable development. Today, most African countries lack the resources, infrastructures, skills and expertise necessary to tackle the amount and complexity of solid waste being produced. Currently, 19 out of the world’s 50 biggest dumpsites are located in Africa. High population growth, urbanization rates, and new consumption pathways will exacerbate waste production, which is projected to exceed 160 million tons by 2025.
“Industrialize Africa” is an integral element of the African Development Bank’s ambitious strategy to transform the continent. It involves economies transitioning from low- to high-productivity sectors; from agriculture to agro-industries; from raw mineral resources to high-value semi-processed and/or processed exports.
The theme for World Environment Day celebrations in 2018 is “Beat Plastic Pollution.” There has been a big focus on the devastating impacts of plastic waste (particularly single-use plastics) on the marine environment, human health and regarding climate change.
Despite a decade’s worth of headline-grabbing economic growth, Africa’s experience with industrialization remains disappointing. Sixty-two percent of the continent’s total export products (link is external) are in primary form, signaling the limited role of manufacturing in driving development. Sub-Saharan Africa’s average share of manufacturing value added to GDP, at around 10 percent, is unchanged from the 1970s.
Africa sits on vast resources. Of greater potential than its extractive resources such as oil, diamonds, gold, or cobalt, is its population bulge.