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NGOs - SDGs

Gripe Engages Stakeholders On Sustainable Management Of Plastics

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In furtherance of its ambition to improve plastic waste management practices in Ghana, the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE), has engaged stakeholders at a one-day workshop on the sustainable management of this resource.

At the workshop organized by the private sector coalition under the aegis of the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund with support from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the coalition called on all stakeholders to re-think plastics, as just waste and begin to see it as a resource which has the potential to unlockenormous economic value for Ghana.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, underscored private sector’s commitment towards the issue of plastic waste management in the country, itsshow of leadership with the formation of GRIPE and investment in solutions to tackle post-consumer waste of the plastic life cycle.

“Our member companies are very concerned about the littering issue because we live and operate in the communities; this is one of the reasons why we formed GRIPE to manage the environmental impact of plastics. GRIPE started very small, but we are gradually growing and moving towards achieving our objectives of contributing to increased recycling rates and improving plastic waste management practices in Ghana.”, he added.

He further stated that the journey towards ensuring that plastics become a resource of beneficial value to Ghanaians rather than banning it, will involve all stakeholders playing their part to create the much-needed circular environment in the country.

Naa Ayeleysa Quaynor-Mettle, a member of the GRIPE working group and Pick-It Project Manager for FanMilk,said the benefits of plastics to health, hygiene and quality of life has proven to be enormous accounting for the exponential growth in plastic use. Regrettably, sustainable management of post-consumer plastic remains a national challenge as only 2% of the estimated yearly generation, of over one million tonnes, is recycled.

“The problem Ghana faces is not a plastics problem but a littering problem. What GRIPE seeks to achieve is to stimulate a holistic solution to support the development of a robust circular economy and to promote recycling and second life for plastics here in Ghana”, she added.

Mr. Essuman, lecturer at the Department of Food Process Engineering, University of Ghana, in a presentation to participants noted that Ghana needs a 3-pronged solution to effectively deal with the plastic menace currently confronting it.

“As a country, in order to effectively deal with the plastics waste menace, we need to have technical & engineering solutions in place, a plastic waste management system anda behavioural & attitudinal change from all of us. I believe this is what GRIPE has started and it is my hope that with the necessary support from all stakeholders, we can

The Workshop which took place at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium, University of Ghana, brought together key stakeholders in the plastic value chain including Policymakers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the Media, Academia, industry and Development partners.

Among others, it highlighted the current regulatory requirement on the use of oxo-biodegradable additives, the benefit of plastics to food safety, and the various second-life solutions that affirm post-consumer plastics as a beneficial resource the County can be harness.

Participants were also taken through the various interventions introduced by GRIPE including, collection schemes and the Modified Concrete Project currently being piloted by GRIPE. This pilot research project employs post-consumer plastic waste in the manufacture of concrete blocks. Scientific data generated from this project is expected to influence policy formulation, further research and/or replication in other parts of the country.

 

About GRIPE
The GRIPE, a coalition of companies under the Association of Ghana Industries,was formed in November2017. The objective of GRIPE is to leverage the combined resources, experience and technologies of member companies to proffer sustainable plastic waste management solutions to the plastic waste challenge in Ghana. To this end, GRIPE focuses on areas such as multi-stakeholder collaboration, public education and awareness, research and data collection, and the provision of second life solutions to plastic waste. GRIPE is currently made up of 10 member companies namely

NGOs - SDGs

Climate Launchpad: Beyond competition, a catalyst for change

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Climate Launchpad Competition 2023 Image.

Despite the success of The Climate Launchpad Competition 2023, Climate Launchpad through the support of Climate-KIC and Irish Aid provided additional support to the participants of the competition through the Post-Climate Launchpad Accelerator. Given that the majority of the participants are early-stage businesses, capacity building is a necessity. The post-competition support is divided into 2, The masterclasses that are being handled by the Climate Launchpad Global team which has participants from over 7 African countries, and The national capacity-building session handled by the Climate LaunchPad Nigeria Team. 

The Masterclass session featured a business-changing session on important modules like funding options & Instruments, Gender and Climate, Communications and Storytelling, Climate Impact etc.  The national capacity-building session focuses on marketing strategies, practical and optimal use of social media and analytics. As an early-stage business in Nigeria, one of the major challenges you face is reaching and communicating with your potential customers at the market entry stage. The modules were selected after feedback from alumni of the competition. 

The modules have been proven to be useful as we have started seeing the tractions of the businesses on social media. Overall, the post-competition support program has been no short of helpful to the businesses. We had 5 active participants from Nigeria who have expressed their gratitude for the post-competition support. Each of them will be given a grant of EUR200 to facilitate their marketing and social media usage.

The National Lead for Climate Launchpad Nigeria, Oluwatosin Ajide affirms the importance of the accelerator program “If we have more competition dedicating their support beyond just the pitching like Climate Launchpad does, We would have more green businesses with solid foundations”. He also thanked the Climate Launchpad central team and the sponsors the Climate-KIC and Irish Aid for their constant support in building the green ecosystem in Nigeria.

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GEANCO Foundation and Archewell Foundation Announce Mental Health Initiative for Nigerian Youth

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The GEANCO Foundation and The Archewell Foundation has announced an expansion of their partnership, currently serving girls and young women across Nigeria with menstrual health products and education, to include mental health resources and training for young men and women. 

This expanded partnership kicked off with its inaugural Mental Health Summit, taking place over two days and serving nearly 200 students in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and co-Founders of The Archewell Foundation opened the Summit by delivering inspiring remarks to the young people in attendance.

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GEANCO intends to hold summits throughout the country over the next year, providing teenage girls and boys with the information, skills, and coping mechanisms necessary to flourish mentally.

“Youth in Nigeria are critically underserved in terms of mental and menstrual health”, said GEANCO’s CEO Afam Onyema.  “I am deeply grateful to The Duke and Duchess for partnering with us to address this crisis and provide this vulnerable but inspiring young generation with what they need to thrive in body, mind and spirit.”  

A strong stigma also surrounds mental health in Nigeria, which is critically neglected in the country. The World Health Organization estimates that only 3% of the federal government’s health budget goes to mental health, and while up to one-third of Nigerians have mental health challenges, fewer than 500 mental health professionals serve the country’s 200 million plus citizens.  Nigeria’s teens and youth in particular have little to no access to mental health support.

The expanded partnership will also continue the ongoing work to support young girls with menstrual health products and education. An estimated 37 million women and girls in Nigeria experience “period poverty”, meaning they are unable to access or afford menstrual products like pads, tampons, and underwear. Because of the material difficulties caused by period poverty and the deep stigma surrounding menstruation, millions of girls in the country miss school every month, crippling their educational advancement and deepening Nigeria’s already vast levels of gender inequality.

GEANCO Foundation provides critical health care and education services in Nigeria. Its David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship provides full tuition, medical care, and social and emotional support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria.

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NGOs - SDGs

Laila Bastati on the importance of diversity in shaping Africa’s future

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Laila Bastati, Chief Commercial Officer, APO Group (Source: APO Group)

As we observe International Women’s Month with the theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion,’ it is essential to contemplate the importance of diversity within organizations and its crucial role in shaping a more equitable and inclusive society. This year’s theme calls on us to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, not just for the benefit of women but for the advancement of the African continent. 

Women across Africa face unique challenges, from cultural barriers to limited access to resources and opportunities. However, despite these difficulties, they continue to defy the odds, breaking barriers, and making significant contributions to their communities and economies. As we recognise such achievements, it’s crucial to underline the importance of promoting the role of women in driving more diverse, competitive, and future-looking workspaces.

“At APO Group, we’re proud of our extremely diverse team of professionals from all over the world. The diversity we see in age, gender, locations, backgrounds, and experience all combines to forge a formidable team that brings the best of APO Group to our clients. In an industry that has achieved, in recent years, a good gender balance, we strive to lead by example, leveraging our platform to advocate for broader gender equality and diversity initiatives, aiming to inspire other organizations to follow suit.” said Laila Bastati, Chief Commercial Officer, APO Group.

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“For us, such diversity reflects a leadership that values and promotes the unique perspectives and contributions of women, at all levels of the organisation. It also clearly demonstrates that we’re an organisation that values inclusivity and equality, and that the different voices and ideas of our team reflect a unique understanding of the African markets in which we operate. The result of being firm proponents of an environment in which all contributions are valued, and where collaboration is part of our culture, is that innovation and creativity come naturally.” Laila Bastati Added.

The importance of embracing diversity

Embracing diversity, especially gender diversity, is essential for any organization aiming to create a balanced, fair, and dynamic working environment.There’s no doubt that for any type of organisation, embracing diverse perspectives and expertise, highlighting achievements and success stories, and advocating for equal opportunities and recognition, are all aspects that contribute to a more equitable and inclusive environment where everyone has the chance to succeed based on merit and talent. 

Successful companies intentionally cultivate diverse leadership at all levels. While this may initially appear coincidental, the process of building diverse teams is a deliberate and strategic endeavour that underscores a commitment to creating spaces where women’s leadership and insights drive innovation and strategic decision-making.

What makes a diverse team?

Firstly, promoting diversity in leadership is crucial. Actively recruiting, developing, and promoting the right female candidates into leadership positions ensures women’s perspectives are represented at the decision-making table. Secondly, reviewing and revising policies to ensure they are gender-neutral and promote equal opportunities for all employees is essential. Thirdly, providing equal access to training, mentorship, and career advancement opportunities, with a particular focus on supporting women, is key.

Additionally, creating a supportive work environment and nurturing a culture of inclusion where all employees feel valued, respected, and supported is paramount. Regularly monitoring and evaluating diversity metrics to track progress and identify areas for improvement is also important. Finally, embracing a culture of work meritocracy where individuals are recognised and rewarded based on their skills, contributions, and performance, rather than on gender, race, or other characteristics, completes the foundation of a diverse team.

In the context of this special period of the year, I urge organizations across Africa to recognize and harness the unique strengths women bring to the table, not only to promote gender equity, but to ensure these organizations will continue to have a place in the workspace of tomorrow.

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