The President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, has urged African states to deploy trade and other partnerships as benchmarks for collaboration to move the continent forward.
He said such collaboration must be on top of the agenda of the African Union and sub-regional blocs, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“Africans must work together to promote development of the continent, and this must be on top of the agenda of the African Union and ECOWAS, and should be driven by business,” he stressed.
President Hichilema made the remarks when he paid a working visit to the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP) last Saturday as part of his official visit to Ghana.
He becomes the first African President, aside from Ghanaian presidents, to visit the facility.
The visit was to afford him first-hand knowledge of how ACARP, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies, was managing Ghana’s waste, and how the mechanism could be replicated in Zambia.
The group is currently operating in three cities in Zambia.
President Hichilema commended the Jospong Group for creating jobs and employing, particularly Ghanaians.
He assured the company that Zambia was ready to work with the group to transform the sanitation challenges in that country.
“I am pleased with what I have seen here.
We do not have to reinvent the wheel.
We will fall on the successes from Ghana,” he stated.
He noted that Zambia was currently facing challenges with its sanitation management, saying it was affecting its water bodies, and that the country could soon be consumed by waste, if care was not taken.
“We do not have time. If not, the waste will consume us.
It is even contaminating our water bodies,” President Hichilema said.
The Zambia President also expressed delight in the company’s ability to treat waste to produce organic fertiliser to support agriculture, adding that the Russia-Ukraine war should guide the continent to produce essential items for itself.
“Agriculture is very important because Africa must be food-secure,” he stressed.
The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, assured President Hichilema of the capability and readiness of the group to support Zambia to successfully manage its waste.
He noted that 62 per cent of waste generated in Africa was organic and only 14 per cent was plastic, adding that this informed the company’s interest to treat waste into compost for agricultural purposes and plastic pellets as raw material to feed industry.
“Our compost can also be used to reclaim mining lands to improve fertility,” he added.
He suggested that Zambia could also consider implementing the free dustbin policy where households received free dustbins to properly store waste, adding that this greatly impacted Ghana’s waste management system.
“Zambia can also consider the free dustbin policy since it greatly improved our waste management by changing the mindset of Ghanaians,” Dr Adjepong said.
ACARP is an integrated waste processing and recycling company established to receive and process solid waste and produce organic manure for agronomic purposes in Ghana and the West African sub-region.
The plant also addresses the problem of plastic waste through sorting, processing and recycling of such waste.
Other recovered materials such as textiles, packaging and other highly combustible materials are used to manufacture high calorific burning materials as refuse derived fuels for specific industries that require such energy for their operations.
It also has footprints in Angola, Togo and Sierra Leone, among others.