Taking a cue from Green Economy Ghana’s project on plastic waste management

Ghana’s plastic waste situation is dire as 1.1 million tonnes of plastic waste per year is released into the environment causing pollution, blockages of gutters and drainage systems leading to flooding, etc.

Approximately 70% of plastic input materials in Ghana are used only for packaging. Out of the total plastic waste generated in the country, only 5% is collected for recycling.

To tackle this and contribute to transforming the plastic waste challenge into an opportunity, the Green Economy Ghana project is providing technical, vocational, and entrepreneurship education to young people in plastic waste management, the Green Economy Ghana project is providing young people with vocational and entrepreneurship skills in the green and circular economy space, more specifically in plastic waste management, sustainable forestry management, and organic waste management.

The project is aimed at transforming plastic waste into a resource that can stimulate a sustainable economy in the region. (According to the UNDP report on the ”Behavioral Change is Critical in addressing plastic menace” published on April 24, 2019, and the Global Plastic Action Partnership).

A training, which took place at the YMCA campus at Adabraka in Accra, started by equipping 10 trainers with the latest knowledge in this field of expertise.

The first round of training saw 53 young students are gain relevant skills to be employed or start their own businesses in the plastic management sector.

The TVET Programs Director, Samuel Asamoah -YMCA Ghana, said “this project is helping young people develop two critical skills necessary for job creation in the current dispensation blending technical and vocational skills as well as entrepreneurship education” and he urged “TVET institutions to promote entrepreneurship education for job creation and impact”.

The training curricula, which was designed by experts from Ghana and Scandinavia, received feedback from different actors from the private and public sector making them relevant to the Ghanaian context.

The training comprised different modules combining theoretical and practical sessions on subjects including; Understanding plastics, Importance and uses of plastics, Plastic production: the steps in plastic production, Causes of plastic waste, Principle of waste management: 4rs- reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, Plastic waste management technologies adopted in Ghana: reuse/recycle, Plastic waste recycling, Entrepreneurship, and business planning, etc.

Trainees also had the opportunity to learn how to use equipment such as shredders. As part of the project, these trainees will be attached to existing MSMEs in plastic waste management for an internship period where they will gain hands-on experience.

A trainer in the Plastic Waste Management TVET, Dr. Boniface Yeboah Antwi, applauded the Green Economy Ghana project for taking the bold step toward youth empowerment in the plastic value chain.

He further recommended the “setting up of a micro-financing system by stakeholders to support trainees set-up small scale enterprises for a sustainable plastic circular economy in Ghana”.

The second round for the Plastic Waste Management TVET has received a total of 600 applications and will start in June with the participation of about 100 young people. This is just another indication of the huge demand for this type of educational training in Ghana.

Also speaking, Isabella Twum Mensah, a trainee in Plastic Waste Management, said “Green Economy Ghana (GEG) has benefited me in various ways through theory and practical aspects. The basics of the evolution of plastics to the types of plastics and the recycling of plastics were rendered to me by the trainer.

“My knowledge of plastic and its recycling process has broadened my insights on how to reuse plastic to reduce the threat it has on the earth and how it can help make life much easier. I have always loved the idea of creating extraordinary things with plastics and the GEG Project gave me the platform to have more adventure”.

The European Union Archipelago Programme is a four-year program, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF), whose main objective is to strengthen the employability of young people by supporting them in job creation in the Sahel and Lake Chad countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritanian, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal).

The project is being implemented by a five-member consortium including Inclusive Business Sweden as the lead, YMCA Ghana, Social Enterprise Ghana, Ghana Sweden Chamber of Commerce, and Sweden West Africa Business Association as associate members.

A beginner’s guide to writing climate grant proposals

Climate change is a critical issue all over the world, with many communities across the globe already experiencing its severe impacts.

To help vulnerable communities mitigate and better adapt to climate change as well as facilitate environmental research and innovation to foster resilience, donors are looking to fund projects and they are looking to individuals and organizations (especially NGOs) as the strongest means to reach out to affected communities.

Little wonder in recent times, there has been an increasing number of calls for proposals that are focused mostly on addressing climate change and global warming advertised by NGOs like climateaction.africa. This is an indication that the climate crisis, as well as climate conversations, have become part and parcel of our world today.

However, many NGOs find it challenging to develop proposals to address climate change and its surrounding issues, and this is because they are still far behind when it comes to equipping themselves with information on climate change developing proposals to address these issues.

This could be due to their perception of the cause as being too scientific (of which some aspects are) or does not fall within their areas of interest.

Considering that for organizations to contribute successfully to the climate conservation, they most certainly need funds to execute projects: conserve habitats or species, education materials, pay salaries, fund research, purchase equipment, engage with stakeholders, etc., it is essential to write that winning proposal to convince funders to back their plans.

How to write grant proposals

To craft that winning proposal to get the grants rolling, begin with project background or rationale.

Your project background or rationale should convincingly convey your project’s importance in addressing climate change and show the analysis of the problem.

Ensure you use research-based data and concrete evidence of your findings during the course of your research. These sources will help us make the proposal more convincing.

Secondly, be clear on the cause you are trying to address. To be certain, delve deeply into the problem so that you don’t end up addressing effects instead of the cause. This will help you better tackle the challenge.

The next step is defining your project goal and objectives as this helps you know what you are trying to achieve. You must bear in mind that your objectives need to be specific for you to make headway with your project.

After sorting out all of the above, you will need a strategy that builds up a plan of activities that you need to do to achieve the objectives.

Another thing to include is the expected result. Ensure you list them out as clearly as possible in your proposal. Don’t forget to clearly include the risks as well.

Finally, ensure sustainability as it allows for projects or project activities to continue even after the end of the grant.

Solar power: South Korea offers Nigeria $12.4m worth of solar mini-grids

South Korea has offered to help Nigeria develop nuclear energy options to address power generation supply and shortage in the country.

This was disclosed by the Ambassador of South Korea to Nigeria, Kim Young Choe, at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Power, chaired by Senator Gabriel Suswam, on Thursday.

The committee had called for the meeting to clarify certain issues regarding the stand-alone solar mini-grids project which the South Korean government is gifting Nigeria and is valued at $12.4m.

According to Choe, the nuclear energy options currently being used in the United Arab Emirates are based on South Korea’s model and powered by South Korean companies. The ambassador further added that the project is a grant to Nigeria, not a loan.

Choe stated that all the four solar mini-grids would be sited in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, adding that the assembling, installation, and maintenance of the project will be handled by South Korean contractors.

The committee welcomed the gift, thanking the South Korean Government for its generosity. However, the lawmakers had a few reservations about the siting of the solar mini-grids in Abuja as revealed by the ambassador.

Suswam urged the South Korean Government to consider distributing, at least, two solar mini-grids each to the six geopolitical zones in the country, while leaving one for Abuja.

He further said that the $12.4m that was being proposed for four solar mini-grids in Abuja would be sufficient to build 12 grids, albeit with smaller capacity but with a far much greater impact across the country.

In his presentation at the session, Salihijo Ahmad, who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Rural Electrification Agency, stressed the need for the grids to be distributed across the country.

Ahmad also expressed concerns about the sustainability of the project since it is South-Korean Contractors that will be handling it, inquiring about the possibility of having Nigerian companies work on the project.

Responding to the committee’s recommendations, Choe, said their demands were difficult but he would forward the request to his government in Seoul.

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