Diageo, Unilever, Coca-Cola & Nestlé launch Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance
The 7th edition of the forum (March 25-26) saw more than 1,800 CEOs from top African brands, international investors, and policy makers from 43 African countries and 26 international countries, recommending more reforms to accelerate African economic integration. It was the first time it was held in East Africa.
The Alliance was set up to challenge plastic waste in Sub Saharan Africa by creating jobs and commercial activity to improve the collection and recycling of plastics.
The companies will support their local subsidiaries to engage in public private partnerships, industry collaboration and alliances; share knowledge, participate in local pilot initiatives; and engage with policy makers to accelerate the development and financing of waste management infrastructure and systems.
Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Gabriel Opoku-Asare, head Diageo in Society Africa, said unfortunately, a lack of collection and recycling capacity in many African markets coupled with growing populations is creating a growing problem of plastics waste.
“Plastics will remain an important packaging material if we give African consumers safe and affordable products. However, we need to ensure the packaging used ends up in the right place,” he said.
“We see an opportunity to tackle that problem in a way that creates jobs and reduces dependency on imported materials while alternatives to plastics are developed.
“Collaboration within and across markets will be key to success so we are proud to launch the Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance to increase those efforts and play our part as companies in finding solutions that work for Africa.”
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Alliance members already have individual commitments to tackle plastics waste and collaborate through global collective action, such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and national institutions and platforms in various markets.
“Any initiatives we develop under this collaboration will aim to have comprehensive plans, will be appropriate to the local context and will be consistent with the principles of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment,” added Opoku-Asare.
Organized by Jeune Afrique Media Group and Rainbow Unlimited and co-hosted by the IFC, the Africa CEO Forum was themed around using regional integration to drive private sector growth.
The Forum is, according to experts, an opportunity for Africa to discuss the implementation of the CFTA (Continental Free Trade Area), which is billed as a potential driver for private sector growth.
Amir Ben Yahmed, president, Africa CEO Forum and MD, Jeune Afrique Media Group, said economic integration is not an opportunity but a necessity which cannot happen without the private sector.
“Putting leaders at the forefront of economic integration is what the CEO Forum is all about and what Africa should be doing to achieve economic excellence,” he said.
“Regional integrations hold great promises. Therefore, increasing intra-Africa trade while eliminating non-tariff barriers is critical for Africa’s economic success,” added Philippe Le Houerou, CEO, International Finance Corporation (IFC).
“Africa needs an estimated 1.7 million new jobs every month. The only way to achieve this is to have a thriving private sector.”