Recycling awareness growing in Africa!

Jun 16, 2021, 10:40 AM

A survey of 4,200 Africans in the 18-to-24 age range, located in 14 different countries, has shown a 58 percent dissatisfaction rate with recycling efforts on the continent.

The survey was conducted by the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Ichikowitz Family Foundation and was conducted by PSB Research. It surveyed views on a range of environmental topics, including climate change, water scarcity, plastic pollution and recycling.

On the recycling front, 58 percent of overall respondents were dissatisfied with recycling efforts in their countries. Respondents in three nations showed the highest levels of concern: Gabon (77 percent), Zambia (79 percent) and Zimbabwe (80 percent).

A sector in which to focus recycling efforts could be plastic. The same survey found that 79 percent of respondents “are vexed by mounting plastic waste issues,” according to the foundation. Nations where young people had the greatest concern were Ghana (90 percent), Zambia (90 percent) and Senegal (92 percent).

The survey’s results seem to indicate that the same young people see channeling their environmental concerns into a career as a possibility. Across all 14 nations, 60 percent of respondents indicated they had an interest in doing this, with that figure rising to 71 percent in Nigeria and 83 percent in Ghana.

“It is clear that Africa’s youth are severely impacted by the causes of climate change,” says Ivor Ichikowitz, chair of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation. He is founder and chair of the South Africa-based Paramount Group, which has business units operating in mining, manufacturing, property development and several other sectors.

Adds Ichikowitz, “Despite the real environmental threats Africa faces, a sense of Afro-capability was strong throughout this survey, and seen in the willingness and desire of young Africans to confront these problems head-on, whether by calling for the implementation of renewable energies, or demanding action on better recycling programs or wanting to pursue careers in sustainability.”

A Guest Editorial

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