Impact Hub Accra, a leading social entrepreneurship and innovation centre in Ghana has been awarded a grant of $10,000 by the Israeli government’s development agency, MASHAV to tackle plastic waste.
A Cheque of $10,000 (GH 57,900) was presented to officials of Impact Hub Accra at a ceremony in Ghana’s capital Accra on Thursday.
The grant is to support the organisation execute a project called Zero Plastic Project which intends turning plastic wastes into useful materials for reuse.
According to officials of Impact Hub Accra, the fund will greatly help improve the group’s capacity to work with entrepreneurs who are focused on addressing the plastic waste menace.
Co-founder of Impact Hub Accra, Victor Kelechi Ofoegbu said the Zero Plastic Project will help turn any plastic wastes “into plastic flakes that can be used to make new products and new items completely.”
“Instead of throwing” plastic bottles “away in the past, we can now turn that trash into value and this is what the Israeli government has seen and thinks it is great to support,” Ofoegbu added.
There are expectations that the project would create opportunities for entrepreneurs to add value to waste and ultimately create job opportunities for the many unemployed youth in Ghana.
Ghana’s waste crisis
Ghana like many African countries has a major problem with wastes especially plastics.
Major drains in many communities as well as water bodies are choked with plastics with much efforts still needed to address the crisis.
Senior advisor to Ghana’s minister for environment, science and technology innovation, Oliver Boachie revealed that the government is prioritizing issues related to the environment, hoping to make it safer for citizens.
The government is working with Impact Hub Accra to set up a strategic technology centre for environment, waste management and circular economy, according to Boachie.
He said the government doesn’t want to “see waste in any form” and “so if we are going to prevent waste in the area of plastic, everything that is packaged in plastics, we want to turn it around and re-use it.”
The Zero Plastic Project by Impact Hub Accra, according to the government should help realize that dream of re-using plastic wastes in various valuable forms.
Israel’s commitment to safer environment
Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Shani Cooper-Zubida said her country is committed to a safer environment and supporting young Africans at the same time to become social change makers in their communities.
She said modern trends call for use of technology to create several opportunities for national growth with young people at the core of that agenda.
Cooper-Zubida said “this is the first project to receive such a grant” in the area of waste innovation in Ghana.
She added how hopeful the Israeli government is about continuing with its work “with Impact Hub and with the makers space” to deal with the plastic waste crisis in Ghana.
The Zero Plastic Project is expected to be executed starting this year with key areas for project being communities based in the capital, Accra.