Experts at the African Marine Waste Conference of July 2017 and the African Group at UNEA-3 identified education, capacity building and skills transfer as high priorities if Africa is to meet the challenges of waste management. Each country in Africa, including South Africa, needs to grow its capacity in tertiary and secondary education institutions, research organisations, governments and municipalities, as well as industry. Building capacity requires education, training and skills transfer, but success also depends on having the infrastructure and financial capacities to undertake the work that’s required. In the context of marine waste, it’s apparent that many teachers/educators have little knowledge or understanding (and hence capacity) to teach issues related to marine debris. Similarly, those who develop school curricula are not well enough informed to provide the guidance needed by teachers.

Considering Africa’s socio-economic dynamics, lack of infrastructure, resources and systems, how do we effectively spread education messages, build capacity and promote skills transfer to the people of Africa? The AMWN is developing techniques to make learning easier, fun and most importantly, relatable to move towards the target of zero plastics to the seas of Africa by 2035.

Educational resource book

The AMWN has developed plans, compiled and tested teaching resources and education curricula to develop the framework for an Education Resource Book.

African waste academy

The African Waste Academy (AWA) is an education facility with a strong focus on networking through education.

Nozi Mbongwa heads up the Education Department at SST and was speaking at the AMWN Communications and Networking Conference held in Port Elizabeth in October 2018. The AMWN is a project of SST.