With an ever growing population, Green jobs in Africa will most likely be the alternative to turn down the unemployment rate in the upcoming years. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), this ecological transition will create not less than 60 million jobs by year 2060 and Africa plans on taking actions toward that major challenge.
On thursday April 18, a field trip to Pikine Guédiawaye, the downtown of Dakar inner suburbs, allowed for Oxfam and ONAS (National Sanitation Office of Senegal) to see with their own eyes the constructions of bio-digester toilets.
The General Manager of SIED, Abdoulaye BA, explains the work of his team in the constructions. He walks around the different houses that have had the installations done. : “we learned this new technology from Ghana and it is perfect for flood and flooded areas and doesn’t require any draining. Today, it is on its way to completely take over the traditional toilets with septic tanks” he said to Talent2Africa. He created his company in 2018 and already has more than 10 employees and plans on hiring more.
According to him, climate change is without no doubt a major issue and forces people to think and behave differently and be more resilient so they can adapt to their surrounding environment. That is the reason why ONAS with the help of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation launched this program called “ Market Structuring of Faecal Sludge”. One part of the program consisted of developing new technologies in terms of hygiene with autonomous and innovating sanitories like the Anaerobic digestion TAI (Innovative Sanitation Technologies).
As of today, more than 20 toilets have been implemented between Pikine Guédiawaye and Rufisque. This work has a specific innovation: an easy maintenance, no need for sludging, adaptable to flood-prone areas, with easy to use instructions, odorless with an expiration date of at least 10 years. This project has been conducted by ONAS and came to life thanks to the millions of dollars of donation from Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
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In Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Ghana, those toilets have already been set up considering the fact that human waste represent the biggest challenge in Africa. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are slowly preparing to transition into that new ecological era by hiring a dozen of people.
The Senegalese authority have been committed since 2016 and invested almost 3 billion in the creation of green micro-entreprises like for example very small units of sea water desalination or tricycle transportable costumery coolers for fish sales at markets. the authorities hope to create 10.000 direct jobs by 2020 and 30.000 by 2030.
It is in organic farming that in the last 7 years, Uganda showed signs of significant advances in job creations with produces sold and exported (pineapple) and sold at local markets (plantains, cassava, millet…).
When in Zambia thousands of jobs were created thanks to the building of 1 million houses in accordance with strict environmental standards based on different local supply of provisions (wood,compressed non-fired earth bricks…)
Pretoria stepped out as a model in the continent thanks to a South African program called Working for Energy.
the transformation of weeded invasive plants into green fuel also gave a breath of fresh air to its active area with the creation of approximately 4 million jobs.
As for renewable energies, they have a bright future ahead of them in some countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania which are pioneers in that department. They manage several thousands of jobs, but it is difficult to estimate the exact number. It is thanks to the interconnection between merchants, women’s groups or microcredit companies that this sector have flourished quickly in the French speaking countries of Africa.
As years go by, the demands on green jobs are rising up. In 10 years, jobs have been created in air pollution control, waste recycling, water quality, protection and promotion of biodiversity, natural and industrial hazard prevention … Environmental-related jobs have prevailed in the Administration as well as in the private sector and NGos. The newly hired positions are urban cleaning agents, nature guides, environmental biologist, Health and Safety Officers,environmental consultant, guards (hunting, fishing,coastline, rivers, national parks) or Geomatics Specialist.