Heads of states attend the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

JOHANNESBURG  - Ghana will become the first African country to sign up to the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) in a bid to address its mounting plastic waste and pollution challenge, the WEF has said.

The WEF, the international organization for public-private cooperation, said Ghana had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but this rapid expansion had led to high levels of pollution from plastic production and un-managed waste.

"GPAP will fast-track progress on these fronts by working with Ghana’s public, private and civil society sectors to steer the transition towards a circular economy in which plastics are manufactured, used and re-used sustainably," it said in a statement issued in Cape Town, where it is hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa.

"It will also support and develop locally led initiatives by creating a platform to facilitate knowledge sharing, connect like-minded actors and scale up best practices to the national, regional and global level."

Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo and environment minister Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng will formally announce the partnership in October.

"Our partnership with the Global Plastics Action Partnership will bring together new and existing efforts to spark off innovation and achieve progress at a tremendous scale,” Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng said in remarks carried in the WEF statement.

"Our success will propel Ghana to emerge as a regional leader on the issue of plastic pollution reduction and inspire other nations to act through sharing our knowledge and lessons. Ultimately, we hope that this will mark the beginning of a new era of action on plastic waste and pollution across the African continent.”

Ghana's insufficient infrastructure to manage and reduce waste has led to unsustainable levels of pollution and leakage, putting the well-being of citizens biodiversity at risk. 

"Ghanaians have reacted energetically to this challenge," the WEF said, noting that the government had implemented a national plastics management policy to address the unsustainable adoption of single-use plastic. 

- African News Agency (ANA)