Representatives of African public audit authorities are set to convene in Kigali for the next two days to discuss how governments can better manage the challenge of pollution with waste management.
The meeting is convened by the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, a grouping of all supreme audit institutions of the African Region, including 54 members (various countries equivalent of the Auditor General’s Office).
The meeting specifically brings together the working group of ‘Environmental’ which works to improve the capacity and focus on Environmental Audits, through knowledge sharing and training of its members.
The summit is informed by widespread concerns on the impacts of pollution to mortality rates in the continent.
Organisers say that recent statistics show that costs of pollution in Africa, due to health, death or loss, continue to grow with some of it avoidable.
“According to UNEP and WHO estimates, 600, 000 deaths on the African continent annually are attributable to air pollution. While certain knowledge and data gaps remain for monitoring the air pollution of African cities and countries and giving a complete image of the phenomenon, air pollution on the continent is linked to urbanisation. An initial study by OECD aiming to determine the costs of air pollution on the continent observes an increase of 36 per cent in deaths for ambient particular matter pollution from 1990 to 2013, and an increase of 18 per cent for deaths from household air pollution,” a concept note from the summit’s organisers notes.
Further studies suggest that the cost of land degradation and desertification in 42 countries in Africa amounted to 127 billion US dollars in 2015, representing a loss of 12.3 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
With Auditor Generals’ intuitions of the various countries tasked to audit expenditure and reduce possible losses, participants will seek best practices to curb pollution and minimise impacts.
The meeting is also attended by representatives of governments, local authorities, NGOs, and other stakeholders involved in environmental governance.