REPORT ON THE AFRICAN CLEANUP CONFERENCE, HELD AT TRANSCORP HOTEL, CALABAR, NIGERIA. Dated 26th – 27th August 2022.

DAY 1 – CONFERENCE
The arrival, registration, and quick meet and greet of delegates for the conference began at 10:00 am. This year’s conference was tagged “The People, The Planet, The Green and Circular Economy”. The conference commenced with a brief presentation on Green House Effect, Global Warming, and Safety by Professor Okeke Gerald Ndubisi, a Safety and Environmental Specialist and a certified HSE professional in the oil and gas and allied industries. He touched on key areas and encouraged the participants to take note of the points to ensure maximum prevention of hazards and strongly encourage safety. He also referred to a passage of the Bible that strictly warns that trees should not be cut down – Deuteronomy 20:19. After which, the Founder/CEO of the African Cleanup Initiative, Dr. Alex Akhigbe, gave the opening/welcome speech to officially declare the conference open.

Dr. Gbolahan Yusuf, a Sustainable Waste Management Expert and current councilor of the Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON), who was the first speaker for the conference, focused on the theme of the conference: “the People, the Planet, the Green and Circular Economy” where he established a relationship and connected the dots between the four cardinal points of the theme. To promote a circular economy, he mentioned that green designs, green manufacturing, and packaging,g, among others, should be adopted.

The conference also hosted other speakers such as Dr. Isa Elegbede, the co-chair of the GEO BON Blue Fisheries working group and also affiliated with the Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany with an interest in Climate Change Impact on Agrifood. It also hosted Dr. Denyinye Hiltar, the State Health Promotion Officer, Ministry of Health, Edo State, Mr. Emmanuel Owan, an Environmental Expert whose speeches were centered on Connecting the Nexus Between Forest Conservation and Climate Change, and Mrs. Jumoke Olowookere, an EcoPreneur and Founder of The Waste Museum, dwelt broadly on the roles of Art and Upcycling in the Promulgation of Climate Governance.
The First Day ended with lunch, meet & greet, networking, and photography sessions.

DAY 2 – TOUR DAY/AWARD CEREMONY/DINNER NIGHT

Despite the rainy weather, the visit to the Kwa Falls was a memory never to be forgotten in a hurry as delegates now tourists, smiled in awe at the wonderful creation of God. The Falls were just the right place that showed the need for the protection and sustainability of mother earth and the perfect place for fun, relaxation, and even a simple yet lovely birthday party for Mrs. Grace Opara, one of the esteemed delegates and tourists.

Later that same day, the award ceremony hosted Dr. Eugene Itua, CEO of Natural Eco Capital and ECO Waste to Wealth Projects, Edo State, represented by Mr. Chidera who made a presentation on Leveraging Opportunities for Growth and Expansion on the existing relationship between the Green and Circular Economy, on his behalf. After this, Dr. Ola Oresanya, a recognized authority in Waste Management and Environmental Development in Africa, addressed the delegates on the Role of Government in Driving a Green and Circular Economy.

Another key session was the panel session anchored by Mrs. Gloria Ajoge-Adaba, a Polymer Engineer, Recycler, Environmentalist, and Founder of Thumbsup Initiative with Dr. Femi Idowu-Adegoke, a Chartered Waste, and Environmental Sustainability Consultant, Lucia Agharese, the Executive Secretary of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), Taiwo Adegoke, an Environmental Expert, represented by Mr. Sunday, as panelists who discuss extensively on closing the loop through recycling opportunities and integrated waste management. The ACI children’s book presentation was done by Ms. Onome Nora Livwell and launched by Prof. Okeke Gerald Ndubisi.

 
And towards the end, we had the award-giving ceremony where different categories of awards were presented to the awardees by the COO of the African Cleanup Initiative, Dr. Mrs. Eunice Akhigbe. These categories of awards were the Environmental Hero of the Year award, the Environmental Ambassador of the Year award, and many others.

The program ended on a high with appraisals and a vote of thanks by the Executive Director of the Africa Cleanup Initiative.

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