Connecting Solid Waste Management to Sustainable Urban Development in Africa

Enoch Akwasi Kosoe, Issaka Kanton Osumanu, Francis Diawuo Darko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Scholarship on solid waste management in Africa mostly focuses on institutional players and collaboration in achieving sustainable waste management. Little consideration is given to the technical issues and technologies for waste management; and the links to sustainable urban development. Using a systematic and inclusive literature review, this chapter discusses solid waste management in African cities and what it means for sustainable development. African cities are facing a growing and varied solid waste generation and management crisis. Following rapid population growth and urbanisation, rise in middle-income households and the attendant rise in living standards and consumption, many cities in Africa generate large quantities of solid waste which has become a development challenge. As a result, solid waste from households and commercial and industrial sources increasingly contaminate many African cities. Unfortunately, landfilling and incineration are the most common technologies for municipal solid waste management in most African cities, although none of them is sustainable due to the significant environmental and financial costs involved. The lack of clear policy strategies in waste management is an issue in many African countries because governments are not fully prepared to integrate waste management into their sustainable urban development priority goals. The future of solid waste management in African cities will remain a challenge without efforts to discover and apply locally-appropriate technologies that incorporate the principle of “reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, and dispose.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Urban Futures in Africa
EditorsPatrick Brandful Cobbinah, Michael Addaney
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-18148-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-02016-7, 978-1-032-02018-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • waste management
  • Africa
  • technologies
  • sustainable
  • urban development


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