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Japan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) recently signed an agreement at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, to counter plastic pollution in South Africa. Signed by UNIDO representative in Southern Africa, Khaled El Mekwad, and Japanese ambassador to South Africa, Norio Maruyama, the joint programme will look at both plastic waste and alternative materials to conventional plastics.

The programme will run for three years and will be paid for by a Japanese grant of $1.8 million.

Japan had agreed to provide the funding after a bilateral meeting between Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, prior to the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. At the summit, Abe announced that Japan would support the waste management efforts of developing countries, inducing capacity building and infrastructure development. The ambassador described the agreement as a “concrete achievement” of that policy.

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