Environmental Advocacy | Community Capacity Building | Geospatial Researching.

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Environmental pollution in Africa

Africa is gifted with natural and mineral resources, but exploitation of these resources has led to extreme pollution of the environment. Population growth and urbanization due to developments have also contributed immensely to the current pollution in Africa. Traffic emissions, transported dust and open burning are all significant contributors to air pollution in Africa. The Sahara desert is a major source of transported dust, especially during the harmattan season in West Africa. Mercury emissions are very high in South Africa due to coal combustion and gold mining. Air pollutants may contaminate water and soil through atmospheric deposition. However, the major pollution sources for surface waters are the urban and industrial discharges of untreated effluents into the water.

A few African countries have standards for effluent discharge into surface waters, but it is unknown whether these standards are being enforced. Though groundwater sources in wells and boreholes are the major sources of drinking water for the African populace, the biological water quality of these groundwater sources is mostly low in the region due to close proximity to sanitary facilities. Identified sources of soil pollution in Africa include agricultural activities, mining, roadside emissions, auto-mechanic workshops, refuse dumps and e-waste. Oil spills are a major problem in oil-rich African countries such as Nigeria and Angola. Agricultural activities are the lowest impacting the soil in Africa, while e-waste recycling was the highest with Pb, Cu and Zn at extremely high concentrations (>1%). There is a need for proper regulation of environmental pollutants in Africa.


Africa is houses over 420 million young people aged 15 to 35 and by 2063, they are expected to comprise approximately 46% of Africa’s labor force. STEi Foundation with support from our partners, pledged support to co-create solutions to tackle challenges facing Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement among many Africans.

STEi Foundation also advocate for the implementation of laws against genders base violence in Africa by African Union member states because we cannot talk about education and employment for girls and young women without addressing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriage, gender-based violence, and menstruation, among other forms of violence and discrimination against women. Unfortunately girls go through a vicious cycle that hinders them from fulfilling their potential. When girls go through FGM, they are more likely to be forced into child marriage, drop out of school, and not become financially independent, preventing them from having a dignified life. Therefore, we have to center education and employment in Africa around dignity of our youth, especially young women and girls.

Africa is the most youthful continent in the world today, with 65% of its entire population below the age of 35. The time has come for bold and accelerated efforts towards achieving the AU Agenda 2063. This is crucial to ensuring a stable Africa – one that will be free of conflict and home to proud and educated citizens who are healthy and fully engaged in their countries’ development and governance.  The future of education and work needs to be about curiosity and passion to explore knowledge, learning and purpose from completely different experiences; to focus on building a world that is collaborative and emotionally intelligent; and to accelerate human development. Our generation is excited about changing systems, creating disruptions and being changemakers. Thus, we can set the right intention and goal to use new technologies to make Africa and the world a better place, our lives more efficient, and our impact on the environment lower.

It is only by working together and inspiring one another that we will build “the Africa we want”. Together, we can connect millions of youth with their dream opportunities. Join us today in Greening the Environment and Empowering the People.

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