The United Nations-supported centre, named The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, was inaugurated on 2 October at the Vista University in Pretoria. The centre will develop hazardous waste training programmes, raise greater awareness on hazardous wastes in Africa and will play a key role in implementing the 1992 Basel Convention on hazardous wastes.

Under the Convention, governments are expected to minimise the quantities of wastes that are transported, to treat and dispose of wastes as close as possible to the location where they were generated, and to reduce the generation of hazardous waste at source.

The Danish Agency for Development Assistance (DANIDA) is financing the first three years of operation of the South African centre, which was opened the same week as the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) first workshop on national reporting and national inventories of hazardous wastes at the site.

Representatives from the following countries will be the first to use the centre: Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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