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Rwanda sets pace for plastic cycle management. Here’s how

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Rwanda has teamed up with 13 other countries and the European Union to come up with a proposal that is calling for a full spectrum approach to plastic pollution.

The proposal, which calls for the creation of an internationally legally binding agreement covering all stages of the plastic life cycle and by adopting a circular economy approach to plastics, was presented at the United Nations (UN) Environmental Assembly meeting in Nairobi discussing the problem of plastic waste.

The proposal covers plastic use and disposal, the extraction of raw materials and plastic production.

Delegates from member countries have put forth proposals for a binding global treaty to curb plastic pollution.

Waste management has been one of core environmental challenges in the world, particularly in Africa. In Nigeria, one of Africa’s most populous countries, about some 32 million tonnes of waste are generated per year of which 2.5 million tonnes are plastic waste. Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria generates 9,000 tonnes of waste daily with 86 percent of it plastic.

Kenya environmentalist and activist, Wanjira Mathai, while reacting to the development, said

“We must celebrate what Rwanda is trying to do because we know that on the continent Rwanda continues to lead with respect, they were the first country to ban single use plastic. Most of us followed later, keeping our environment clean. It is a country that has got credibility with respect to this agenda. I really hope they get the support that is needed. With the information we have today, with what we know today about the impacts of plastics on our oceans, on our environment we cannot be those people. We have got to find alternatives so I hope they get the support they need,”

In February 2021, Wildlife group WWF published a report written in collaboration with Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute.

The study compiled data from 2,590 scientific studies on the topic and found that plastic has infiltrated all parts of the ocean, and called for urgent efforts to create an international treaty on plastics.

According to the WWF report published, 88% of marine species it studied are affected by severe contamination of plastic in the ocean. The report said that many animals have ingested these plastics, including animals commonly consumed by humans.

In the Rwandan capital, Kigali, plastic waste is being recycled by a local company.

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Meta faces $220 million fine from Nigeria for breaking consumer, data rules

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Nigeria’s competition watchdog has fined Meta Platforms $220 million after findings that data-sharing on social media platforms breached regional consumer, privacy, and data protection rules.

According to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) of Nigeria, Meta exploited its market dominance by forcing users to agree to exploitative privacy policies, appropriated the data of Nigerian users on its platforms without their consent, and treated Nigerians differently and discriminatorily than people in other jurisdictions with comparable laws.

Meta refrained from commenting right away, but the FCCPC stated in a statement that the business had given some papers and had hired attorneys who had interacted with the agency.

The investigations, which lasted more than 38 months, were conducted in tandem with Nigeria’s Data Protection Commission, according to FCCPC head Adamu Abdullahi. He also claimed that the investigations revealed that Meta policies do not give users the choice or chance to decide for themselves whether or not to provide consent for the collection, use, and sharing of personal data.

“The totality of the investigation has concluded that Meta over the protracted period has engaged in conduct that constituted multiple and repeated, as well as continuing infringements… particularly, but not limited to abusive, and invasive practices against data subjects in Nigeria,” Abdullahi said.

“Being satisfied with the significant evidence on the record, and that Meta has been provided every opportunity to articulate any position, representations, refutations, explanations or defences of their conduct, the Commission has now entered a final order and issued a penalty against Meta,” Abdullahi said.

 

According to Abdullahi, the final ruling specifies the procedures that Meta must follow in order to abide with local legislation.

Turkey’s Competition Board penalized Meta 1.2 billion lira in May after looking into data-sharing on the company’s WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Threads services.

Meta has encountered opposition in Europe and other regions due to purported violations of data privacy regulations. Europe has expressed disapproval of Meta’s proposal to develop its artificial intelligence algorithms using personal data without obtaining authorization.

In the meantime, intentions to look into whether digital platforms, like Meta, unfairly compete with news publishers by leveraging their content to earn ad revenue have been announced by South Africa’s competition authority.

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SA’s e-health startup RecoMed partners Discovery Vitality to simplify flu vaccinations

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South African e-health startup, RecoMed, has struck a partnership with Discovery Vitality to simplify bookings for flu vaccines and Vitality Health Checks.

RecoMed is a technology-driven online healthcare marketplace and booking platform that seamlessly connects practitioners, patients, and other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.

According to its profile, patients can easily book appointments with a diverse selection of healthcare practitioners in their area quickly and privately from a phone, tablet, or PC, 24/7.

Vitality, on the other hand, is the largest global platform for behaviour change, underpinning the insurance products of leading insurers worldwide, impacting 30 million lives in over 40 markets.

Sheraan Amod, CEO at RecoMed who issued a statement on the partnership, said the collaboration between Discovery Vitality and RecoMed has reimagined bookings and efficiencies for independent members and corporates.

“This collaboration showcases Discovery Vitality’s commitment to supporting and empowering their members,” Amod said.

“Members can easily manage their family’s health within a simple system that allows them to stay ahead of their Vitality Health Checks, and the benefits this delivers, as well as to protect themselves ahead of flu season.

“As South Africa has entered the flu season, it’s important that we make it as easy as possible for our members to find an approved Discovery Vitality partner at a convenient location for their flu vaccine and Vitality Health Check.

“Moving the booking journey onto this accessible, digital platform has allowed our members to simply click and book vaccines and Vitality Health Checks without waiting in a queue or spending time navigating long lists.

“The collaboration has allowed for Discovery Vitality to radically modernise and speed up access to healthcare providers for these essential services while transforming member experiences,” he added.

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