International Conference on Air Quality in Africa
Atmospheric pollution is a global public health concern and is responsible of a number of diseases (asthma, cancer, stroke, dementia, etc.) and accounts for approximately one million deaths in Africa each year. In 2019, the loss in economic output due to air pollution-related morbidity and mortality was estimated at around 1% of GDP for Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda. Particulate matter (PM) pollution was estimated to be responsible for 1.96 billion lost IQ points in African children. Despite these consequences, the awareness of the severity of the problem is appreciated differently in the various parts of Africa due to lack of data, information, and expertise in addressing the causes.
The progress in abating air pollution is uneven across the continent due to different economic transitions performed in different countries and the different sources of pollution in the regions ranging from natural sources such as mineral dust in the Saharan regions and organic matters from forests to anthropogenic emissions from the urban regions. In addition to the ambient pollution, household emissions are also a concern due to the exposure to high levels of toxic combustion products from cooking and other indoor activities such as residential heating.
To assess the level of information available within the continent and to identify specific regions and activities of concern, it is necessary to provide a platform where current information and findings, as well as observations can be presented. Thus, due to the lack of regional information about air quality in Africa which is even more pronounced in the sub-Saharan region, this event is organized to :
(1) learn about various air quality activities and actions going on in different regions of Africa;
(2) improve awareness of the importance of air quality;
(3) create a platform for exchange of information on recent air quality actions, experience and actors in Africa;
(4) improve the network amongst scientists working in air quality in Africa.
The conference has several objectives:
(1) review the state of air quality studies in Africa;
(2) interlink various expertise in air quality in Africa to develop new regional networks and frameworks for clean air acts within Africa;
(3) learn about various sources and effects of air pollution in different parts of Africa;
(4) build air quality capacity and stimulate learning related to air pollution mitigation strategies;
(5) summarize the outcomes of the meeting into a white paper highlighting the current state of air quality activities and requirements within Africa.
The event targets students, researchers, governmental, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations and agencies, researchers, international partners and regional stakeholders in Africa as well as interested individuals.
The event will be covered by various topics that will allow the participants to explore the diversity involved in understanding air quality and pollution in Africa. These topics include but are not limited to the following:
– Sources and characterization of air pollutants
– Sensors and air quality measurement
– Building and mine ventilation
– Data, modelling and forecasting
– Air pollution and health effects
– Socio-Economic impact of air pollution
– Policy, legislation and regulation
– Environmental protection technologies
– Research, collaboration and innovation
– Education and public awareness
– Environmental impact assessment and justice
– Adaptation and mitigation strategies