English-speaking Africa

Virtually every developing country Party under the Montreal Protocol has a National Ozone Unit supported by the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund. The Montreal Protocol is regarded as the most successful environmental agreement having phased out 98% of Ozone Depleting Substances. The Ozone Officers Network for English-speaking Africa comprises of 28 countries - Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini (the Kingdom of) Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of South Sudan, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan,  Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Special assistance is provided to two Portuguese-speaking countries in the Network (Angola and Mozambique) mainly through special sessions/meetings/group discussions as well as through the involvement of Portugal during the meetings.

The formation of the Ozone Officers Network for Africa was approved at the 12th Executive Committee Meeting in March 1994 (AFR/SEV/12/TAS/09).The Network is facilitated by the OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) team based in UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa (ROA) in Nairobi, Kenya consisting of the Senior Regional Network Coordinator, Regional Network Coordinator for English- speaking Africa, Regional Network Coordinator of the French- speaking Africa, and the Methyl Bromide Officer. The team provides all the CAP services to the region.

In this network, all the Implementing Agencies (IAs) of the Multilateral Fund - UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP and the World Bank as well as bilateral partner - Germany operate.

The National Ozone Officers (NOOs) hold the pillar to exploiting activities on the ground. With the need to understand the issues being faced on the ground; The Regional Network of Ozone Officers for English Speaking African countries provides a regular forum for NOOs aimed at strengthening and improving their capacities in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. In December 2011, UNEP, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization, created an e-learning module for Customs officers to assist in fulfilling their role in phasing out ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol. The ODS e-learning modules were made available online at the WCO e-learning platform; available in English, French, Russian and Spanish. A printable completion certificate is provided to successful 'users' at the end of the course.

More than a decade now after its establishment, it is evident that the Ozone Officers in this network have matured to become more capable in the implementation of Montreal Protocol activities including implementation of country programmes, refrigerant management plans, terminal phase out management plans , HCFCs management plans, institutional strengthening and other key projects.

Objectives of the Network

The main objective of the English-speaking African Network of Ozone Officers is to Assist countries in the region meet and sustain compliance with the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments by providing countries with regular updates and guidance on the various Montreal Protocol compliance requirements and guiding countries in the implementation of associated necessary phase-out activities that lead towards meeting and sustaining compliance with Montreal Protocol and its Amendments.
Specific objectives include:

  • Assist countries in enforcing control measures to monitor and regulate the import and use of ODS and ODS based equipment
  • Ensure that countries compile and submit accurate, reliable and timely data on import and ODS consumption to Multilateral Fund and Ozone Secretariat
  • Assist English-speaking Africa countries to expedite preparation, submission and implementation of HPMPs tranches in order to meet the HCFC freeze targets as per Montreal Protocol schedules
  • Support countries in the region to be in compliance with methyl bromide consumption to ensure total phase-out is achieved by 2015
  • Promote awareness raising of the Montreal Protocol activities in English-speaking African countries.
  • Initiate studies and surveys on use of HCFC in the region and identify activities for its phase-out.
  • Guide NOUs to ensure full enforcement of ODS regulations adopted at national and sub-regional level.
  • Enhance collaboration of customs authorities and Ozone Officers in regional trade blocks such as, COMESA, ECOWAS in Montreal Protocol related information exchange and control of illegal ODS trade.
  • Effective cooperation at national and sub-regional levels will be encouraged to build synergies and promote the integration of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) especially those dealing with chemicals.
  • Promote low GWP HCFCs alternatives.
  • Encourage countries to control HCFCs second hand based equipment.
  • Establishment of ODS regulations and country-specific Action Plans and early detection of the risk of non-compliance and illegal trade.
  • Active participation in discussions on the future of the Montreal Protocol.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

 

The network has provided a regular forum aimed at strengthening and improving the capacities of the National Ozone Officers (NOOs) in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol activities; helping NOOs share experiences, challenges and opportunities that exist; and identify other needs of NOOs such as training and net-working. Currently, all countries in the region are in compliance with the Montreal Protocol.
To maintain the Montreal Protocol phase-out momentum and in readiness for future phase-out obligations, capacity building for Customs and other law enforcement officers has been one of the major activities in the region. This has helped ensure that border control is effective and ODS control measures are enforced and monitored adequately.

UNEP Regional Office for Africa (ROA) Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) has been working with national authorities and relevant regional and international partners to put in place appropriate measures to curb increased cases of illegal trade of ODS, refrigerants (especially cases of mixed, mislabeled and fake refrigerants).

Through the OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) in Africa there has been enhanced public awareness and ozone layer depletion has continued to receive in-depth interest at international and national policy level.

The Network has supported Institutional Strengthening of various countries to effectively implement Montreal Protocol Activities through implementation of Institutional Strengthening Projects and capacity building to Ozone Officers.

The Network assisted countries to accurately and timely report annual data on ODS consumption to the Ozone and Multilateral Fund Secretariats to enable the assessment of the status of compliance with the Montreal Protocol.
 

Specific challenges

  • Illegal trade of ODS refrigerants, (increased cases of mixed and fake refrigerants) - failure in equipment performance, court cases
  • Handling of seized refrigerants and ODS based equipment
  • Linguistic barriers for Portuguese countries- 5 Portuguese speaking countries
  • Unreliable IT: affecting online CP reporting, remote implementation, social networking
  • Frequent changes of Ozone Officers and high turnover of customs officers leading to delays in implementation of activities, more CAP time on training new Ozone Officers
  • High number of informal sector technicians causing safety concerns in handling alternative, especially hydrocarbon
  • Political Instability experienced in some countries resulting in delays in implementation of activities and non-compliance status.