Ghanaians are being asked to come up with innovative solutions for managing solid urban waste under a competition sponsored by the World Bank.

Ghana Innovations Marketplace (GIM) 2009 aims to attract projects from small and medium-sized enterprises, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders that focus on recycling rubbish and converting it into energy in particular. The competition, which is being organized in conjunction with the government of Ghana, focuses on waste management in the cities of Tema, Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale and Accra. Winning projects will be given a combination of capacity building support and cash prizes.

Urban waste management is a major problem in Accra and many other cities in Africa, where the authorities are struggling to keep pace with the growing amount of rubbish generated by rising urban populations and a burgeoning middle class. Poor waste management and disposal not only poses a health threat to communities living in the vicinity of dump sites but it can also result in blocked drains and consequent flooding during heavy rainfall.