Organized for the first time in Finland in 2017, the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) will be held in 2022 on African soil precisely in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. More than 2,500 participants will explore major themes relevant to Africa’s development, in which circularity could play a big role.
The Rwandan capital Kigali has been selected to host the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) in 2022. The meeting is jointly organized with the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) and the Finnish Sitra Innovation Fund, along with other international partners.
“The circular economy can be a game changer for Africa’s development. This forum is an opportunity for Rwanda and the continent as a whole to showcase environmental management traditions and explore ways to make the transition to a fully circular economy a reality,” says Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.
The main themes addressed by the world’s business leaders, policy makers and experts will be climate and nature, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and innovation, and trade and value chains. It will also be an opportunity to showcase some of the world’s best circular economy solutions to the expected 2,500 participants. It will also offer solutions to enable African businesses to seize new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage in the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies.
“The circular economy can help companies seize new business opportunities and gain a competitive advantage, in addition to contributing to the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” says The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra President and former Finnish Prime Minister, Jyrki Katainen.
In Africa, electricity, agriculture, urban infrastructure, transport, plastics, manufacturing and textile industries are all sectors that offer opportunities for the transition to a circular economy, with the key to improving the level of development.
Initiatives aimed at implementing a circular economy have multiplied in recent years in Africa. This is the case of the Switch Africa green program launched in 2013 by the European Union (EU) to develop the use of biogas, the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment, organic farming, green manufacturing and the creation of eco-industrial parks. Partners in this program include Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has also launched the African Circular Economy Facility (ACEF) to support circular economy practices in its member states. In Ethiopia, for example, the focus is on energy recovery from waste. For its part, Algeria promotes waste recovery through recycling and composting while Rwanda has phased out the use of plastic bags to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.
For more information on the WCEF, click here.