The African Circular Economy Alliance has identified five key sectors that have the most potential to drive the circular economy, namely; environment, fashion and textile, electronics, and packaging.
In a report titled “Five Big Bets for the Circular Economy,” the ACEA indicated that these five sectors served as a model that promotes better resource management. The range of benefits open to African countries as a result of this model include higher value supply chains. Also, a sense of resilience enabled by self-sufficiency and localization.
Furthermore, the launch of the report took place in an annual meeting organized by the African Development Bank and the World Economic Forum.
Co-Chair, Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa indicated that “this report identifies the circular economy baseline, market gaps and opportunities existing in Africa.”
“The research objective was to inform the development of robust interventions and programmes. [Also], to guide the African Circular Economy Alliance’s interventions in its regional member countries.”Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa
Speakers at the session unanimously highlighted that the role of markets and consumers, education, trade, partnerships and innovation are key to driving the circular economy.
Moreover, other participants shared the view that the framework helps ensure inclusive growth in Africa. In the private sector, circular enterprises are contributing to improving the environment while sustaining livelihoods in Africa.
Private Enterprises contribution to the Five Big Bets
Also, Ecopost, a private enterprise operates by contributing to the improvement of the environment. The enterprise has upcycled 5 million kgs of plastic waste into building materials and created jobs for youth and women.
Lorna Rutto, the founder noted that “entrepreneurs need an enabling environment and the infrastructure to scale up and replicate their business models.”
Speakers at the session envisaged that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provided many opportunities to tap into. “At the end of the day, the name of the game is collaboration.”
Bringing the discussion to a close, moderator James Mwangi, indicated that Africa remained a fragmented continent. Indicatively, the 54 nations rather should move as a unified bloc to successfully unlock the Five Big Bets.
Furthermore, the report called on stakeholders to leverage identified enablers critical to the transition to a circular economy. These enablers include the development and implementation of policies and regulations, the provision of business support.
Other contributors are investments in quality infrastructure, increased access to financing and technology, and greater availability of data and information
The Alliance is a government-led coalition of African transformation into a circular economy. It delivers economic growth, jobs and positive environmental outcomes.
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