Hello readers. Welcome to #CircularTuesday on CleanbuildVoices!

Unlike a linear economy where products and resources are produced, used, and disposed of, a circular economy prioritizes recycling, repairing, and reusing products and resources.

If there is one continent that is better poised to take advantage of the circular economy, it is definitely Africa and this is because it has an environment that the circular economy concept can thrive in.

A circular economy approach eliminates waste, enables sustainable growth, strengthens resilience, and with the right enabling environment, offers a promising opportunity for economic development, value creation, and skills development.

The new industries as well as increased circularity in some sectors, present great opportunities for Africa and have the potentials to support the continent’s economy, improve lives, and protect the environment and resources in the long run.

These sectors include:

Food waste conversion

Food security is a major issue in Africa especially as the climate crisis has led to low food production in many communities. However, circular approaches can be employed to prevent hunger.

Farmers can convert food waste to organic fertilizer as a way of encouraging green production. They can also be trained on wastewater recovery to better meet their irrigation water needs.

This will lead to the adoption and acceleration of climate-smart models for food production.

E-waste recycling

The informal e-waste sector in Africa has huge prospects despite the challenges that the e-waste management industry faces in terms of financial and legislative support.

A major opportunity for the continent in this aspect is the development of the e-waste recycling industry as well as collection facilities.

This will bring value to the continent and enable the creation of green jobs which will attract more investment for recycling e-waste.

Plastic waste recycling

Plastic waste is a great threat to the environment and living species. Thanks to recycling, the environmental implications of the growing demand for goods with plastic packaging can be mitigated.

Circular-inspired incentives like bottle deposit systems where consumers can deposit used bottles, tax incentives for businesses, as well as favorable legislation can prompt new behaviors and boost investments in recycling facilities.

Bottom line

Collaboration in these sectors is key to making change happen. By enacting the right policies, supporting businesses, providing financial incentives, and investing in new technologies and infrastructure, Africa is sure to become resilient.