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WCEF2022: Africa to host World Circular Economy Forum for the first time

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WCEF2022: Africa to host World Circular Economy Forum for the first time

Rwanda is scheduled to host this year’s World Circular Economy Forum, a first for Africa since the forum was established. This was revealed at the sidelines of the Europe-Africa Business Forum yesterday.

The upcoming World Circular Economy Forum 2022 (WCEF2022) will be hosted jointly by the Republic of Rwanda, the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, in close collaboration with selected international partners.

WCEF2022 will explore major themes relevant to Africa’s development, in which circularity could play a big role. The themes to address include climate and nature, youth, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as trade and value chains.

The forum will also represent the aspirations of the African continent and its position in the global economy, and present some of the world’s best circular economy solutions.

In addition, the World Circular Economy Forum 2022 will examine how businesses from Africa and elsewhere can seize new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage in the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies.

While the program for the World Circular Economy Forum 2022 has not yet been released, it will be announced later along with dates. The World Circular Economy Forum 2022 (WCEF2022) is expected to take place in early October in Kigali as well as online.

While delivering her keynote address at a prominent event on business co-operation for the circular economy organized today by the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) and the European Commission, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, said: “The circular economy can be a game-changer for Africa’s development. WCEF2022 is an opportunity for Rwanda and the continent as a whole to showcase our traditions of environmental stewardship, and to explore ways of making the transition to a fully circular economy a reality.”

The event highlighted the long-standing economic partnership between Africa and Europe and discussed how the circular economy can be integrated into regional cooperation to drive sustainable development.

Speaking on the partnership and Africa’s potential in the circular economy, Jyrki Katainen, Sitra’s President and former European Commission’s Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment, and Competitiveness as well as former Prime Minister of Finland, said: “Africa is a vast continent and plays a crucial role in the circular economy also globally. Finland supports the global transition towards circularity, and hosting WCEF2022 in Africa is a natural step for this global collaboration arena.”

Rwanda has been at the forefront of the circular economy transition for the past two decades.

The country is a founding member of the ACEA and serves as Co-chair, a role assumed by the Ministry of Environment through the provision of thought-leadership on the governance of ACEA.

Rwanda was one of the first countries in the world to ban the use of plastic bags in 2008, a decision motivated by the desire to tackle littering and pollution in the country. It also collaborated with Peru to draft the resolution for an “Internationally legally binding instrument on plastic pollution” at UNEA 5 in 2021.

Recently, the Government of Rwanda developed its first-ever Circular Economy Action Plan that lays out priority options and underlying activities to advance the circular economy in waste, water, agriculture, and construction. The Action Plan also considers a cross-cutting component that focalizes capacity building, collaboration, and private sector engagement for the upcoming fifteen years.

About ACEA

The African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) is a government-led coalition whose mission is to spur Africa’s transition to the circular economy through policy development, business scale-up as well as leadership and advocacy.

The Alliance serves as a platform that supports the transition to a circular economy at the national, regional, and continental levels through policy development, leadership and advocacy, and support in scaling circular businesses and projects.

The Alliance membership is voluntary and rapidly expanding. It is comprised of the founding countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, as well as members such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Sudan.

ACEA also collaborates with strategic partners which are like-minded institutions supporting the circular economy agenda in Africa. Current partners include the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), African Development Bank, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, European Commission, Footprints Africa, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Governments of Finland and The Netherlands, ICLEI Africa, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), UN Environment and World Economic Forum (WEF).

For further information about the event, contact:

ACEA secretariat at the African Development Bank, [email protected]

Mika Sulkinoja, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, [email protected]

Basile Uwimana, Communication & Outreach Specialist, Ministry of Environment of Rwanda, [email protected]

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