With the fastest growing and youngest population in the world, Africa has great economic opportunities. The circular economy represents the single greatest chance to supercharge green growth and job creation in Africa. However, the growth in urban populations raise a dire need for basic infrastructure that also climate-proofs the future.
In addition to its human capital, the African continent boasts biodiversity-rich regions, endemic species and ecosystems. Yet, climate change and biodiversity loss still present a threat, and nature-based solutions and systems-approaches must be adopted in order to survive.
Intra-African trade makes up a minor percentage of the continent’s total trade flows. On top of that, the global value chain was further disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These barriers amplify the need to accelerate circular, localised and resilient value chains in Africa.
WCEF2022 will present some of the world’s best circular economy solutions as well as 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.
The four cross-cutting themes addressed on the first day, 6 December, include youth, innovation and entrepreneurship; climate and nature; trade and value chains; and infrastructure. These are all crucial to Africa’s sustainable development and also a precondition to a circular economy future.
The second day, 7 December, explores cross-cutting themes that enable the circular economy transition: finance, policies, partnerships and technology. It stresses resource mobilisation and finance to scale circular projects on the continent; the lack of conducive national and regional regulatory frameworks; the relevance of technology in a circular economy transition; and the need for peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing to facilitate collaboration.
The third day of the forum, 8 December, is filled with Accelerator Sessions hosted by WCEF partner organisations. These outcome-oriented sessions will provide deep dives into the first two days’ topics, defining what daily work is needed for a circular transition.
The full programme with speaker names and bios will be published by mid-November.
All sessions will be live streamed on the event platform. By registering as an online participant, you’ll be able to see the full programme and speaker list, watch the sessions and take part in polls on 6 and 7 December, as well as access additional programme including case videos.