What is WCEF?

The annual World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) presents the world’s leading circular economy solutions with business leaders, policymakers and experts participating from around the world.

Circular economy approaches can help businesses seize new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage, as well as contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

WCEF is a global initiative of Finland and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The first Forum, WCEF2017, identified key elements of a circular economy and showcased solutions and learnings from around the world, bringing together 1,500 people from more than 100 countries.

At WCEF2018, more than one 1,000 circular economy experts discussed creating a true circular economy by 2050.  WCEF2019 emphasised the next era of the circular economy and scaling up the transition, with more than 2,200 participants.

As the world adjusted to the impacts of COVID-19, in 2020 WCEFonline presented the circular solutions to rebooting the world’s economy and opened its doors to more than 4,200 participants through its new online format. In 2021, there were two big events. WCEF+Climate focused on the crucial role of a circular economy in achieving climate neutrality. The main event WCEF2021 in Toronto, Canada focused on seizing circular opportunities, reaching over 26,000 participants from 134 countries.


From Africa to the World

Hosted in the Global South for the first time, WCEF2022 will be held in Kigali, Rwanda and online. African Studios will live-broadcast the main event in five cities across Africa and facilitate discussions around circularity, while offering participants the opportunity to exhibit their solutions and take tours to local circular economy facilities. Studios can also be organised around the Globe.

This year’s global collaboration forum presents a unique opportunity for African nations and the world at large to transition toward an inclusive low-carbon and climate resilient economy while tackling key societal challenges. Africa can lead the world towards a new, more resilient economy – the circular economy. With vast natural resources, a young population, strong entrepreneurship and new forms of collaboration, the African continent can offer inspiration to the world.

The forum will explore major themes relevant to Africa’s development in which circularity could play a big role, including climate and nature, youth, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as trade and value chains. The third day is reserved for partner-led programmes that can take place anywhere around the world or online. The programme will be released in October.

In addition to the main event, WCEF2022 Side Events can be organised throughout the year, excluding the forum days. Side events organised from 28 November to 11 December will be listed on this event page, and the full list is available on Sitra’s website.

WCEF2022 is co-organised by the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), the Republic of Rwanda, the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, with international partners.

Practical information for participants

For all those who will be joining us in Kigali for WCEF2022, we have gathered some practical information to make your visit and participation in the forum easier.

What is the circular economy?

The circular economy is a tool that allows Africa to leapfrog into an economic model that addresses multifaceted issues, such as poverty, poor infrastructure and unemployment, while also leaving more space for nature to thrive.  Circularity is key for economic resilience and social stability which benefits everyone. It also provides many opportunities for mutually beneficial global partnerships.

The circular economy is the new paradigm for business which aims to achieve economic growth through new sustainable business models. According to research from Accenture, the circular economy could generate 4.5 trillion US dollars’ worth of additional economic output by 2030. The research identifies circular business models that will help decouple economic growth from natural resource consumption while driving greater competitiveness.


Want to know more about the WCEF2022? Please contact us:

  • The ACEA secretariat at the African Development Bank: acea@dalberg.com
  • Sitra’s WCEF team: contactus.wcef@sitra.fi