WCEF2022 is co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda, the African Circular Economy Alliance, the African Circular Economy Network and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, with international partners.

The World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) is Sitra’s global initiative that examines how businesses can gain a competitive advantage through a circular economy and how the circular economy contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more about who is collaborating with us to create the circular economy event of the year. All partners are listed below in alphabetical order.

The African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) is a government-led coalition of African nations with a mission to spur Africa’s transformation to a circular economy that delivers economic growth, jobs and positive environmental outcomes. It was conceived in 2016 during the World Economic Forum on Africa with the mindset of developing Africa’s circular economy ecosystem while capitalising on its development opportunities.

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 African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is a registered non-profit company with a vision to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources. ACEN is a network made up of 100 Country Representatives in 30 Chapters, and 27 international partners. ACEN aims to support this acceleration by connecting people, sharing knowledge and disseminating opportunities throughout its network and beyond.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is a regional multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries. It finances projects, programs and studies in the areas of agriculture, health, education, public utilities, transport and telecommunications, the industry and the private sector. It also finances non-project operations, including structural adjustment loans, policy-based reforms and various forms of technical assistance and policy advice.

The Africa Circular Economy Facility (ACEF) is AfDB’s newest climate change initiative. To build the case for the circular economy ACEF focuses on institutional capacity building, private sector support and promotion of country ownership by strengthening the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA). Nordic Development Fund and the Government of Finland provide joint grant co-financing to ACEF.

African Leadership University (ALU) is a higher education institution with a campus in Rwanda and satellite hubs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and USA. They also have a campus in Mauritius, called the African Leadership College (ALC). ALU uses a student-driven, project-based and mission-oriented learning approach to create agile, lifelong learners who can adapt to a changing world. Their students declare missions (problems they would like to solve with their education) instead of majors. The university enables its students to take ownership of their learning journey from day one through a peer and student-led approach – because ALU believes in the power and agency of young people to start shaping the future right now.

Chatham House is a world-leading policy institute based in London. Their mission is to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. They pursue this mission through dialogue, analysis and solutions-based ideas, and by empowering the next generation to build a better world. Chatham House has been a source of independent analysis, trusted dialogue and influential ideas for more than one hundred years. 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an international charity that develops and promotes the circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste and pollution. The foundation works with its network of private and public sector decision-makers, as well as academia, to build capacity, explore collaborative opportunities, and design and develop circular economy initiatives and solutions. Increasingly based on renewable energy, a circular economy is driven by design to eliminate waste, circulate products and materials, and regenerate nature, to create resilience and prosperity for business, the environment and society

The Finnish Government  is a committed supporter of WCEF and a circular economy pioneer. Finland was the first country in the world to publish a circular economy road map and has a strategic programme to be circular and carbon-neutral by 2035. Finland aims to curb the overconsumption of natural resources. 

Located in northern Europe and described as the “Land of a thousand lakes”, 75% of Finland consists of forests. Everyone has the right to hike, fish and pick berries and mushrooms, regardless of who owns the forest. The country was among the first in the world to introduce women’s right to vote and serve in parliament. The happiest country in the world also provides education for all free of charge, including circular economy training. 

Finland is also committed to enhance circularity in Africa in close partnership with African governments and institutions. They jointly aim to create a friendly operating environment for both public and private organisations working in the circular economy. WCEF2022 provides an excellent platform to work together for a circular economy future! 

Footprints Africa supports the circular economy transition in Africa by helping SMEs adopt future-friendly practices, address the challenges of growth, and create jobs using value chains as a tool for development. They believe the circular economy is important in light of the extraordinary changes that will happen on the continent over the coming decades.

Footprints Africa has mapped circular economy initiatives across the continent, building the most comprehensive open-access database to date. They help businesses measure and prove their circularity and their impacts. They also create tools and training to help early-stage circular SMEs.

The Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) is an alliance of governments at the global level willing to work together on and advocate for a global just circular economy transition and more sustainable management of natural resources at the political level and in multilateral fora. Bringing together governments and relevant networks and organisations, GACERE aims to provide the global impetus for initiatives related to the circular economy transition, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production, building on efforts being deployed internationally. 

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is a treaty-based international, inter-governmental organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies. GGGI operates in over 45 countries to deliver on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement. They have a unique in-country presence and prominent role as a neutral, trusted advisor and strategic development partner for member and partner governments. GGGI provides integrated circular economy solutions aiming to maximise waste-to-resource opportunities while contributing to climate mitigation and creating green jobs. 

The Government of the Netherlands is a proud partner to the World Circular Economy Forum. Circular economy is a key instrument to address the planetary crises on climate, biodiversity and pollution. It has an enormous potential in Africa, both in terms of environmental as well as socio-economic impact. The Netherlands looks forward to how this year’s edition not only unlocks this potential, but also how it will connect local communities in five studios across the continent to the main forum in Kigali. From Africa to the world!

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 2,500 cities and regions committed to sustainable urban development. ICLEI has put urban firmly on the sustainability agenda, working with and effectively advocating for local and subnational governments in the global arena for over 30 years. ICLEI Africa continues to enlarge its footprint in Africa, reaching over 450 cities and regions in 53 countries across the continent. They work with cities and regions across the various development agendas, aligning with African and global policies, and contextualising their work within the realities of the continent. They influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. 

Nordic Innovation is an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers that aims to make the Nordics a pioneering region for sustainable growth through entrepreneurship, innovation and competitiveness in Nordic businesses. Nordic Innovation works towards the vision that the Nordic region will become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world in 2030. From 2021–2024, Nordic Innovation works with eight programmes defined by the Nordic ministers for trade and industry, with the purpose to support and develop sustainable solutions, the circular economy, digitalisation and innovation across the Nordic region.

Rwanda is a founding member and co-chair of the African Circular Economy Alliance. Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa. The country is one of the best destinations for green investment and its capital, Kigali, is often ranked Africa’s cleanest city and is considered one of the safest in the world.

For more than two decades, Rwanda has been at the forefront of advancing the circular economy. It was one of the first countries to ban plastic bags in 2008 and single-use plastics in 2019. Rwanda recently collaborated with Peru to draft a resolution to create an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, which was adopted at UNEA 5.2. Rwanda has developed its Circular Economy Action Plan, which lays out priority activities to advance the circular economy in waste, water, agriculture and construction, as well as private sector engagement.

Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, is an active fund for the future. It aims to create a fair and sustainable future and work with partners to ensure that Finland can lead the way in the transition to a fair and competitive carbon-neutral circular economy – a new society in which our everyday lives and well-being are no longer based on excessive consumption and fossil fuel use. Sitra was founded in 1967 and is an independent public fund operating directly under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament.

UN Development Programme – As the United Nations’ lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities and institutional capabilities, as well as to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas: sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.

UN Environment Programme – Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

UNIDO is the specialised agency of the United Nations with a unique mandate to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial and economic development. UNIDO supports countries to industrialise in ways that foster digital and green transitions and accelerate progress with the Sustainable Development Goals. UNIDO’s priorities are: 1) to reduce hunger by helping businesses from farm to fork; 2) to stop climate breakdown by using renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, and 3) to support sustainable supply chains so that developing country producers get a fair deal and scarce resources are preserved. The UNIDO motto is “Progress by innovation”. It is imperative that governments, industry, businesses and society at large think outside-the-box. UNIDO supports innovation across the whole spectrum of industrial development. 

World Economic Forum (WEF) is the international organisation for public-private co-operation. Their purpose is to bring together stakeholders from all sectors of society to shape a better future and generate great impact through purpose-driven communities and platforms. Their Centre for Nature & Climate acts as an enabler at scale to safeguard our global commons – driving climate action, developing a nature-positive economy, regenerating food, water and ocean systems as well as improving resource management and preventing pollution. Reinforced by a track record of success over five decades, WEF is proud to serve as a trusted platform for high-level, multistakeholder co-operation.