WCEF2022 invites the world to Africa to build circular economy solutions

For the first time ever, the Global South will be in focus as this year’s World Circular Economy Forum takes place in Africa on 6 to 8 December 2022. Titled From Africa to the World, the forum will be held in Kigali/Rwanda and online, with Studios held in several cities across Africa. Global Studios may also take place in Africa and around the world.

© Topias Dean / Sitra

© Topias Dean / Sitra
Africa can lead the world towards a new, more resilient economy – the circular economy. The continent has vast natural resources, a young population and strong entrepreneurship. These are key elements on which the World Circular Economy Forum as a global collaboration platform can build. At the same time, new forms of collaboration around Africa can offer inspiration to the world.

So far, Africa and other developing continents have faced the severe impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss resulting from the take-make-waste economy of developed economies. “With the youngest population in the world, the African continent can take a crucial role in the global transition towards circularity. Rwanda is proud to host the World Circular Economy Forum 2022, showing African leadership and commitment,” says Rwanda’s Minister of Environment Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.

Held already for the sixth time, the annual global collaboration forum will not only bring people together in Kigali/Rwanda, but also throughout Africa. To engage people and enable a broad local participation, WCEF2022 African Studios will bring the programme of the main event live streamed on a big screen in select locations around Africa and give an opportunity for discussions on local circular economy examples and networking.

Online participation to the conference is possible from anywhere around the world, which will also help curb the carbon emissions from flights. In addition, Global Studios can also be organised by partners. The high-level event in Kigali will be invitation only.

On the first two days, WCEF2022 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.

“As a fast-growing continent, Africa plays an increasingly important role in advancing circularity. The WCEF2022 therefore presents a unique platform to showcase cutting edge circular solutions in support of the Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement goals. The African Development Bank together with its partners, the Government of Finland and the Nordic Development Fund, established the Africa Circular Economy Facility to support circular transformation in line with Africa’s Agenda 2063,” says Kevin Kariuki, Vice President for power, energy, climate change and green growth at the African Development Bank.

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 circular economy is more relevant today than ever, as the world needs to address the global biodiversity loss and climate crises. The COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine have further stressed its importance, as circular interventions can strengthen the resilience of our societies.

“According to Sitra’s recent study, circular economy interventions can halt global biodiversity loss and help the world's biodiversity recover,” says Sitra’s President Jyrki Katainen. “Circularity is crucial not only to keep valuable materials in use, but also to ease the pressure on extracting virgin natural resources.”

WCEF2022 will be hosted jointly by the Republic of Rwanda, the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, with international partners. Rwanda is one of ACEA’s founding members and the secretariat is hosted by the African Development Bank.

The forum programme will be announced in October on the event website


Further information on the event:

ACEA secretariat at the African Development Bank, acea@dalberg.com

Mika Sulkinoja, Global collaboration, Sustainability solutions, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, mika.sulkinoja@sitra.fi

Read more

about the World Circular Economy Forum

about Sitra’s work on the circular economy

about the African Circular Economy Alliance

about the African Circular Economy Network

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