An introduction to Circular Africa

  • The current linear economy is focused on ‘take-make-dispose’ which is an untenable model.
  • An alternative business model for a traditional linear economy is a circular economy. A circular economy has the potential to create green, smart and cost-effective business models by closing the loop of resources.
  • The great potentials of circular economy are mostly unexplored for Africa. Therefore Circular Africa wants to inspire and open up collaborations through consultancy work with Circular Africa to develop a circular economy in Africa.

The African continent is under great pressure to solve the increasing need for food security due to an explosive increase in the population combined with additional challenges from climate change. Furthermore, with the current linear system that is focused on ‘take-make-dispose’, agricultural emissions and waste accumulation in urban areas are even increasing and contributing further to climate change. Waste accumulation and inappropriate waste infrastructures in fasting growing cities even results in other threats such as diseases and other public health concerns. Taking these concerns seriously, industries should be completely re-designed in a way that it will fulfil the demands of the growing population in a sustainable manner, while it enhances waste valorization to reduce waste accumulation towards sustainable environmental development. 

An alternative to the linear system is a circular economy which seeks to close the loop of resources through the establishment of restorative and regenerative systems. A circular economy has the potential to create green, smart and cost-efficient business models by closing the loop of resources and materials (e.g. waste) in Africa. A win-win situation for companies, since companies spending less on resources and waste management, or even make profit (from waste) by designing a full circular business model. On top of that, a circular economy provides alternative for the current linear economy focused on ‘take-make-dispose’ and actively contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals such as 2 (responsible consumption and production) and 13 (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

The circular economy is a new concept, which acknowledges that there is limited research available, and awareness created about the circular economy concept. A circular economy is for most of the (African) stakeholders a new concept, which is not well known by the society and the ‘term’ circular economy mainly exist between policymakers, researchers or in theory.

Although the informal and formal private sector is not familiar with the circular economy concept, some African companies already implement some forms of circular business models. Despite the circular economy practices are in place, there is an enormous potential for further improvements, and to upscale the professionalism of circular economy business models and collaborations in Africa. A potential that is mostly unexplored by the private sector, government, institutions and private persons.

Therefore, Circular Africa has the purpose to: 

  • Inspire companies to develop more efficient business models, business ideas and pilots project by closing the loop of resources. 
  • Inspire businesses to make profit from waste rather than spending money on waste. 
  • Open up opportunities for collaborations through consultancy work with Circular Africa to develop a circular economy in Africa together with institutions, organizations, private sector and individuals, e.g. through pilot projects and other collaboration platforms.

In order to do so, Circular Africa is a training, consulting and information platform with the aim to unlock circular economy potentials to develop a Circular Africa. Circular Africa will share more circular economy potentials, needs and proven show cases in Africa in the next upcoming articles that will be published on this website.

Click on the blog page to subscribe yourself for Circular Africa. 

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