The World Circular Economy Forum will, for the first time, take place on African soil in 2022, bringing together participants from around the world to absorb lessons from the continent and the wider global south toward building a more resilient and greener global economy. The Forum will be held from December 6-8, in Kigali, Rwanda.
The 2022 World Circular Economy Forum 2022 (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. Business leaders, policymakers and experts from around the world are expected to participate. The first Forum was held in 2017.
Under the theme From Africa to the World, the hybrid-format event will have proceedings livestreamed on big screens in several African cities to drive broad-based engagement with the forum. The format will enable remote participation in discussions about local models and examples of the circular economy.
"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," said Rwanda's Minister of Environment, Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya.
Rwanda is a founding member of the African Circular Economy Alliance and serves as co-chair. The government of Rwanda, the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, will jointly host the event with international partners.
The global south is expected to face among the most severe impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss as a result of the take-make-waste economic paradigm. This is particularly true in Africa.
At the same time, the continent has vast natural resources, and a young, vibrant and entrepreneurial population. As such, it is seen as having both incentive and potential to play a lead role in driving the circular economy model and building greater resilience across the globe.
"As a growing continent, Africa plays a key role in advancing circularity. The WCEF2022 presents an ideal platform to showcase cutting-edge circular solutions to support the Paris climate goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. The African Development Bank together with its partners, the government of Finland and the Nordic Development Fund, recently launched the Africa Circular Economy Facility to support this transformation as part of Africa's Agenda 2063," said Dr Kevin Kariuki, Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank.
Sitra's President Jyrki Katainen said: "According to Sitra's recent study, circular economy interventions can halt global biodiversity loss and help the world's biodiversity recover. Circularity is crucial not only to keep valuable materials in use, but also to ease the pressure on extracting virgin natural resources."
A website for the 2022 World Circular Economy Forum will be launched in June 2022. The Forum's agenda will be made public in October 2022.