The WCEF2022 is supporting the global momentum of the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 and Biodiversity Conference COP15 with a powerful tool: the circular economy. Critical environmental issues – climate change, biodiversity loss and shortages of natural resources – are all symptoms of unsustainable production and consumption. It is crucial to address these root causes and implement circular solutions to replace the “make-use-dispose” principles of the linear economy.
The forum is one of the world’s leading circular economy events, originating from Finland, and will bring together business leaders, policymakers and experts from Africa and around the world to present circular economy solutions and examine how businesses can seize new opportunities. The WCEF2022 is proud to present as speakers some of the world’s leading change-makers. These include Valerie Hickey, Global Director of the World Bank; Kristin Hughes, Executive Director of the World Economic Forum; Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director of the World Resources Institute; and Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment.
The WCEF2022 will address a wide range of challenges in the circular economy transition including trade, value chains, policy and technology.
“Transitioning to a circular economy is a way to make our economies wiser, resilient and future-proof.”, says Jyrki Katainen, President of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. “These past years’ tragedies have shown that we are not resilient. The impacts of the pandemic, shifts in the global security environment, and energy and food security are exacerbated by a fossil fuel-dependent, wasteful and unfair linear economy. Now, we need to challenge the old model and build a new one, fit for today and for the centuries to come – the circular economy. Many solutions are already right in front of us, and we look forward to learning more about circular solutions from Africa in Kigali.”
According to a recent study by Sitra, circular interventions in the food and agriculture, construction, textiles and forest sectors can halt biodiversity loss and help the world’s biodiversity recover to the same levels as in the year 2000 by 2035.
Highlighting forerunners and diverse, home-grown circular solutions from Africa
Africa has vast natural resources and a young entrepreneurial population. These are key elements to accelerate the circular transition in Africa at WCEF2022. At the same time, new forms of collaboration and innovative solutions around Africa can offer inspiration to the world.
“As a founding member of the African Circular Economy Alliance, we are very pleased to host the World Circular Economy Forum in Rwanda. This is the first time the event is taking place in Africa,” says Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.
“The circular economy represents the single greatest opportunity to supercharge green growth and job creation in Africa, and we look forward to sharing Rwanda’s experience and learning from others,” she adds.
Under the theme From Africa to the World, the forum will present a wide range of circular solutions for different industries and sectors, with a particular emphasis on harnessing the opportunities to improve livelihoods and end poverty, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and safeguard biodiversity. WCEF2022 will also address the pressing challenge of financing the transition to a circular economy.
“ACEN is delighted to be co-hosting WCEF2022 as we showcase to the world how circular principles are being applied across Africa. We are looking forward to engaging with delegates to accelerate the transition to a just and inclusive circular economy across the continent,” says Peter Desmond, Co-Founder of the African Circular Economy Network.
According to Karin Boomsma, the Director of Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya (SIB-K) under the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, WCEF2022 presents an opportunity to showcase Africa’s capacity in transitioning to the much-needed circular economy. “We’re excited to participate in the Forum, as we share the role of the private sector, as well as the milestones Kenya has achieved towards this journey. We see this as a great platform to benchmark and exchange good practices to implement in the different African countries at local levels.”
The main event takes place in Rwanda, and anyone can register to follow all live-streamed sessions free of charge at wcef2022.com. People across Africa will also participate in parallel local events, WCEF2022 African Studios in Yaoundé, Lagos, Cape Town, Lusaka as well as in Kigali. Global Studios will also take place in select locations around the world.