African Development Bank strategises on post-Covid roadmap for continental revival
The African Development Bank organized a high-level session on fostering inclusivity and circularity in Africa’s post COVID-19 recovery.
The virtual event was part of the 2020 World Circular Economy Forum Online, an annual conference hosted by the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA, which attracted more than 5,000 business leaders, policymakers and experts to present the world’s best circular economy solutions.
Barbara Creecy, Co-chair of the African Circular Economy Alliance highlighted the need to upscale the African Circular Economy Alliance’s work at the national, regional and continental levels to improve the way in which the continent produces and consumes goods and services, reduce waste, create jobs, empowers women for gender mainstreaming, mobilise the youth and contributes to sustainable development.
The circular economy concept- gaining prominence as a result of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the African Union’s Agenda 2063- is a model for sustainable production and consumption, in which the productive use of natural resources and materials is optimized to minimize waste and environmental pollution.
As part of the continent’s COVID-19 Response Plan, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment is developing the Africa Green Stimulus Programme, which identifies the improvement of chemicals, waste management and the circular economy as one of 12 priority areas.
The panellists further discussed promising circular initiatives on the continent, such as the EU-funded SWITCH Africa Green Programme, which supports new circular businesses in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda.
Commenting on Bank’s initiatives, Dr Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth, noted that inclusive finance must go hand-in-hand with policy reforms to catalyse the creation of enabling environments that support Africans, and in particular vulnerable groups that have been sidelined from economic growth.
“Centralized platforms like the African Circular Economy Alliance will build the momentum for circular economy engagement and foster continental and regional partnerships,” Nyong said.
The bank is currently establishing an African Circular Economy Facility in partnership with the government of Finland and the Nordic Development Fund.