As Programme Partner of the World Resources Forum 2021, Footprints Africa will organise and host the online workshop “Roots of the Future: the businesses regenerating Africa’s soil”, as part of the circular economy conference track. In this short article, the workshop organisers tell us more about the context behind the session, what the workshop will be about and why you should attend it. Don’t miss it on the second day of WRF2021, October 13th, 14.30 – 15.20 CET!



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As a matter of introduction, what are the mission and core activities of Footprints Africa?

Footprints Africa supports SMEs to adopt future-friendly practices, address the challenges of growth and create jobs using value chains as a tool for development.We are championing business as a force for good and piloting new business models that exemplify this through our B-Corp and Circular Economy programmes. We advance sustainable, scalable and inclusive approaches for the development of African economies. We are a charity registered in the UK and Ghana and exist for public benefit.

At Footprints Africa we started work mapping the circular economy in Africa because we believe in its importance in the light of the extraordinary changes that will happen on the continent over the coming decades.  We share tangible business models, give insights into what is possible and how it can be replicated in other contexts. As part of this we are publishing periodic reports on the practices that we are uncovering.  We started by building open access resources to give a platform to circular economy initiatives across the continent: on Circle Economy’s Knowledge Hub, and on our geolocated map created by GRID-Arendal. We are now focusing on helping circular businesses build evidence of their impact and explore new business models.  And we are laying the foundations for training and coaching tools that contribute to both business and systems change.

What will your workshop be about? What stakeholders will be engaged and what goals does it have? 

In this session we will be launching our latest report ‘Roots for the Future: The businesses regenerating African food systems’. The report features 10 success stories, 10 emerging insights, and five critical points for action.  The panel features four people who are behind the ambitious initiatives that are challenging conventional thinking in farming.

We will bring together:

  • Dr Kofi Boa, Director, The Howard G Buffett Foundation-supported Centre for No-Till Agriculture
  • Tabi Joda, Team Lead, One Billion Trees for Africa
  • Aarti Shah, Director, The Cobalt Partners
  • Neal Spackman, Founder and CEO at Regenerative Resources Co

The panel will be moderated by Joanna Bingham, Founder and CEO, Footprints Africa.

Why do we think this is this important? We believe regenerative agriculture has a fundamental role in fixing food systems across Africa.  This workshop will describe why this is important and give a flavour of the business models that point the way to a regenerative future in African contexts. The workshop will be of interest to a broad audience, from people who are simply curious about what regenerative models look like in practice to experts in agriculture. What is distinct about the workshop is that we talk to the concrete opportunities and examples of practice in regenerative agriculture.

What excites you about being a program partner of WRF2021?

We are excited to be part of the WRF 2021 because of the possibility of talking to a broad, action-oriented audience about the work we are doing. The Forum is bringing together an astonishing number of people working on initiatives that interrelate and as such the event gives a brilliant opportunity for people to talk, compare work and embark on new collaborations. We want to talk about what we have found in our research, give a platform to people who are doing some amazing work, and, importantly, open ourselves up to new perspectives and challenge from all the panel’s participants.

Finally, let’s conclude with a call for participation. Why should participants attend your workshop and for whom would it be particularly interesting to attend?

Our workshop is the only event at the Forum that focuses squarely on the fascinating and urgent theme of regenerative agriculture in Africa. The workshop’s appeal is broad but we suggest it is particularly interesting for people who want to understand what the pathway to regenerative agriculture in Africa looks like.  As we say in our report, this is a transition that is at the same time radical, complex and straightforward.

Useful links

Read Footprints Africa’s first report on regenerative and circular business models in Africa here.

We would love to hear from you if you:

  • Have further case studies that you think should be included;
  • Would like to collaborate on helping businesses measure their circularity and impact;.
  • Would like to be part of the community that builds out and curates the Knowledge Hub Collection, our geolocated map, or our new collaboration with HappyPorch on an interactive case study platform.

If so, please contact us at: putting “Circular economy” in the subject line.

If you would like your business initiative to be included in the database, please complete our questionnaire.

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The World Resources Forum 2021 (WRF2021), under the theme of “A Green Deal for Sustainable Resources” will take place on October 12-14 in an innovative hybrid format: three days of online sessions and two small scale-events in Accra (Ghana) and Zürich (Switzerland). All the workshops, such as the one organised by Footprints Africa, together with all scientific sessions and plenary sessions will take place online, in a dedicated virtual event platform. WRF2021 is co-hosted by the Ghanaian Ministry for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN/BAFU).

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this exciting session and learn from all the participants.

Register now for WRF2021!