As Programme Partners of the World Resources Forum 2021, the African Circular Economy Network and the Holland Circular Hotspot will organise and host the online workshop “Setting the scene for African CE business platforms: Lessons learnt from Lagos, South Africa and other (inter)national CE hubs”, 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 first day of WRF2021, October 12th, 16.30 – 17.20 CET!



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This workshop is jointly organised by the African Circular Economy Network and the Holland Circular Hotpost. What brings these two organisations together?

The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) are two global players in devising strategies and initiating projects aimed at transitioning to a Circular Economy from a pan-African and global perspective respectively.

The Vision of ACEN is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.HCH is a private-public platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and (local) authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange from a Dutch circular economy perspective.

HCH has been involved in the initiation and development of over 20 Circular Hotspots, also referred to as “Platforms”, across the globe. Recently ACEN and HCH have collaborated on developing a blueprint methodology for establishing African Circular Platforms in Nigeria and more recently in South Africa. Collectively, we would like to see more of these Platforms implemented across Africa.

A powerful collaboration with a shared vision. How will this be reflected in the content and goals of your workshop at WRF2021? 

What are the respective steps required for the ideation, design and implementation of a Circular Economy Business Platform in Africa? The simple reality is that every country will be different depending on their needs, capacity, economy, policy structure and multiple other dynamics. There are however certain types of strategic stakeholders that are similar regarding the supporting role they would ideally assume.

The concept of the Platform is to create cooperation and collaboration through networking across multi-sectoral applications and opportunities in the Circular Economy space. This creates an inclusive and holistic mechanism of engagement with the public and private sector organisations, the knowledge sector, civil society, NGO’s and enterprise development on the ground.

As each application will be different, the structure, needs, goals and objectives of any new Platform need to be driven by the main stakeholders. Our workshop is about a co-defined methodology between ACEN and HCH to deliver the right outputs and impacts for any application in any country. Our goal is to share this methodology with the audience and hopefully gain further insights on how to optimize already existing ones.

What excites you about being a program partner of WRF2021?

The World Resources Forum is a key strategic partner in developing sustainable resource-based approaches to economic development that is inclusive of both environmental and social positive outcomes. We welcome the opportunity to work with WRF again in this 2021 event to share our insights and lessons learned and to use this platform to inspire and share valuable lessons to make a positive impact to the world, from both a uniquely African yet Europe informed perspective.

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

We call on any and all organisations working on green economy, sustainability and circular economy project aspects and interest areas to come and listen in to this event. Inclusive and participatory economic development is essential as there are so many great initiatives in the world that work in isolation. Creating a Platform for these organisations to collaborate and share their own lessons is a positive and beneficial means to create a critical mass of national CE expertise which is accelerating change for the better for all. No matter which sector you are in, we need to work together as transitioning to a circular economy is a multi-sectoral change in mindset and we invite you to be inspired with us as we discover new ways of building social, environmental and economic bridges.

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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 co-organised by the African Circular Economy Network and the Holland Circular Hotspot, 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!