STORIES FROM UNEA GREEN TENT | Operationalizing local action on circular development in sub Saharan Africa | The Youth Cafe

By allowing waste streams to be reduced, reused and recycled, the circular economy is an opportunity to safeguard resources, create jobs and protect ecosystems. This is particularly relevant for African cities which will experience an eight-fold increase of resource consumption by 2050.

ICLEI – Local governments for sustainability brought together cities, civil society organizations including a waste picker association and global players to discuss key priorities for local circular development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Panelists focused on the necessity to pursue zero waste ambitions, calling for consumers and producers to stop relying on materials that can’t be reused or recovered at the end of their lifespan. The session also discussed the importance of integrating informal waste pickers into circular strategies and to build on the extensive knowledge they have on materials to design products that are more sustainable.

Cities and regions have a key role to play in ensuring a more circular development that prioritizes regenerative and closed-loop production patterns.