Project Area

African Circular Economy Alliance

This Action aligns to the following Calls to Action from the Circular Economy Action Agenda

  • Better Understand Hotspots of Food Loss and Waste (Food, CTA 4) 

  • Set Up Effective Collection System (Electronics, CTA 6) 

  • Strategically Plan and Install Sorting, Pre-Processing and Recycling Operations (Electronics, CTA 8) 

  • Incentivize and Support Product Design for Reuse and Recycling of Plastics (Plastics, CTA 2) 

  • Encourage the Market to Use Less Clothing, and for Longer (Textiles, CTA 3) 

  • Make the Recycled Fibers Market Competitive (Textiles, CTA 8) 


Project description

Conceived at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali in 2016, and launched at COP 23 in Bonn, the African Circular Economy Alliance was founded by three countries Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa along with UN Environment and the World Economic Forum. The 17th Ordinary Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), which took place in Durban, in November 2019, called for the widespread adoption of the circular economy on the continent. AMCEN is committed to replicate, scale-up and use circular approaches as part of Africa’s transformation efforts, in line with African Union “Agenda 2063”, and to support the work of the Alliance.



The African Circular Economy Alliance aims to spur Africa’s transformation to a circular economy that delivers economic growth, jobs and positive environmental outcomes at the national, regional and continental levels.



African countries with their vast untapped natural resources and fast-growing population have the chance to leapfrog to a low-emission and climate-resilient development model by adopting circular economy principles that enhance social inclusivity. An effective circular model for Africa must emphasize green innovations and job creation to seize local and cross-border market opportunities, as well as enhancing climate resilience through economic diversification.



  • Share best practices for the creation of legal and regulatory frameworks, the building of partnerships and the financing and creation of circular economy projects.
  • Advocate for and raise awareness of the circular economy at a national, regional and global level.
  • Bring about new projects and partnerships within individual or multiple countries.



  • Facilitate seminars, trainings and workshops in the Member Countries on the topic of circular Economy.
  • Encourage partnerships and sister projects in the Member Countries.
  • Facilitate partnerships and sister projects in African and non-African countries.
  • Develop a group of African leaders who champion the circular economy.
  • Create coalitions to implement on the ground projects on the circular economy and initiate pilot projects in Member Countries.


Membership & Eligibility

The Alliance is open to membership from national institutions and public sector entities, international organizations, funding institutions and research centers. Current member countries include: Governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa. Current strategic partners include the African Development Bank, Africa Circular Economy Network, Global Environment Facility, Government of Finland, PACE, UN Environment, UN Development Programme and World Economic Forum. Private sector membership will not be sought in the initial phase, although the Alliance will work closely with the private sector by way of consultation and collaboration on specific projects or activities.


Contact Information

ACEA Secretariat:



African Development Bank (host)


KAS Foundation

European Commission

African Circular Economy Network (ACEN)

World Economic Forum


UNEP Africa

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark