African Union Circular Economy Action Plan

The primary objective of this project was to assist the African Union Commission (AUC) in developing a comprehensive Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and implementation strategy for the entire continent. Supported financially by the EU Delegation to the African Union, our project aimed to provide vision, guidance, and alignment for the African regions and countries on their circular economy journey.

As part of this initiative, our project team facilitated activities on circular economy for the AU Expert Working Group (EWG) which was relaunched in October 2022 during the 2nd AU EWG meeting while also consolidating the AU-EU Green Transition Partnership with a focus on circular economy.

To develop the action plan, we conducted a status quo analysis of circular economy initiatives across African regions, prioritizing seven sectors: water, waste, energy, agri-food and fisheries, transport and mobility, tourism, and industry (including construction, packaging, plastics, textiles, electronics, and mining). Additionally, we identified four cross-cutting elements crucial for a just transition to a circular economy in Africa: inclusivity, trade, collaboration and regional industrial capacity, education and capacity development, and finance and business support.

Following best practices and consultations with national and regional government representatives, we established goals and actions for each sector and cross-cutting element. We also devised a governance structure, resource mobilization strategy, and implementation steps. Finally, to monitor progress, we developed a monitoring and evaluation framework.

The Continental Circular Economy Action Plan was officially adopted by the African Union Ministers during the 5th Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water, and Environment between November 14th and 18th.