By Checky Abuje
Stakeholders and experts in the circular economy transition paradigm have called on the African continent to embrace collaborative and innovative approaches to ensure compliance in the transition from linear to circular economy redesigned towards economies that spearhead inclusivity across the continent.
However, low technology absorption, policies, and regulations frameworks remain a hurdle in adopting a common legal instrument both at the regional as well continental levels.
"African continent needs regenerative and collaborative local approaches to the process of Circular Economy, defending the African Indigenous culture as a cornerstone in realising meaningful transition," said Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, the chair of the Africa Circular Economy Innovation partnership.
Speaking during a five-journalist training on circularity in Nairobi Kenya, the South Africa charter on Africa Circular Economy network Ntobeko Bayana underscored the narrative that circularity has been the way for Africans and challenged the continent to revert to the older ways of doing things. Africans as a people have to go back to the older ways of doing if the Concept is to succeed in Africa, remarked Ntobeko through a virtual address.
The workshop attracted Science journalists from Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
He reiterated and regretted the resource waste that comes with a linear economy globally, noting that circular economy is all about resources management as opposed to wastage management, pointing out that one-third of food is wasted globally resulting in financial loss of USD 1trillion annually whereas marine plastics cost the globe upto USD 2.5trillion per year.
However, the challenge of the legal framework, policies, and regulations around circularity remains big both at regional and continental levels. According to Rosa-Nduati Mutero, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a strong regional legal framework will play a pivotal role in accelerating the paradigm shift around the circular economy to enhance compliance.
Mutero who is also the managing partner at ALN Kenya, urged the East Africa Legislative Assembly to expedite and approve the legal draft governing Circular Economy in East Africa that is before it. Europe has taken more than ten years to galvanising its workable legal framework to support the circular economy.
Hector Gerra underscored the essential role the media plays in ensuring the public gets a grasp of the dynamics of the circular economy in the African context and challenged the journalists to take the lead role in sensitization and public awareness campaigns in the entire chain of circularity in Africa.