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What are the Five Big Bets for Africa’s path to circularity?

We are supporting five industries that offer immediate opportunities for increased circularity in sectors that will improve the economy, jobs, and the environment on the continent in the long term:


Food systems

Converting food waste to organic fertilizer to increase circularity in food systems.



Recycling plastic packaging to increase circularity within the packaging industry.



Promoting circularity in the large and growing electronics sector through substantial recycling &
collection facilities.


Fashion & Textiles

Converting fashion and textiles waste into garments for commercial export markets.

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Built environment

Redesigning how we build by using mass timber as a more sustainable input resource for expanding the built environment.

Food systems

COVID-19 is putting African agriculture at a critical crossroad. Circular solutions are key to improve food security, health, environmental outcomes, growth and employment on the continent.


Africa’s food systems will be valued at trillions of dollars by 2030

Agriculture employs 60% of the Sub-Saharan workforce

Agriculture constitutes 23% of the continent’s GDP


Demand for plastic packaging in Africa is growing, driven by low costs and several application areas. Recycling has emerged as a solution to mitigate the environmental effects but must be scaled to have significant impact.


In 50 years, global plastic production has surged from
15 to 350+ Mn tonnes

In 2015, global plastic packaging volumes increased from 17% to 25%

13% of municipal solid waste in Africa is plastic, and is dumped instead of recycled


E-waste management has become a major challenge facing many African countries because of lack of awareness, environmental legislation and limited financial resources. Attracting more investment for recycling e-waste will support green job creation and increased value capture.


In 5 years, the frequency of new
product rollouts for major brands
increased by as much as 66%

In Ghana, 150,000+
secondhand electronics are
imported every year

The value of raw materials in
Africa’s e-waste is
approximately USD 3.2 Bn

Fashion & Textiles

The current system for producing, distributing, and using clothing operates on a predominantly take-make-dispose model. A new textiles economy –based on circular economy principles –would lead to better outcomes.


The global fashion industry is accountable for 20% of global wastewater


73% of material going into the clothing system is lost after final garment use


Local communities suffer from the industry’s poor environmental practices

Built environment

As African cities grow, so do emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions in Africa are projected to increase by over 2.5 times to 10% of global emissions by 2050, driven by large transformations in urbanization, industrialization and electrification. Abating these emissions is possible through the promotion of low-carbon infrastructure.


African cities are growing at an average annual rate of 4% - twice the global average


Manufacturing is growing rapidly, with some countries’ output growing >10% per year


1.6 TW of power generation is needed by 2030, with ~600 m people needing electricity

Learn more about the 5 Big Bets

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