The Theory of Change
Improved knowledge of & demand
for CE activities, pan Africa
Improved policy & business ecosystem for initiating & implementing CE activities in member countries
Comprehensive view of CE
readiness & way forward for
The African Circular Economy Alliance was conceived in 2016 during the World Economic Forum with the mindset of developing Africa’s circular economy ecosystem while capitalizing on its development opportunities.
ACEA is a government-led coalition of African nations with a mission to spur Africa's transformation to a circular economy that delivers economic growth, jobs, and positive environmental outcomes.
The Alliance serves as a platform that supports the transition to a circular economy at the national, regional, and continental levels through:
leadership and advocacy
support in scaling CE businesses and projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What prompted the establishment of the African Circular Economy Alliance?
What problems were you seeing with the usual linear economic model?
 AfDB, Fossil fuel extraction in Africa, 2018
 SABC, Renewed appeal for recycling as Joburg landfill sites run out of space, 2020
What benefits are there to a circular economic model (environmental/economic)?
 SAPRO, About Us,n.d.
 Plastic SA, Growth in South African Plastics Recycling Sector, 2019
Do you think governments and companies that adopt circular economies will have an economic advantage?
Recycling and other circular business models positively impact a country's GDP, create jobs (necessary for African countries given their young and growing population), protect the environment and biodiversity, mitigate climate change, and generally improve livelihoods.
Circular models increase efficiency and cut costs, which leads to an increase in the bottom lines. 40%-60% of the production process costs come from raw materials due to high importation costs or obtaining scarce resources, e.g., fossil fuels.  Hence, companies focusing on the circular economy could reduce the cost to obtain raw materials and are usually quick to spot and close waste leakages throughout their production and supply chains, thus, cutting on costs.
 Living Circular, The circular economy creates value for businesses, 2017
What types of organizations/institutions can join the Alliance as Strategic Partners?
- Private sector organisations: Private sector organisations seeking to embed circular economic principles into their operations, infrastructure and culture
Institutional organisations: Foundations, multilaterals and NGOs working at a global scale to address system-level challenges across the circular economy
Knowledge partners: Organisations providing a platform for research, policy guidance, best practices, and data sharing necessary to support the CE
Non-regional country members: Countries outside of the African continent working with a specific regional government or partner to achieve CE objectives
How does a country join the Alliance?
What types of entities are members of the Alliance?
The Alliance includes member countries from the continent (through their ministries of environment) as well as non-government strategic partners of various types.
Membership of ACEA
In 2017 The ACEA was launched with three member countries: Rwanda, South Africa and Nigeria.
In 2019, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire joined the Alliance. In 2021 Benin, Burkina Faso, and Sudan also became members.
Secretariat hosted by:
"We believe that the circular economy presents Africa with the opportunity to grow and use its natural resources efficiently while remaining low in emissions. Centralized platforms like the African Circular Economy Alliance will build the momentum for circular economy engagement and foster continental and regional partnerships."
Dr. Anthony Nyong,
Director of Climate Change and Green Growth,