Stefano Manservisi opens the EU regional circular economy conference in Dakar

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More than 250 participants attended, including Ministers, finance institutions, the private sector and civil society. EUDs in Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Niger also attended. Press gave high visibility.

The conference highlighted West African governments’ commitment to circular economy as a feasible economic model contributing to the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. Governments are increasingly taking up dedicated policies while private sector action is also visible, from youth-led start-ups to multinationals which introduce circularity in the pursuit of water and energy efficiency as well as materials and energy recovery.

The benefits of circular economy on the path to industrialisation and competitiveness are clear, but the scale of existing initiatives and knowledge is limited. Recommendations formulated include incentives-based regulatory frameworks, awareness-raising on opportunities and best practices, skills development and finance.

DG Manservisi highlighted the potential of the circular economy for employment. He outlined EU’s contribution to the transition in Africa, based on policy dialogue, experience sharing, the promotion of standards, and support to investments, presenting EU’s approach through the EIP and plans for scaling-up.

During the conclusions of the conference, a joint statement was adopted outlining possible areas for cooperation (“Dakar Pathways to Advance Circular Economy, Green Industries and Jobs in West Africa”). This statement offers a new path for cooperation based, among others, on the promotion of EU’s experience and knowhow, engagement with the private sector, and instruments to facilitate investments. 

The final conference statement is available in French and English at: