The WCEF2022 Studio Turku UAS took place on 15th of December 2022
The event brought together experts and students from Turku University of Applied Sciences to discuss issues related to the circular economy. The event started with a broadcast provided by The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra which presented special characteristics and key trends in the circular economy globally and especially in Africa.
Circular economy brings opportunities for Africa in terms of economic development, business opportunities and job creation, as well as to the wider social and environmental ecosystems. To ensure the success of circular economy, public bodies and policy, while collaborating with the financial sector, play a key role in setting the conditions required for the transition.
Africa’s strengths in the circular economy are to benefit from a young population, rapid development and traditions related to consumer behavior. Shopping and spending culture are a young phenomenon in Africa and only among a part of the population. In this light, the transition to sustainable development may be relatively easy in Africa as compared with other regions or ecosystems.
What’s trending in circular economy in Africa?
Key trends in the circular economy in Africa are food and agricultural industry such as utilizing insects in composting and as a food, policy, construction, plastics, healthcare and waste management (e.g. in textile industry). You will find more information about interesting African circular economy businesses here: https://www.sitra.fi/en/news/friends-and-money-what-we-need-for-the-circular-transition/.
“It was great to see how much interest the circular economy is attracting worldwide” -commented one of the student participants. Discussions in the WCEF2022 Studio Turku UAS also led to considering that entrepreneurs who participated in the broadcast discussion panel at the WCEF2022 Global Studio were very young. Their entrepreneur carrier had started with passion and with a desire to think differently.
“Young people are the ones who move society forward and change thinking and the image of consumption,” said one of the participants in the WCEF2022 Studio Turku UAS. It would be important to teach circular economy thinking to young people in schools and to train teachers in general. Even though curriculums at the universities change very slowly, business life is changing fast. Young, inspired people will change the system.
The WCEF2022 Studio Turku UAS was organized by the SUSIE project team (https://susie.turkuamk.fi/ ), and was a sister event along with WCEF2022 Studio MoCU, Studio Mwenge Catholic University-SUSIE, and Studio Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College, all jointly organized in Tanzania.
SUSIE team is glad to have raised awareness on circular economy in Africa for the various participating audiences, and we are looking forward to see the progress done in circular economy with the milestone of WCEF 2023 (https://www.sitra.fi/en/news/world-circular-economy-forum-takes-place-in-helsinki-in-may-2023/).
Riikka Kulmala, Turku UAS