Take advantage of $2.4bn circular economy-Gov’t tells investors

The Government is wooing investors and industries to see the $2.4 billion financing needed to transition Ghana from a linear to a circular economy as a huge investing and business opportunity.?

This is because the circular economy has enormous untapped opportunities, which when capitalised, would create sustainable employment, especially for the youth and support climate change mitigation, while building Ghana, as a green economy.?

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, made the call at the second edition of the Circular Economy Seminar in Accra on Thursday.?

The seminar was organised by the European Union (EU) in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation.?

The Ghana News Agency observed among others that, some Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) had used old laptop batteries and other parts of electronic devices to produce laptops and bicycles, while others recycled water sachets to produce dresses of all kinds.?

The recycling and reuse of used materials, mostly, non-biodegradable, by the Ghanaian SMEs, is to reduce their harmful impacts on the environment and contribute to a climate-resilient economy.?

Speaking at the seminar, Dr Afriyie said Ghana had developed a $2.4bn Circular Economy Transition Roadmap and Action Plan over 10 years with investment and business opportunities in plastics, electronics, agriculture and food, textiles, built environment, water and waste.?

He urged investors and industries to channel funds and operations into those areas, which would give them assured good returns while creating sustainable jobs for the youth, and supporting economic resilience and national development.?

He said: “The aim for implementing this project is to create jobs and to contribute significantly towards socio-economic development, especially at the base of the economic pyramid and amongst vulnerable community groups in our society.”?

Dr Afriyie added that Ghana’s decision to transition into a circular economy was to incrementally transform the economy into a climate-resilient, low-carbon, a sustainable and inclusive system that created value from retaining resources, regenerating natural systems, and eliminating waste and pollution.?

He said that the Government had embarked on several policy actions to support Ghana’s circular economy transition agenda, including the development of a Circular Economy Transition Roadmap and Action Plan, with the support of the EU- which was at the phase of implementation.?

There is also the Ghana Circular Economy Center that is being developed with the support of the Canadian Government, through Global Affairs Canada. Under the project, a Center of Excellence for Circular Economy will be established and affiliated with some tertiary institutions in the country that have programmes related to various aspects of Circular Economy.?

Others are the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act (Act 917, 2016), 2020, and Cabinet approval of Ghana’s National Plastics Management Policy – the basis for comprehensive plastics management.?

The European Union Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, said there was a need?to develop the country’s policy and legal environment to facilitate access to finance and strengthen the capacities of institutions and businesses to drive the transition agenda.?

“On each of these aspects, the EU is supporting SMEs working on the circular economy through the green project with €22 million to create opportunities for growth of green businesses as well as jobs for the youth and women,” he said.?

Mr Razaaly noted that transitioning form a linear to a circular economy could not be achieved by Europe alone and said: “Do not stop at national borders. The solutions to the challenges will have to come by joining forces in a global effort.”?