• Client:  EC - DG Environment
  • Implementation period: August, 2019 - March, 2021 (Completed)
  • Geographic coverage: European Union

How can EU-Africa cooperation programmes and partnerships be fostered to promote the transition to a circular economy?

There are a lot on interdependencies between Europe and Africa. The African continent is the EU’s fourth trading partner when it comes to export and the third when it comes to exports. The transition to a circular economy, both in the EU as well as in Africa will have large implications for the trade flows and interactions between the two continents. However, up to now there is a lack of knowledge at EU institutions with regard to the current status of circular economy development in Africa and the topic is not a priority in cooperation initiatives and programmes between Europe and Africa. This project, led by Trinomics and supported by a versatile group of specialised partners (Adelphi, Cambridge Econometrics, The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and TOMA-Now, was a first step to bridge this gap through the analysis of a number of issues relating to the transition to the circular economy in the EU and Africa and the interaction between the two.


The project has started in August 2019 and will be finished in February 2021.

Young boy collects rubbish in gayaza to earn a living. kitezi,uganda - Andrew Kartende, 2017, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The project’s main objectives were, to investigate for eight case study countries and Africa as a whole:

  1. The current status of the circular economy in terms of policies and private sector activities;
  2. The potential opportunities and impacts of a transition to a circular economy in Africa;
  3. The impacts of the circular economy in Europe on Africa in terms of opportunities and trade-offs;
  4. The potential of Africa-EU cooperation such as policy dialogues, development cooperation and trade relations to promote circular economy development in both continents.

Find out more about the general circular economy trends and opportunities in Africa, the broader impacts of a circular economy transition and the possibilities for promoting the CE transition in Africa and Europe through improved Africa-EU cooperation in our continental report:

Continental report –
English version

Continental report – English version with French summary

Find out more about circular economy developments, potential and impacts in the following eight African countries:








South Africa