To achieve better waste management and become a waste-free city, the Lagos State government has announced its commitment to promoting a circular economy.
This innovative approach aims to reduce material use, redesign materials, products, and services to be less resource-intensive and recapture “waste” as a resource for manufacturing new materials and products.
At a press briefing held to announce the two-day conference on the circular economy, known as the ‘Lagos Circular Economy Hotspot 2023,’ Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, the Chairman of the Technical Committee on Lagos Circular Economy Hotspot 2023 and Permanent Secretary of the Office of Environmental Services highlighted the importance of this initiative.
The conference, to be held in Lagos, aims to showcase the city’s progress towards embracing circular economy principles and how businesses and citizens are collaboratively creating innovative solutions.
“We desire that the Lagos Circular Economy Hotspot will highlight the critical role SMEs play in this transition,” stated Dr. Gaji.
The Circular Economy Hotspot is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands aimed at fostering co-creation and promoting the transition of cities and societies towards a circular economy.
The journey towards a circular economy in Lagos began with a roundtable on Circular Economy organized by the Lagos State government on December 2, 2020.
This gathering brought together various stakeholders, businesses, and citizens to discuss strategies for building a resourceful and waste-free economy.
Since the roundtable, discussions on utilizing waste and resources in Lagos have continued, with a focus on involving Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and various industries.
To demonstrate the government’s commitment, a technical working group on Circular Lagos was formed to develop a framework and roadmap for the transition.
Mr. Abayomi Magbagbeola, the Country Representative of Africa Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and Board Member of Circular Economy Innovation Partnership (CELP) emphasized that the shift to a circular economy would address several challenges faced by Lagos, including pollution, unemployment, and resource scarcity.
He highlighted the importance of seeing waste as a resource, not just a problem, and fostering a sustainable society where everyone plays a role in creating a safer Lagos.
Mrs. Kemi Ajakaiye, the Chapter Lead of Africa Circular Economy Network Nigeria, confirmed that the #LCEH2023 initiative is the first of its kind in West Africa. It aims to transition Lagos from a linear ‘take-make-waste’ economy to a circular ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ economy.
As Lagos takes the lead in creating models for sustainable development in Africa, the Circular Economy Hotspot event, previously hosted in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Catalonia Spain, and Dublin, Ireland, is set to mark another milestone in the city’s journey towards becoming a circular economy hotspot.
The conference is expected to deepen the conversation on climate adaptation policy, the 30-year Lagos Development Plan, and the role of every stakeholder in building a sustainable city. With ambitious goals and collaborative efforts, Lagos is striving to be at the forefront of the circular economy movement in Africa and beyond