Circular economy – opportunities and difficulties for Africa's economy, agriculture and food security

Bollschweil im Schwarzwald | 02.07.2024 - 05.07.2024
Manager:Dr. Marko Kuhn; Dipl.-Ing. agr. Bernhard Nägele
Spiritual companion:P. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Engel OP

In times of increasingly scarce resources, African economies face challenges of rethinking the economic and, above all, natural foundations of the economy and reducing both their dependence on exports and seeking alternatives to the conflict-laden extraction of raw materials. There is already a wealth of experience in recycling - mostly in the informal sector of the economy and in agriculture in Africa. The so-called circular economy is a model of production and consumption in which existing materials and products are being shared, reused, repaired and refurbished for as long as possible. In addition to reducing waste, this extends the life cycle of products and ensures that resources remain in the economy.

This seminar will discuss how the circular economy model can be applied to African economies. The first aim is to gain insight into the principles and practices of this regenerative system and identify the positive aspects and pitfalls. Agriculture is a prime example of the circular economy, where the farm is modelled on nature as a holistic system and managed in a way that as few external inputs (e.g. water, energy, nutrients, etc.) as possible are used without causing deficiencies in livestock and crops.

The seminar is held in cooperation with the Bildungshaus Kloster St. Ulrich (Landvolkshochschule of the Archdiocese of Freiburg). Due to the rural location of the event venue, the group can give special attention to the agriculture in the surrounding heights of the Black Forest and the Upper Rhine Plain. From there, the participants will visit farms that are committed to the circular economy model and can enrich the seminar with their experience. At the conference centre, experts from Africa and Europe will discuss the various facets of the circular economy.