The shift to a circular economy will not only reduce raw material consumption and waste generation, but will also create new business opportunities and open new markets for Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
Ms Abena Osei Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance, said this year, the Government of Ghana understood that the European Union (EU) Circular Economy Seminar sought to not only create awareness on the need to charge from a linear to a circular economy, but also to identify actions and measures in Ghana to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy to mitigate climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution.
She said this at the Second Seminar on Circular Economy that the EU was organising in Accra in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
A circular economy is “a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible” that aims at tackling global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution
The seminar focused on five main sectors, namely, plastics, electronics, agri-food systems, constructions and infrastructure, and policy.
The Deputy Minister said the agenda of the seminar clearly reflected the bond, scope and magnitude of the issues that were pertinent to Ghanaians.
There can be no doubt that as we work towards addressing some of our imminent environmental and developmental issues, we are also being faced with new emerging challenges.”
She said the seminar provided the opportunity for the participants to share their views, ideas and experience on some of the issues pertaining to sustainable eco-friendly economic development of the country.
Ms Osei Asare said in October 2019, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana became the first African country to join the Global Plastic Action Partnership, thus establishing the Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP).
She said the NPAP served as the national platform for multi stakeholder cooperation, facilitating initiatives and funding to scale up and accelerate in-country partnerships that addressed plastic waste and pollution while contributing to the nation’s progress towards achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Irchard Razaaly, Head of Delegation EU to Ghana, said they were encouraged to organise the Second Seminar on EU Circular Initiatives in Ghana by the vibrant interest that private sector and civil society showed on the topic, and by discovering that circular economy initiatives were already flourishing in different sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
He said the transition to a more circular economy, where the values of products, materials and resources were maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste was minimised, was an essential contribution for a more sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy.
He said in June 2021, the EU adopted the European Climate Law, stating that it enshrined into law the objective of turning Europe’s economy and society to become climate neutral by 2050.
He said the European Climate Law also sets a new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.
Mr Razaaly said the EU had adopted the Green Deal as its main blueprint for the years to come; declaring that it provided a roadmap to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, to stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution.
He said recently the Government of Ghana had put forward some initiatives, policies and regulations that could support the promotion of Circular Economy; examples are the National Plastic Policy, the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, and the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Regulations.
He said there was still a lot to be done, and that the involvement of all the economic and social stakeholders was crucial.
Mr Massimo Mina, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Ghana, said the Union was currently supporting projects related to Circular Economy and Local Development; combining sustainable and green projects with creation of jobs and employment for youth.