EU has supported an Industrial Symbiosis Project in Africa 2016-2018

The European Union (EU), has supported implementation of a project on industrial symbiosis in Africa which has shown tremendous opportunity for sustainable waste management in the region.  The project was implemented in 2016 to 2018 in six countries of Africa by UN Environment (formerly, UNEP) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in liaison with the African Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ARSCP) as the link coordinating and managing grantee. The UK based Industrial Symbiosis Company Limited (ISCo) was the technical support services provider for the 6 country grantees. The goal of this project was to enhance resource productivity and environmental performance of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 6 African countries through the concept of industrial symbiosis.

The concept is based on establishing platforms for enabling two or more traditionally enterprises enter into mutually beneficial partnerships for resource exchange, a concept termed as industrial symbiosis (IS) in the industrial ecology literature, is currently viewed to hold great potentials for shifting the business community to sustainable modes of production and consumption. Resource exchange synergies can set businesses on the sustainability transition pathways both at micro and macro levels. At the micro-level, the opportunities presented to enterprises through engagements in resource exchange collaborations and synergies can enable them operate much more efficiently and make financial savings individually than if they function as independent silos. From a macro-level vantage perspective, IS relationships collectively connect enterprises to the broader national and regional aspirations for green growth, material and energy security and climate change.

Throughout the implementation period, the country grantee institutions were the primary facilitators of the SAG6-IS Project delivery. These were Women Environmental Programme [WEP], Burkina Faso, Ghana National Cleaner Production Centre [GNCPC], Ghana, Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre [KNCPC], Kenya, Solid Waste Management Division of the Ministry of Environment [SWMD], Mauritius, National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa [NCPC-SA], South Africa and the Uganda Cleaner Production Centre [UCPC], Uganda

The country grantees played the critical role of the waste-to-resource network brokers and/or facilitators in terms of bringing together the partner MSMEs to identify the inherent synergistic opportunities before them, developing the IS networking platforms, and providing the associated complementary technical guidance. The exchange synergies ultimately completed were furthered to maturity by the target Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); themselves

The country grantees will upload details about the IS case studies onto this site for exchange of information and knowledge sharing purposes. Ultimately a regional hub for IS will be established. Furthermore, an  IS Workbook for training and reference materials for IS/resource data capturing. has been developed by the project.