We are pleased to announce the publication of our latest book: Digital Innovations for a Circular Plastic Economy in Africa. The first thing to say about the book is that it is Open Access, freely available to be downloaded here: There is also an option to order the print version from the publisher here. Edited by Dr Muyiwa Oyinlola and Professor Seun Kolade, the book’s 16 chapters are organised into three sections: Environment for Digitisation in the Circular Plastic Economy; Digitisation in Action; and a Digitally Enabled Circular Plastic Economy.
The first section addresses a wide range of important issues, including the need for enabling and enforceable policies, ideas for working through otherwise fragmented governance and regulatory processes, the imperative of a whole value chain and lifecycle perspective for systemic solutions, and an ecosystem approach that brings together stakeholders from various sectors.
The second section digs deeper into operational and context-specific issues relating to the deployment of digital innovations in Africa’s circular plastic economy. It highlights specific Industry 4.0 technologies such as 3D printing and blockchains and the opportunities they offer to drive the circular plastic agenda on the African continent. It also provides incisive and insightful explications of sub-regional challenges and peculiarities, from West to East and Southern Africa.
The third and final section zeroed in on key conceptual and practical issues, including the need for a data exchange platform, decentralised recycling solutions, and a framework for analysing and bridging infrastructural gaps. Finally, the section concludes with a discussion of the imperative of a gender mainstreaming approach to accelerate the transition to a circular plastic economy in Africa.
Congratulations to our esteemed chapter contributors, who come from a whole spectrum of disciplines, countries and sectors, including multilateral agencies, industry, third sector organisations, and academia across East, West and Southern Africa. We hope this contribution will steer new conversations in the drive towards a circular plastic economy in Africa.