Case Study Mapping

Footprints Africa: we are collecting inspiring examples of initiatives from across Africa. The intention is to create an open-source database of best practices that can inspire local initiatives, as well as inform the global dialogue, which is largely focused on the European and American context.

An initiative of Footprints Africa Limited

Overview of the project

Footprints Africa, Circle Economy, and the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) are working to build an open-source dataset of circular economy case studies focusing on Africa. We aim to amplify the platform of circular businesses, and connect businesses with insights into what’s possible in different African contexts.

We believe that the stories that we are uncovering have tremendous potential to inspire action, but information about the circular economy in Africa is still fragmented, and often difficult to access. This means that people have few tangible examples of circular economy business successes outside of the Northern hemisphere.

Our goal is to build:

  • An open-source set of at least 500 circular case studies, with analysis of data and identification of emerging trends
  • A network of circular entrepreneurs and professionals, with strong regional representation, for deeper collaboration
  • A knowledge community which will improve the quality and integrity of data over the longer term
  • Greater understanding of the enabling environment for the circular economy and opportunities for system change

Dataset of circular case studies focusing on Africa: we aim to amplify the platform of circular economy businesses, and connect businesses with insights into what’s possible in different African contexts.

Level of progress

Published research

Project timeline

11/04/2019 - project still in progress

Quantitative results
  • Collected 130 circular economy case studies from across Africa
  • Interviewed 30 circular economy entrepreneurs
  • Published our first report outlining circular economy in practice across six sectors in Africa
  • Developed a geo-located map of African circular economy initiatives, supported by GRID-Arendal
Qualitative results
  • Formalised partnerships with the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA,) and Circle Economy
  • Pioneered an Africa-specific collection of cases studies on Circle Economy’s newly launched Knowledge Hub.
  • Delivered workshops with our project results
  • Organisations featured in our report were given exposure and invited onto other platforms

We self-funded the beginning of the project, but we have currently prepared a funders note to seek further financing. We are looking to expand the project, and reach out for more cases on the continent.

About the

Footprints Africa Limited

Deborah Nartey
Research Analyst
+233 54 790 8327

Footprints Africa supports SMEs to adopt future-friendly practices, address the challenges of growth, and create jobs using value chains as a tool for development. Focusing on the catering and commercial waste management sectors in Ghana, we are championing business as a force for good, and piloting new business models that exemplify this. We advance sustainable, scalable, and inclusive approaches for the development of African economies. We are a charity registered in the UK and Ghana, and exist for public benefit.

Since 2018, we have been working with African business initiatives that are championing the circular economy transition. As well as building open access resources, we are focusing on helping circular businesses measure their impact and circularity, and explore ways of improving value creation and capture.

Find them on
A project
in collaboration
  • African Circular Economy Network

    The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is an NGO, whose mission is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people.

    Peter Desmond
  • Circle Economy

    Circle Economy is an NGO whose mission is to accelerate the practical and scalable implementation of the circular economy.

    Marijana Novak