Circular Economy and Its Relevance for Improving Food and Nutrition Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Case of Ghana

Emmanuel Kwesi Boon & Samuel Weniga Anuga
Materials Circular Economy Journal

Many countries in the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), are battling with fundamental sustainable development challenges such as widespread poverty, hunger, food and nutrition insecurity and limited access to vital social services like education and healthcare. Climate change impacts during the past decades have exacerbated the situation in the region and pushed several policy-makers, researchers and the international community to vigorously search for appropriate development models that can help to effectively fix the problems in a sustainable manner.

The concept of circular economy (CE) has received wide recognition as a feasible accelerator of sustainable development in the world. CE is based on three main principles: controlling finite stock of natural resources and regenerating natural systems; closing loops; and designing out waste. Employing a mixed methodological approach, the paper examines the importance and relevance of the CE model to SSA, with particular reference to Ghana. We also used the multiple R or 6R framework (reduce, reuse, refuse, rethink, repair and recycle) to analyse the circularity of six agricultural crops in northern Ghana. The paper assumes that deploying the CE model to Ghana’s agricultural sector will result in high efficiency in the exploitation of natural resources, increase in yields, improved quality of agricultural products, enormous environmental benefits and food and nutrition security. A number of challenges in the application of the model to Ghana’s agricultural sector are identified and appropriate recommendations provided for fixing them.

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