Study tour and organization of a Session on Circular Economy at the Pollutec Fair 2023   

As part of its Strategic Partnership with the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) and to support and accompany African Local Authorities in the implementation of the SDGs, particularly the Climate Agenda, UCLG Africa, through its African Local Governments Academy, has organized a study tour on the occasion of the Environmental and Energy Solutions Exhibition “Pollutec 2023”, in Lyon, France, from October 10 to 13, 2023. 

Some ten people took part in the study tour, including local elected representatives, climate experts and academics from various African countries. They included Mr. Meman André Narcisse, Mayor of Bin-Houye Commune (Côte d’Ivoire), Mr. André Kapamba, Mayor of Kasumbalesa Commune (Democratic Republic of Congo), Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of Development, Knowledge Management and the ALGA Academy of UCLG Africa (Morocco), Dr. Fatima El Baz, Professor of Higher Education, Faculty of Applied Sciences Ait Melloul, Ibn Zohr-Agadir University (Morocco), Ms. Rachida Saissi Meslouhi, Expert/Consultant in Waste Management (Morocco), and Ms. Fariath Chabi, Task Manager at UCLG Africa’s ALGA Academy (Benin). 

Pollutec is a must-attend event for the actors involved in the environment and the ecological and energy transition, bringing together professionals from all sectors for 4 days to present their innovative solutions to industry, local authorities and other economic players, with a view to addressing the major planetary challenges of biodiversity erosion, pollution and climate change. This 2023 edition brought together some 2,000 exhibitors on 80,000 m2 of exhibition space. One hundred and thirty (130) countries were represented, with over 50,000 participants. 

During the four (04) days of the exhibition, the Academy Delegation of UCLG Africa and ADEME had the opportunity to discover the various climate-related projects through the exhibitions of various players as well as the round tables for exchanges and experience sharing of Local Governments and companies working in the territories.  

The first day was marked by the official opening of the exhibition, as well as the participation in various round tables and exchanges between environmental experts and professionals from the public and private sectors at various exhibition stands. The delegation was also received by ADEME Chairman Mr. Sylvain Waserman, at the Club ADEME International stand. During the meeting, Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of Development, Knowledge Management and ALGA of UCLG Africa, took the opportunity to present the work carried out within the framework of the Partnership between UCLG Africa and ADEME, and expressed the organization’s great satisfaction with its partnership with ADEME. 

The challenges of waste management in Africa and solutions to promote the Circular Economy  

October 12 saw the organization of the UCLG Africa/ALGA and ADEME Session on “Waste Management Challenges in Africa and Solutions to Promote the Circular Economy”. The session was led by: 

  • Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Director of Development, Knowledge Management and ALGA, UCLG Africa, Morocco; 
  • Mr. Robin Villiès, ADEME International Club Manager, France; 
  • Mrs. Rachida Saissi Meslouhi, Expert in Sustainable Waste Management – Director of BR Circular Solutions, Morocco; 
  • Mr. Laurent Poly, Sales and Development Director, Sage Engineering, France; 
  • Mrs. Natacha Egippa, Director of TANY, France. 

Some fifty participants from different backgrounds (local officials, academics, companies, civil society, experts, etc.) took part in the meeting.   

In addition to the session organized by UCLG Africa/ALGA and ADEME, the delegation also had the opportunity to visit several stands and pursue discussions with players present at the exhibition (notably the stand of ATNER, a Moroccan company specialized in wastewater treatment, drinking water treatment and seawater desalination).   

The UCLG Africa delegation also took part in several sessions organized by other bodies. 

The study tour also included a field visit to Paprec’s Selective Collection Sorting Plant in Chassieu. With an annual sorting capacity of 60,000 tonnes of selective collection and 20 tonnes per hour, this plant represents one of the largest capacities in France.  It covers an area of 8,000 m2, the equivalent of a soccer field. It was built and financed by Paprec after winning the Lyon Métropole call for tenders to manage waste for part of the city’s population. The plant also manages waste collection for neighboring communes such as Roanne, Vienne and Plaine de l’Ain. It employs around fifty people and operates 24 hours a day.   

The delegation also took part in other sessions on the following themes: 

  • “Waste management: an opportunity for territories” organized by WINBIN   
  • “Economic model and circular economy” organized by SEDDRe.    
  • “Eco-companies: providing solutions for the development of sustainable cities” organized by Club ADEME International and AR ACHITECTES.   
  • “Valorizing local bio-waste into renewable energy through methanization”, organized by Biogaz Vallée.   
  • “Recycling plastics: environmental and supply issues for manufacturers and ADEME support” organized by ADEME.   
  • “Aluminum, copper and steel recycled metal materials: challenges and funding to boost the recycling sector” organized by ADEME.   
  • “Waste Management Challenges in Africa and Solutions to Promote the Circular Economy”, organized by UCLG Africa in partnership with ADEME through its International Club.   
  • “Waste actors: will you be the actors of a waste-free world?”, organized by the Metropolis of Lyon.   
  • “Making better use of resources – Solutions for recycling organic waste”, organized by Tietjen Verfahrenstechnik GmbH.   
  • “What ways can we anticipate adaptation to climate change?”, organized by VINCI.