Every second person in Nigeria is unemployed or under-employed. The country has the highest absolute number of people living in extreme poverty in the world . Foreign investment is decreasing, further constraining job growth. Covid-19 has amplified these challenges by choking the aviation, entertainment and retail services sectors, leading to the worst recession that Nigeria has experienced in nearly four decades. As the population and labour supply grows, job opportunities are in freefall: more than half of people with A-levels and 40% of people with a first degree are out of work. At the same time prices of raw materials for manufacturing are ballooning making the cost of living more expensive.
These are monumental challenges and Circular Economy tools are one among a wide range of ways to address them. What makes Circular Economy approaches unique is that they focus on creating markets. They enable us to imagine interconnected solutions: by asking how to create businesses that focus on waste reduction and elimination, we can address urgent environmental challenges while having a positive impact on the economy.
Circular Economy tools also allow us to work together in new ways. The technical foundations of the Circular Economy are in engineering, industrial design and technology, however “circular” products and services change how businesses and markets operate. Sharing and re-use models create deeper relationships with customers and suppliers. Shifts in product ownership also lead to shifts in investment and risk. It is only by working across professional and organizational boundaries that we can develop technical and commercial solutions that meet the needs of Lagosians.