A team of researchers from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology visited Aston University in UK on March 20 -25, 2023 for a brainstorming workshop on adoption of circular economy in Kenya.
The circular economy represents a major paradigm shift of moving from the concept of linear to circular supply chains across multiple industries and societies. It advocates interaction of human and nature in a manner that prevents depletion of resources, while anchoring sustainable development.
The academic exchange visit was part of JKUAT’s long-term strategy of relationship building with global partners to promote impactful research. It was supported by the Erasmus mobility grant, which focuses on enhancing capacity within Kenyan universities through collaborations with other institutions on the topic of circular economy. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, University of Eldoret and Meru University of Science and Technology are currently collaborating with Aston University under the initiative.
The circular economy could be adopted through five phases – take, make, distribute, use and recover i.e. converting their linear business processes (make, use and disposal) to circular. The concept is widely studied in China, United Kingdom, and the European Union, but its adoption in African countries remains nascent.
However recently, initiatives have been undertaken to facilitate implementation of CE in agriculture sector including small scale farming. The mobility program exposes the Kenyan academics / researchers to wider applications of CE across industry supply chains covering regions and country as a whole. Special emphasis was given to imparting knowledge on adopting CE within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) covering awareness, strategies, policy, barriers and challenges, benefits and business models
Drawing from the visit, three teams with representations from all the four partner countries are currently developing joint proposals in the areas of Waste Management, Water Supply and Sustainable Aquaculture for further collaborations.
JKUAT team was led by the Principal Investigator of the project, Prof.(Eng). James Messo and comprised Dr. Hosea Mwangi, Dr.(Eng). Simon Mdondo, Dr. Sylvia Murunga, and Hannah Mbogo.