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EXI activities in Africa: around EUR 5 million of funding for 27 projects in six years

Funding measures from EXI in Africa form an important geographic and topical point of focus for the programme. During the funding period 2021–2022 alone, there were 14 projects, some of which focused on the topic of the circular economy.

The ‘Export Initiative Environmental Protection’ (EXI) promotes the use of German environmental technologies and know-how transfer, with a particular focus on emerging and developing countries. Since the formation of EXI in 2016, many projects have been implemented in Africa, which have helped to support sustainable development on this continent while promoting optimised environmental standards in the key focus sectors for EXI. An overview.

Projects in Africa since the formation of EXI and their implementation

Since 2016, the year in which EXI was formed, a total of 27 projects have been funded on the African continent, with a funding volume amounting to EUR 5.1 million. Of these, 23 projects were implemented in sub-Saharan Africa and 4 projects in northern Africa.

The Export Initiative cooperates with international partners to implement its projects. In Africa, 10 of the 27 projects were implemented with the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) represented there and 1 project together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in the country module of Egypt as part of the ‘Global EXI Support Project’.

Projects 2021/22: focus topics and selected projects

EXI’s engagement in Africa during 2021/22 extends across eleven countries. Last updated: 05/2022

Projects 2021/22

During 2021/22, 14 projects received a grant from the funding programme. The total budget for this project alone runs to more than EUR 3.6 million.

Focus countries and focus topics include:

Focus countries

  • Ghana, three projects
  • South Africa, three projects
  • Egypt, two projects
  • Nigeria, two projects

Focus topics

  • Circular economy, six projects
  • Water and waste water management, three projects
  • Green hydrogen, two projects
Almost half of current and approved projects for the Export Initiative in Africa are dedicated to the topic of the circular economy. Last updated: 05/2022

Circular economy/EPR as topic area most commonly addressed

Of the 14 projects ongoing in 2021/2022, no less than 6 are dedicated to the topic area of the circular economy and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). As a result, knowledge transfer, and models and technologies for waste avoidance and recycling are strongly represented.

GIZ Global Project Egypt Country Module

With its Egypt Country Module, the GIZ provides support for ensuring knowledge transfer between relevant actors in Egypt, with the goal of reducing uncontrolled waste disposal by promoting closed-loop structures as well as introducing a system for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging in tourist areas. Among other activities, an initial study on the handling of packaging waste and potential approaches to introducing an EPR system has been completed. With the ‘Waste Portal Egypt’, a dialogue platform for managing, trading in and recycling waste has also been set up, which networks various actors with one another and which, in this project, also acts as a knowledge hub.

AHK Cape Verde: implementation of a deposit system

During this project, various phases towards the implementation of a deposit system in Cape Verde will be completed. An economic viability study will be produced after an initial analysis of the starting situation. Models, capacity building measures and a business plan all form part of this economic viability study, which will be presented during a workshop held for local stakeholders.The aim here is to specify the subsequent steps for local stakeholders in an action plan for implementing a deposit system.

AHK Nigeria: establishment of a digital marketplace for the circular economy in Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria

The aim of this project was to develop a digital marketplace for the City of Lagos, which, when fully functional, will work much like eBay and provide an online platform for selling recycled materials. For independent third-party providers along the circular economy value chain, this marketplace aims to offer a free-to-use platform where they can find offers for buying and selling recycled waste as well as other forms of waste.

EAG2-Rec: sustainable recycling of electrical and electronic devices in Ghana

This project focuses on developing a sustainable recycling model for waste electrical equipment (WEE) in Ghana, based on the handover centre (HOC) already developed in Agbogbloshie. As part of this project, a feasibility study for identifying optimum processing systems will be prepared, along with suitable marketing options for the product fractions created. Not least because the long-term operation of the HOC is dependent on an economically viable, sustainable and locally adapted model for the recycling of WEE. 

Ecopontos Luanda – EcoLu: feasibility study for the collection of separated waste in the capital city of Angola

As part of EcoLu, a training and service package has been developed for operators of recycling stations and recycling depots in low-income countries. Operations were trialled, analysed and optimised over a twelve-month period under real-world conditions in Angola. A feasibility study also identified the strengths and weaknesses of the project while highlighting economic criteria for success.

Newcomer topic: decentralised power generation with green hydrogen

At EXI, the utilisation of green hydrogen for decentralised power generation forms a focus topic for which an increasing number of projects will be implemented. As of this writing, ongoing projects from the AHK Nigeria, and the ‘Hydrogen Tryout Areal’ (HyTrA) project from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology with Texulting GmbH, are addressing this topic in Africa.

AHK Nigeria: identifying the market potential for the production of green hydrogen in Nigeria

For the AHK Nigeria project, a market study has been prepared with the aim of identifying the market potential for the production of green hydrogen in Nigeria. The study looked at the availability of unused solar PV capacity in rural mini grids, with which green hydrogen could be produced and stored.

HyTrA: trialling a novel, autonomous energy supply system under climatic conditions in South Africa

The HyTrA – Hydrogen Tryout Areal – project refers to a hydrogen biotope, at the centre of which lies a microgrid for the generation of green hydrogen – the HyGrid. This HyGrid, designed especially for the African market, is a robust and inexpensive microgrid, in which an electrolyser for hydrogen production and fuel cells for reverse power generation are combined. This project is trialling the integration and operation of this novel, autonomous energy supply system under climactic conditions in South Africa.

Other topics focused on by projects in Africa include water and waste management, sustainable urban and regional development, and environmentally friendly transport.