Co-Create Dakar: The Port of Dakar project

In 2021, an initiative by de Rijksdienst voor Ondernemers Netherlands brought Dutch and Senegalese students, together in an innovation Bootcamp to co-develop circular and innovative solutions for concrete circular challenges of the city of Dakar. The project focused on waste management, compost usage, and the development of biogases from animal and water waste. In 7 groups, the students worked on the challenges brought by the 7 corporate project owners. This article introduces one of the innovative solutions that one of the teams brought forward.

About the Port of Dakar.

Being the third-largest harbor in West Africa, the Port of Dakar accounts for 90% of Senegalese foreign trade. It is safe to say it is one of the main economic drivers of the country. Considering its importance and the multiple stakeholders involved in maritime transport, the transition to a more sustainable business model is a real challenge. The fact is, while having enormous potential, the different actors of the port of Dakar might not recognize circularity as a valuable economic concept for the time being. Having identified this problem, one of the student teams came up with an idea.


Objectives of Circaurité.

Sharing circular information

The team of students understood that enforcing circular commitments in a fairly rigid industry like international maritime transport would not work. Circularity would have to be first introduced to the different port stakeholders, as a viable investment.  The team came up with the idea of Circaurité, a new entity that would promote international collaboration to develop circular maritime projects. Using the Port of Amsterdam as an example of sustainable adaptation, Circaurité would facilitate communication and knowledge sharing between Dutch and Senegalese maritime businesses and organize events around circular development in Senegal. The main goal would be to grow a community of circular actors large enough to jumpstart international collaboration and develop environmentally-conscious maritime businesses.

The face of Senegal’s circularity

Dakar’s port is critical to the country’s social, cultural, and economic development. By reminding the stakeholders involved that the port’s primary goal is circularity, a new layer of value can be added. Furthermore, it has the potential to generate talks about this topic among the port’s stakeholders, which might have a trickle-down effect in other sectors of the economy. Developing a collaborative space like Circaurité would require important investments in time, resources, and a highly motivated team of circular actors. Notwithstanding, such a venture could put Senegal at the top of West Africa’s  most sustainable nations in the long term.

Learn more about the other Co-Create Dakar projects right here >>