The RECIRCULATE/ACTUATE Annual Meeting for 2021 was held over 3 days in late September 2021. The Annual Meeting, originally intended to be hosted by the University of Benin in Nigeria, had a different format to both the 2019 and 2020 meetings, with 2019 being a completely face-to-face meeting and 2020 being completely online. The 2021 meeting had a hybrid format, with 3 venues for each of the phase 1 partner countries to meet up – one in Lancaster (UK), one in Akosombo (Ghana) and one in Abuja (Nigeria). Additionally, project members who were unable to attend in person were able to join the meeting remotely via Microsoft Teams, which was also used to join the 3 venues together. This was the first time such a meeting has been attempted in the project.
The Annual Meeting took place on Tuesday 28th, Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th September 2021. The meeting format was split into 2 distinct elements, with the first one and a half days spent on the individual workpackages delivering reports of activity over the previous year and with the following one and a half days spent on bringing team members together in an interactive activity to develop project proposals beyond the RECIRCULATE and ACTUATE projects.
In total, across the 3 days, 80 delegates across the four RECIRCULATE partners attended the meeting, most in person and some remotely. This also included representatives of the ACTUATE project who were invited, including contributors from the HATOF Foundation, Green Advocacy Ghana, Umar Bun Hatab Islamic School, Nigerian Environmental Society and Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited (SSGL). Additionally, the Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami, was in attendance as a special guest along with Dr Ahmed Hamdy from the African Union, chair of the RECIRCULATE Advisory Board and Dr Layi Fatona, another member of the Advisory Board.