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Author's profile photo Bernice Appiah

The Circular Economy and SAP Rural Sourcing Management: Pilot Project in Ghana

Akwaaba (Welcome) to the Ghana SAP Rural Sourcing Management Pilot. My name is Bernice Appiah, and this is my first month in Accra, the capital of Ghana, West Africa working on an exciting project in support of Ghana’s many established circular economy practices and SAP’s Purpose: to help the world run better and improve people’s lives with sustainability at the core.

My focus is acting as the SAP local project lead building complex relationships across multiple industry and government participants aligned on a common goal to end plastic waste in the nation. The project will leverage SAP Rural Sourcing Management, a mobile application that collects and manages waste collection data, drives sustainable practices for the environment, and ensures data confidentiality. Not only will SAP and its partners work with established Ghanaian networks to create a complete circular economy around plastic use, recycling, and re-use in Ghana, we, with the guidance of Ghanaian leadership, will assist in building digital inclusion and ensure equitable wages for vulnerable groups within the supply chain.

Based on my knowledge of the local conditions and languages in Ghana, I will make suggestions on how the project can be improved to increase the benefit to all stakeholders: waste collectors, entrepreneurs, government, etc.. My objective is to drive the adoption of SAP Rural Sourcing Management as a national system within the next 6 months that I will be here working on this project with the Rural Sourcing Management team and Ghanaian key stakeholders.

Why Ghana & Why SAP?

Ghana is a country with a lot of potential and a young, innovative population, with local markets that have access to plastics. Many women and men working in Ghana’s local markets use and recycle plastic bottles for selling homemade items. These bottles are then left as plastic waste and often not collected for recycling. Much of this waste enters waterways contributing to plastic waste that escapes into the oceans each year. This creates a great opportunity for this collaboration between Ghana’s ecosystem and SAP to tackle one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues and deliver a more sustainable nation.

SAP has built a comprehensive data log system that can record the narrative of plastic collection, thus meeting the regulatory needs in many nations globally and one being Ghana – this is where SAP’s Rural Sourcing Management meets Ghana’s sustainability partners. At first glance, the Rural Sourcing Management System may appear as a simplified data entry log or calculator application. However, it is redefining the ways in which local entities in Ghana track their supply chain concerning plastic waste.

The mobile software facilitates payment for plastic collectors, tracking of plastics, and visibility into emerging waste collection markets in Ghana. One of the advantages of SAP Rural Sourcing Management is that it does not need internet access for its analytics, allowing access to the system across the most rural parts of the country where wireless internet may not be available. The data entry log tracks the narrative of plastic collection. What items can then be made from reused plastic?

Learn more about the reuse of plastics and find out more about my first month in Ghana in Part II of this Pilot introduction in the next blog post.

You can also learn more about SAP Rural Sourcing Management on

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      Author's profile photo Meaghan Quay
      Meaghan Quay

      Bernice, this is incredible work and a very informative piece! It’s amazing to see what technology can do to solve real world issues such as sustainable waste management.
      Looking forward to part 2!

      Author's profile photo Bernice Appiah
      Bernice Appiah
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Meaghan. Yes absolutely. Part II will be sure to detail a more in depth on ground perspective as well. Looking forward to sharing.

      Author's profile photo Faith Maginley
      Faith Maginley

      Great piece, Bernice! I look forward to following your journey. For those who want to learn more about SAP Rural Sourcing Management, here is the link to check it out on SAP Store.

      Author's profile photo Bernice Appiah
      Bernice Appiah
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you so much Faith. Looking forward to sharing.