The circular economy approach to sustainable economic development has in recent years gained traction and is now included in the European Union’s Green Deal committing the EU to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. African countries practice aspects of the circular economy without having specific policies included in their national development plans. It was expected that the EU and the AU would have met in 2020 for their Annual Summit but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the two partners to postpone the meeting. The circular economy was to be discussed as part of the EU’s ‘Comprehensive Strategy Towards Africa’. This policy brief discusses the circular economy within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and prospects for a green economic recovery for both the EU and the AU. Although the pandemic has had a devastating impact on both partners there are strong arguments that the EU should not loose sight of its carbon neutrality targets and that Africa will do well to also focus on the circular economy for its recovery plans.