Resolving electronic recycling challenges in Africa

Most e-waste recycling in developing and transition countries is done informally and there is little regulation in place to safeguard the health of those who dismantle the electronic equipment.

The project, which was carried out in South Africa, Morocco and Kenya, allowed HP to gather vital information on how African governments and organisations are dealing with the rising problem of e-waste management. The results showed that levels of e-waste are rising substantially in Africa and, when it comes to actually handling e-waste in a safe and secure way, some countries have a significant lack of knowledge and legislative framework.

Using the information gathered, HP was able to test out possible solutions for a way forward, both for handling e-waste and for providing employment opportunities for local communities at the same time.

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Quick facts

Goal

  • Decrease the environmental impact caused by improper disposal of electronic waste

  • Improve working conditions by reducing potential health hazards

  • Create new employment opportunities in the informal e-waste recycling sector

Scope

The initial phase consists of a pilot project in South Africa together with an analysis of existing practices in Morocco and Kenya.

HP’s partners

About the Global Digital Solidarity Fund

Global Digital Solidarity Fund

The Global Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) is the only global organization entirely dedicated to reducing the digital divide. Its objective is to equip the developing world with the means to access the knowledge society. Through access to ICT and valuable content, the DSF works at community level to promote the development of marginalized populations.

The DSF collaborates with local and national authorities, the private sector, international organizations and NGOs, as well as civil society.

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About Empa

Empa

Empa is the multidisciplinary research institute for material science and technology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) domain. Empa is specialised in applications-oriented research and development, as well as in offering services to help solving demanding problems in the fields of sustainable materials science and technology.

The Technology and Society Lab analyses the impacts of technological developments on society and the environment and hosts among other activities the technical monitoring team for the Swiss e-waste management system.

Empa is leading the Swiss Global e-waste Programme , which aims at building capacities for e-waste management in developing economies.

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