Accra/Cairo, June 2015: Stakeholder meetings on electronic waste were held in Accra and Caïro this month. With this the World Resources Forum has kicked-off the implementation activities for its Sustainable Recycling Industries Program (SRI) in Ghana and Egypt. Together with experts from Sofies Switzerland and Oeko Institute Germany the meetings were organised to plan the main activities for this year with the local implementation partners. Local partners in Ghana include the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ghana Cleaner Production Center. In Egypt SRI is working with key ministries and the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region & Europe (CEDARE).
Both Ghana and Egypt are challenged by growing volumes of electrical and electronic waste (WEEE or e-waste) and informal recycling practices. The informal e-waste recycling site Agbogbloshie in Accra for instance has been named one of the most polluted sites worldwide. Informal recycling practices pose serious socio-economic and environmental challenges. In both countries there are many private and governmental initiatives which aim to grasp the business opportunities of e-waste by recovering natural resources and creating jobs. SRI supports such initiatives and helps to develop the informal sector. Activities are grouped around technology partnerships in Ghana and a youth incubator hub in Egypt. These on-the-ground initiatives are being supplemented by activities to develop sustainable framework conditions through policies, financing mechanisms and standards setting.
SRI is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and is implemented by the Institute for Materials Science & Technology (Empa), the World Resources Forum and ecoinvent. It builds on the success of implementing e–waste recycling systems together with various developing countries for over ten years.