Cairo, 10 March 2020 – Switzerland and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology have agreed to extend the Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) project in Egypt, originally launched in 2016 and completed in 2018, through an additional grant contribution of 1.2 million CHF for the period 2020-2023.
The extension is part of a wider programme that will be implemented in five countries namely Egypt, Colombia, Ghana, Peru and South Africa, with a total funding of CHF 6.5 million. The funding is from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
In 2016, the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt and the Ministry of Communications signed an agreement to launch a two-year project valued at CHF 1.17 million to support sustainable integration and participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in recycling of electronic waste (e-waste) in Egypt. The project was successfully completed in 2018.
The continuation of the project for the period 2019-2023 seeks to consolidate the outcomes achieved so far. The previous programme activities (2016-2018) led to the creation of a committee to oversee the e-waste recycling sector in Egypt, development of technical standards, and training of auditors from the Ministry of Environment to monitor the industry. The new activities build on this success and will seek to address the remaining challenges and contribute positively to the areas of policy and legislation, standard requirements, technology and business development.
“Switzerland was the first country in the world to address the management of e-waste specifically. We are very happy to share our experience with Egypt,” said Paul Garnier, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Egypt. “The SRI will follow inclusive approaches aiming at creating beneficial economic conditions such as optimizing business chains and creating jobs for both the private and informal sectors. The activities will leverage the concept of a circular economy and contribute to actions on climate change mitigation through a reintegration of secondary raw materials into industrial processes.”
“Dr. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, stressed on the importance of cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and the Swiss Embassy in Cairo in building capacities in the field of e-waste treatment and encouraging small and medium-sized companies to participate in its recycling industries in order to contribute in turning e-waste challenges into high economic values that can be invested to contribute to developing the green economy and creating new job opportunities for young people, as well as in reducing environmental and health risks resulting from e-waste. He indicated that Switzerland is a leading country in the field of safe e-waste management and that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is keen to cooperate and to benefit from its experience in this field.”
The Swiss agency that will execute the second phase of the project is the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Sciences and Technology (EMPA), the World Resources Forum and Sofies. The local implementing partner is the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE).