Chapter 5: Management of Electronic Waste in Africa

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Abstract

The issue of electronic (e-) waste is of growing concern across Africa. Increases in the use of personal computers, mobile phones and other electrical and electronic equipment has caused a rise in the disposal of end of life products in a continent where infrastructure for the environmentally sound treatment is scarce. This chapter reviews the impacts of the rise in e-waste across Africa. The illegal importation of e-waste and the demand for second hand items is considered. Data for Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are considered as these countries are taking concrete steps to address and embed environmentally sound management of e-waste in their legislation and practices. The deleterious effects on people working in the sector are described along with the deterioration in the environment and potential long-term concerns if current practices are not improved. A range of initiatives and projects have been proposed to bring about change, such as Best of Two Worlds, an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) model, as well as industrial recycling solutions. Recommendations are provided for the adoption of environmentally sound management of e-waste across Africa.

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Bates, M., & Osibanjo, O. (2020). Chapter 5: Management of Electronic Waste in Africa. In Issues in Environmental Science and Technology (Vol. 49, pp. 137–165). Royal Society of Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1039/9781788018784-00137

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