The local contours of scavenging for e-waste and higher-valued constituent parts in Accra, Ghana

  • Oteng-Ababio M
  • Amankwaa E
  • Chama M
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Abstract

The informal sector in developing countries plays a particularly important role in the overall economic development, yet due to epistemological neglect, its conceptualization focuses on the prism of poverty and social exclusion, hence overshadowing its embedded innovativeness, adaptability and contributions to job creation, poverty alleviation and environmental management. This paper contributes in bridging this knowledge dearth by focusing on how informal e-waste recyclers negotiate the challenges of contemporary political economy contexts. Using an urban mining lens, this paper shows how crucial this sector is for the success of any municipal waste management system and Accra's local economy in general. It is contended that the continuous denial of the sector's virtues in the economy is a poor situational analysis and the research emphasizes instead the need to consider as well as harness the sector's potential in order to create not only employment for the poor but also to bring e-waste recycling into mainstream waste management scholarship. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Accra
  • Informality
  • Livelihood
  • Local economy
  • Urban mine

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