Nigeria has opportunity to emerge as a digital powerhouse

Nigeria - digital

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Monday, Sep 23rd

Africa's e-waste challenge is piling up

Africa behind on e-waste legislation

A report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), The United Nations University and International Solid Waste Association has identified Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia as countries struggling to introduce electronic waste (e-waste) legislation.

According to the report, only Ghana, Kenya and Madagascar have formally passed a draft of e-waste bills into law, while Rwanda and Uganda have official government policy documents in place specific to e-waste management.

It also said that while Africa is home to the least number of direct manufacturers of Electronic and Electrical Engineerings (EEEs), the continent contributes significantly to the global e-waste problem, generating about 2.2 million Mt of e-waste annually from domestic output.

South Africa and Algeria are said to each generate 0.3 million Mt (metric tonnes) of e-waste annually, while Egypt generates 0.5 million Mt.

Locally derived generation is believed to constitute about 50% to 85% of total e-waste generation, the rest being from transboundary illegal imports from developed countries, according to the report.

Zambia's minister of Communications and Transport Brian Mushimba said the report is a wakeup call for the country. "At an appropriate time, we will enact the e-waste legislation as a way of tacking the problem of e-waste that the country is currently facing."

The Zambian government, through the Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) and the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), has deployed officers at all border check points to prevent the dumping of old electronic gadgets that have a short lifespan.


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