Flows on Used and End-of-life e-Products and e-Waste Between Africa and Europe

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018 / 02:28 PM / Basel Convention 

Under this project component, a fact-finding study on flows of used and end-of-life e-products and e-waste imported into West African countries by land and by sea, in particular from European countries, has been carried out. Local personnel were trained by international experts to undertake field research and the collection of data. Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria countries participated in the study, as well as two export ports in Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Download the report on the flows on used and end-of-life e-products and e-waste between Africa and Europe. 

National assessments and e-waste management plans
On the basis of the results from the first component, i.e. the volume and type of imported end-of-life e-products and re-exportation in the sub-region, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria undertook national assessments of used and end-of-life e-equipment and e-waste and the preparation of national environmentally sound management plans. The country assessments encompass: 

1. the description and review of e-waste management practices in the formal and informal sectors, including their economic and social impacts and potential impact on human health and the environment,

2. an assessment of needs to ensure environmentally sound management, an

3. a detailed description of the legal and regulatory systems in place.

The results of the country assessments were used for the preparation of national e-waste management plans.

National e-waste assessments were developed using the methodology initially developed by EMPA and pilot tested under the E-waste Africa project. The E-waste Assessment Methodology Manual is a training manual and reference document to perform an e-waste country assessment, which is usually used in combination with support from experts in the field. The Manual incorporates lessons learned and experience from applying it in five countries. Please also consult the questionnaires (in MS Word format):

Social-economic impacts of the e-waste sector in Nigeria
An in-depth socio-economic study on the operation and sustainability impacts of the e-waste sector in Nigeria has been prepared. The focus of the study is on both the positive and negative impacts of the sector, including the identification of meaningful improvement options in environmental, social and economic terms. International co-operation between African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and recycling companies operating in industrialized countries by combining their specific competitive advantages in e-waste disassembly and material recovery has been explored. The study includes recommendations to policy-makers and the recycling industry, as well as to other interested stakeholders, with a view to developing new market niches for the African e-waste recycling sector. 

A similar study in Ghana was prepared using the same methodology outside the project scope with support from the VROM-Inspectorate and the Dutch Association for the Disposal of Metal and Electrical Products (NVMP).

Monitoring and control of transboundary movements of end-of-life e-equipment and e-waste
The implementation of an enforcement programme for key importing states on the monitoring and control of transboundary movements of used and end-of-life e e-products and e-waste and the prevention of illegal traffic commenced in 2009 with a kick–off meeting “Clamping Down on Illegal Waste Shipments to Africa”  held in Accra, Ghana in November 2009. The meeting provided a platform for a ‘needs assessment’ on the control of illegal traffic of used and end of life e-products in the West African sub-region. 

In the context of the collaborative efforts, the project proposed measures for the prevention and control of exports from Europe to Africa of used and end-of-life e-products and e-waste, and facilitated the training of enforcement officers from African countries and the development of a scheme for exchanging information on end-of-life e-equipment and e-waste between exporting and importing states. A two-week “Train-the-trainer programme” took place between 13 and 24 September 2010 in the Netherlands and Belgium. In total 19 officers from the Basel Competent Authorities in Ghana, Benin, Egypt and Nigeria and the representatives of the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre based in Nigeria, the Basel Convention Regional Centres based in Senegal and in Egypt were trained.

In 2011 training workshops at the national level were organized to train representatives from environmental authorities, inspectorates, customs, police and port authorities and others in four selected African countries, namely Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Egypt. The training workshops focused, inter alia, on the legislative framework on e-waste, inspection and investigation methods, classification of used equipment and e-waste and procedures on how to deal with illegal imports of e-waste. The workshops also included practical and simulation exercises and a visit to the ports where the participants discussed port procedures, inspections, safety matters and the identification of e-waste.

A training curriculum aimed at port and customs authorities, governmental officials and accreditation authorities was developed to be used at the workshops. The curriculum proposed  tools for customs control, characterization and classification of used and end-of-life e-equipment, institutional coordination, regulatory framework development, and criteria for the environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life e-equipment: 

One of the outcomes of the E-waste Africa Project was the establishment of the EU-Africa network . IMPEL and BCCC-Nigeria set up an active and practical network of entities involved in the enforcement of the legal framework pertaining to the control of transboundary movements of e-waste from Europe to Benin, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, and Tunisia as well as other countries by making use of already existing structures and platforms, linking and expanding them. The purpose of the network is to establish and strengthen institutional links between regulatory and enforcement authorities in exporting and importing countries in Europe and in Africa respectively. For more information about the network, please see the draft terms of reference.

More information about the activities implemented under the fourth component is available in the

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