Accra, June 24, GNA- The importation of obsolete electrical and electronic
equipment (E-waste) from the industrialised countries has worsened E-waste
control and management in Ghana and most African countries.
The growing E-waste volumes and the absence of a well organised collection
and management systems have also impacted negatively on the environment,
local communities and the economic systems of Africa.
Mr. Daniel Amlalo, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Agency,
made this known on Wednesday at a workshop on E-waste in Accra, which
attracted participant from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cote d' Ivoire, South Africa and
“Organisations responsible for the E-waste collection and recycling in
industrialized countries cannot meet their recycling targets of E-waste… because
of the export of second hand equipment and E-waste,” he said.
Though certain portions of these equipment are refurbished, he said many
devices and components proved unsuitable for reuse.
Mr. Amlalo noted that the situation compounds the local E-waste generation
problem leading to the accumulation of large volumes of hazardous waste.
“E-waste is routinely disposed of on uncontrolled dump sites where waste
volumes are periodically reduced by setting them on fire. This has resulted in a
whole range of toxic substances released, which heavily contaminate the soil and
He said the electric and electronic equipment also contained a range of metals
such as copper, palladium, gold, indium and germanium.
Mr. Amlalo said E-waste management does not only pollute natural resources
and endanger people's health, but also affected the substantial business
opportunities in material recovery and recycling.
Mr. Amlalo said although the high-tech know-how for environmentally sound
recovery of metals was not yet in sight in Africa, international business
corporations could link strategic advantages of recycling industries in Africa and
He said though advanced countries could refine scarce metals from E-waste
they were yet to reach the level where smelters could sort E-wastes.
“African recyclers could add value to their domestic E-waste by manually
disassembling and sorting E-waste,” he noted.
“Since well sorted E-waste yields the highest recycling rates in high-tech
refining processes, African E-waste products could become an attractive source
of valuable metals,” he said.
He said the EPA was currently working with the mobile phone operators on
an initiative to manage end-of –life mobile phones and their batteries.