Circular economy in Africa: examples and opportunities, electronics and e-waste

Authors: Victor Odumuyiwa; Abdulganiyu Adelopo; Afolasade Nubi (lead writers)


Publication year: 2021

Pages: 11

Document association: Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF)

Keywords: weee and e-waste; e-waste management; urban mining


From the website referred to above, the backdrop is the following: As the sales of electronics continue to grow rapidly in African countries, the generation of e-waste is also increasing, driven by international trade and domestic consumption. In 2019, Africa generated 2.9 Mt of e-waste which translates to 2.5 kg/capita. Although Africa’s per capita e-waste generation in Africa is the second lowest globally, over 60% is derived from imports. The handling of e-waste in African countries is often limited to crude processing means in backyards (for example, smashing or breaking open casings), manual stripping to remove electronic boards for resale, and burning to liberate and recover selected materials. Other bulk components, including cathode ray tubes (CRTs), are disposed of in open dumpsites. These processing methods have devastating impacts on people’s health and the environment.