International Environmental Technology Centre 



Pan-African Forum on E-WasteUNEP organized, from 14 to 16 March 2012 in Nairobi, the first Pan-African Forum on E-Waste Challenges. IETC participated as moderator of the working group "Maximizing life-cycle and creating value through environmental sound collection and recycling".

A media briefing event "E-Waste: Challenges and Opportunities for Africa" took place on 15 March, with several panel speakers:

  • Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

  • Katharina Kummer Peiry, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention, UNEP

  • Ali Mohammed, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya

  • Miranda Amachree, National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Nigeria

  • Herve Guilcher, Environmental Programs Director, HP/EMEA

  • Jean Cox-Kearns, Director of Compliance, Dell - Global Takeback

Africa has been undergoing rapid information and communications technologies transformation in recent years, attempting to bridge the "digital divide" by importing second-hand or used computers, mobile phones and television sets from developed countries. The countries in the region, however, lack the infrastructure and resources for the environmentally sound management of electric and electronic waste or e-waste arising when such imports reach their end-of-life. High volumes of e-waste, whether generated domestically but mostly imported as used, near-end-of-life or end-of-life equipment, have manifold impacts on the environment, local communities and economic systems.

It is now time for Africa to take action on addressing health and environmental problems as a result of current recycling practices while creating jobs and business opportunities and combating poverty.

Grouping together numerous contributors, the Forum was organized by UNEP in partnership with:

  • The Basel Convention

  • UNON (United Nations Office in Nairobi)

  • The Government of Kenya

  • NEMA (National Environmental Management Authority of Kenya)

Financial support was provided by:

  • The European Commission

  • The Government of Norway

  • The Government of Canada

  • NEMA (National Environmental Management Authority of Kenya)

  • Hewlett Packard

  • Dell

  • Microsoft

  • Sims Recycling Solutions

  • Safaricom

Other partners were:

  • BCCC-Nigeria (Basel Convention Center in Nigeria)

  • EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology)

  • IMPEL (European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law)

  • Nokia

  • OKO-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology)

  • The UN StEP initiative to solve the E-Waste problem

  • UNU (United Nations University)