The Pan-African Forum on E-waste adopted a Call for Action on E-waste in Africa. The Call for Action outlines a set of priorities to support development of a regional approach for the legal transboundary movements and the environmentally sound management of e-waste for the African continent to protect human health and the environment as well as to promote opportunities for social and economic development.
The growing e-waste volumes generated worldwide together with the lack or even absence of well-organized collection and management systems in Africa, where a disproportionate amount of this waste ends up, threatens Africa’s environment, its national economies and the health of local communities.
In many African countries e-waste is routinely disposed on uncontrolled dumpsites, where waste volumes are periodically reduced by setting them on fire, causing a range of toxic substances to be released, heavily contaminating air, soil and water resources. Even unburned, in tropical climate, many e-waste fractions will soon release major pollutants, damaging human and environmental health. The serious consequences of this mounting environmental problem are now starting to attract the widespread public attention.
This two and a half day forum is being organized with the support of Hewlett-Packard and Dell. The forum aims to bring together relevant stakeholders from the governments of Africa, international organizations, academia and the private sector. The forum seeks to identify possible options for a sustainable solution to e-waste in Africa by developing a clear perspective on an environmentally sound e-waste management framework applicable in the African context. Forum participants discussed the need for regulatory frameworks and ways of establishing or strengthening national, regional and international collaboration.