Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said Ghana has instituted initiatives to ensure sound disposal and recycling of e-waste in the country.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said government among others, launched the Integrated E-waste Management Programme, to ensure efficient management of e-waste in an environmentally sound manner and turned its challenges into green business opportunities.
The Minister said this on Thursday at a stakeholder forum on the theme “Envisioning the Future of E-Waste Management in Ghana”.
The Professor said government had passed the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, Act 917 (2016).
The Act, the Minister explained, marks the initiation of two key provisions of Act 917, which were critical to the successful implementation of the new Law.
“The First is the designation of the external service provider, to verify, assess and collect the Advance Recycle Eco Fee on all electrical and electronic equipment, under the Fifth Schedule of Act 917, imported from all exporting countries.
“Second is the establishment of a state-of-the-art recycling facility to be constructed at Agbogbloshie, in fulfilment of section 31 of Act 917,” he said.
He said the recycling facility would not be a stand-alone entity, as there was a component of the project to support the establishment of a network of collection centres to provide continuous supply of raw material to sustain the operations of the facility.
This component, he said, will create over 20,000 self-sustaining jobs for the Ghanaian youth.
Statistics show that, an estimated 40 to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated annually, with Ghana serving as the final destination for e-waste.
Used electronic and electrical equipment imported into the country continue to be the major source of electronic waste, as many have not been tested for functionality, and in contravention of regional and international laws, such as the Bamako Convention, the Basel Convention, and EU e-waste shipment regulations.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng stressed the commitment of government and its development partners to improve the e-waste situation in the country for sound environmental development.
The European Commission is funding the E-MAGIN Ghana project under the SWITCH Africa Green programme, implemented by the University of Cape Coast to improve the management of e-waste towards a Sustainable Consumption and Production through an integrated multi-stakeholder approach.
Mrs Diana Acconcia, the Head of European Union in Ghana, said the Union was committed to continue support for waste management in the country.
“Waste management is a problem that needs to be addressed in Ghana and we will look for possible solutions to overcome the challenges, together with the government institutions and private sectors,” she added.
Mr Markus Spitzbart, Head of Programmes, German Development Cooperation Ghana, called for the need to create an interface between the different projects in order to strengthen the e-waste sector.
Mr Larry Kotoe, the Principal Programme Officer, Environmental Protection Agency, said the Agency in collaboration with the Sustainable Recycling Industries project, had completed the development of technical guidelines on environmentally Sound E-Waste Management for collectors, collection centres, transporters, and treatment facilities.