It is estimated that 39% of all countries are covered by WEEE policy, legislation or regulation. To assist Member States to balance their economic and social development with their environmental management, ITU provides a programme dedicated to policy and regulatory development.
The programme is guided by ITU’s high-level targets, by 2023 to:
Increase the global WEEE recycling rate to 30%
- Raise the percentage of countries with a WEEE legislation to 50%
Member States can request ITU technical assistance and capacity building to support national or regional WEEE policy development.
Namibia generated 16 kilotonnes (kt) of e-waste – equivalent to roughly 6.4 kg per person - in 2019. Sadly, this significant e-waste challenge is not unique to Namibia.
Despite a clear need for national e-waste recycling, Namibia faces the dual challenges of large geographical distances and citizen awareness.
While there has been historical commitment for environmental protection and environmentally sound investment and production systems, there was previously no specific framework or regulation governing the environmentally sound management of e-waste in Namibia.
With the support of ITU as part our technical assistance program, the Ministry of ICT in Namibia has developed a draft National Policy on Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and its Implementation Action Plan (IAP). The policy was written with thorough consideration of the Namibian context and inspiration from successful e-waste regulations in the region.
To ensure fairness, inclusiveness and equity, the policy and its IAP was developed with extensive consultations with a community of different stakeholders, including government offices, ministries and agencies; local authorities; businesses; academia, and civil society organisations.
This policy is built on the principle of EPR and charts an ambitious way forward. The IAP complements the policy by providing additional details on the practical activities under each of the policy objectives.
As the draft policy is finalised, the focus now is on putting these plans into action in the coming few months. This includes hitting milestones such as establishing a national Steering Committee on e-waste and identifying appropriate finance mechanisms for the management of e-waste in Namibia, as well as bringing together the private and public sectors to explore a multi-sectorial institutional framework with the aim to develop an industry organizational mechanism.