The Republic of Malawi through MACRA to host the workshop, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is organizing an Africa Region e-Waste awareness to be held 26th - 28th November back to back with Malawi National workshop on 29th November 2019. The regional workshop will take place at Bingu Wamutharika International Conference Centre, to review the current e-waste situation and impact in the region including the level of awareness of e-waste issues and the estimations of the amount of e-waste that is being currently generated in order to follow a proper environmentally sound management of e-waste as the world moves towards Digital Transformation.
In 2018, as a response to the global e-waste challenge, Member States of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) agreed on two targets at the Union's Plenipotentiary Conference:
1. Increase the global e-waste recycling rate to 30%
2. Raise the percentage of countries with an e-waste legislation to 50%
The Africa Region e-Waste Workshop is open to all the ITU Member States in Africa and specifically to experts responsible for ICTs usage like Policy making Ministries, Regulatory authorities, Environment Management Agencies (EMA), Telecommunications and ICTs Operators, private sector, regional and international organizations, consumer associations and academia.
Considering the advances in technology, exponential growth of Telecommunications/ ICT terminals and associated high turnover, action is required to prevent an environmental catastrophe in developing countries. This will involve formulation of adequate regulatory framework and policies to address this problem.
The growth of telecommunications/ICTs, especially in developing countries, has been exponential in recent years. The growth of electrical and electronic equipment and their peripherals, as well as the continuous updating of technology, has generated a significant growth in telecommunication/ICT waste. However, recycling and professional responsible disposal of telecommunication/ICT waste remain at low levels, especially in developing countries, making it very difficult to even find figures on this issue at regional level. ITU would like to ensure that efforts are dedicated to professional and safe disposal of electronic waste as devices become obsolete.
The consequences of not carrying out proper recycling or disposal are environmental problems of large magnitude, especially for developing countries.
Inadequate management of ICT/waste can have adverse consequences considering that e-waste contains hazardous components and substances that can be potentially harmful to both human health and the environment. In many European countries, regulations have been introduced to prevent electronic waste being dumped in landfills due to its implications. However, there is very little practice, if any, to prevent and manage electronic waste in many African countries. The lack of regulations, technologies and infrastructure accompanied with very limited awareness of the e-waste management are some of the current challenges countries are facing.
The Africa Region E-Waste Workshop is open to all the ITU Member States in Africa and specifically to experts responsible for ICTs usage like Policy making Ministries, Regulatory authorities, Environment Management Agencies (EMA) ,Telecommunications and ICTs Operators, private sector, regional and international organizations, consumer associations and academia. Given the inter-disciplinary nature of managing e-waste and considering the institutional interlinkages among government ministries during policy development, stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Whilst not exhaustive, the following list provides a general picture of the targeted participants: -
Ministries and policy makers in the areas of –
- Information and communications technology
- Environment and ecology
- Labour and employment
- Health and social services
- Commerce and trade
- Science and technology
- Producers, importers and retailers of electrical and electronic equipment
- Non-governmental organizations
- Civil society and consumer organizations
- Academic and training institutions
ITU Area Office for Southern Africa in Harare
+263 242 77 5939/40/41
Fax: +263 4 77 1257