E-waste country study Ethiopia

Within the last decade, many African countries experienced a rapidly growing e-waste problem. While a certain share of this e-waste is generated by a sharply increasing domestic use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and other electrical and electronic equipment, illegal imports of used and end-of-life electronic equipment (e-waste) from industrialised countries further add to the problem.

Although a certain share of these imports is sometimes repaired in a local refurbishing industry, significant amounts of hazardous e-waste are disposed in uncontrolled dump sites or set on fire. Due to the various hazardous constitutes of electric- and electronic equipment, this practices lead to severe local pollution, which is endangering human and environmental health.In this situation the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) together with the United Nations University (UNU) as host of the StEP-Initiative, aim to support Ethiopia by addressing this problem in an early stage, thus preventing the negative consequences of unregulated e-waste management on a large-scale.The results of this e-waste country study are aimed to serve as a base for informed decision-making on e-waste management within Ethiopia. Thus the study shall comprise aspects covering stocks and flows of e-products, current management and downstream markets, stakeholders, existing laws and regulations and potentials for improvements.