NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

Launch of e-Waste toolkit for companies working in Africa

Photo: EEP Africa
Powerlive Zimbabwe is a local, women-led company bringing affordable solar energy solutions to low-income communities. All projects funded by EEP Africa are expected to develop an e-waste management plan.
Photo: EEP Africa
19.02.2021

EEP Africa has partnered with CLASP to produce a set of resources to help companies overcome many of the barriers to e-waste management and recycling in Southern and East Africa

The off-grid solar (OGS) market is growing rapidly across Africa, bringing life-changing access to modern energy services for people and communities currently living without electricity. Yet off-grid solar (OGS) products can have negative impacts on human and environmental health if not disposed of properly. 

Anticipatory e-waste management strategies will reduce these risks and ensure the OGS industry grows sustainably over the long term. This is a priority issue for investors and requires active engagement from all players in the sector. Jussi Viding, EEP Africa Trust Fund Manager at the Nordic Development Fund, noted,

“EEP Africa supports early-stage clean energy companies working in markets with very limited infrastructure for circular economy. These companies are innovators in terms of technology or business model. If they plan to grow sustainably and attract follow-on investment, however, they also need to be leaders in creating positive environmental and social impact. The e-Waste Toolkit aims to support companies on this journey of growth.” 

Efforts to recapture and recycle e-waste are gaining ground in Africa but are limited by inconsistent regulations, low infrastructure and capacity, and a lack of consumer awareness on safe disposal. In partnership with CLASP, EEP Africa has developed a set of resources to help project developers overcome some of these barriers and implement sustainable management solutions.

The newly launched EEP Africa e-Waste Toolkit provides best practices for e-waste management in Africa, information about local e-waste legislation, and recommendations for recycling services. The toolkit focuses on the 15 countries covered by the EEP Africa portfolio, but much of the information applies to the OGS sector more broadly. 

The online toolkit includes downloadable fact sheets covering issues such as battery handling and disposal, recommendations on how to reduce-reuse-recycle, and factors to consider when developing an e-waste management strategy. It also provides links to relevant and up-to-date information on recycling legislation and facilities in Africa, as well as to other policies, models and resources. 

These resources are designed to be a living tool that will be periodically reviewed, updated and expanded. James Wakaba, East Africa Director at CLASP, commented,

“We are excited to partner with EEP Africa on this e-waste toolkit to ensure more OGS companies and stakeholders have access to resources for proper e-waste management. We hope that this toolkit acts as a starting point for further collaboration and investment in sustainable e-waste management across the off-grid solar sector.” 

The development of this toolkit builds on EEP Africa’s earlier collaboration with CLASP on solar e-waste management innovations and market development in Sub-Saharan Africa. During a webinar in May 2020, specialists from both organizations, as well as GOGLA, shared success stories and lessons learned from their portfolios, including projects funded through the Global LEAP Awards Solar e-Waste Challenge

EEP Africa is committed to advancing circular economy solutions and helping reduce and mitigate e-waste from clean energy projects. Read more about our focus on circular economy in our 2020 Market Report and learn about all the projects in EEP Africa's active portfolio.   

Explore the EEP Africa s-Waste Toolkit here

Partners:

EEP Africa is a climate finance facility supporting early-stage clean energy projects, technologies and business models in Southern and East Africa. It is hosted and managed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with funding from Austria, Finland and NDF. 

CLASP is an international organization improving the energy and environmental performance of the appliances and equipment we use every day.