Business is booming.

Nigeria accounts for largest mobile ewaste in sub-Sahara Africa

A recent report by the GSM Association (GSMA) has projected that Sub-Saharan Africa will have a combined 1 billion active feature phone and smartphone connections by the end of 2023 and Nigeria, other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa will have to deal with the impending challenge of e-waste as more people acquire mobile phones.

According to the report, the estimated number is expected to increase with the addition of more than 200 million new devices expected by the end of 2027.

The growing number of devices has raised a significant concern regarding growing e-waste and the higher consumption of natural resources within the region.

According to verified data, Nigeria currently has the largest mobile subscriptions in Africa with over 220 million connected lines as of August 2023, which presupposes that the country would account for the largest mobile e-waste in the region.

While developed countries have adequate provisions for the management of e-waste, most African countries are said to be lagging in this respect.

To address this challenge, GSMA suggests that incentivizing consumers will be crucial, though this could be complicated by a variety of factors affecting their choices, such as affordability, information availability, social norms, and personal preferences.

Governments and industry players have a role to play here. For example, there is an opportunity to build new channels and suppliers to collect, refurbish, and resell devices, as well as educate consumers and implement awareness campaigns on sustainability.

Operators and other ecosystem players across Sub-Saharan Africa are already taking the lead in this regard, with initiatives to drive circularity in mobile phones and other digital devices.

GSMA added that device ecosystem players in Sub-Saharan Africa are leveraging the circular economy concept in device manufacturing by ensuring that phones with longer lifetimes are being produced, in addition to using recyclable and recycled materials and renewable energy in the process.

As a result, fewer devices are going to waste, allowing the industry to make progress in sustainable transformation

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