Business is booming.

Vodafone recycles used phones in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon

By Hauwa Ali

The German subsidiary of Vodafone, a British telecommunications group has launched an operation to recycle one million used mobile phones in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon as part of its commitment to reduce its environmental footprint on the continent by strengthening the sustainable management of electronic waste.

The  company who made this known on Tuesday in a statement said it would recycle more than one million old mobile phones from Africa. 

The Dutch firm said it will gather old phones primarily from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon and transport them to Europe for recycling there.

“Recycling isn’t enough. The life span must also be made longer.

“The campaign would be financed by the raw materials obtained in the process. The project would share profits with partners on the ground including churches, community centres or repair shops.” says Andreas Laukenmann, Head of the Private Customers Division at Vodafone Germany. 

Vodafone said it would not only collect electronic waste originating from Europe, but also phones used by people in Africa.

To carry out this operation, Vodafone Germany will work with the Dutch company, Closing the Loop, which will collect the devices.

“The countries in question have no capacity for safe recycling so the waste would be transported by ship to Europe,” said Joost de Kluijver, founder of Closing the Loop.

E-waste is the fastest-growing type of household waste worldwide, according to the United Nations Global E-waste Monitor 2020.

Ghana generates 40,000 tonnes per year. In Nigeria, a study by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that the country generated 16,900 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) between 2015 and 2016

Vodafone is present in several African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana through local subsidiaries. 

Its ewaste plan for Africa will reduce the impact of 2.9 million tonnes of electronic waste that the continent records each year according to the Global E-waste Monitor.

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