The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Orange have joined forces to support over the next two years the establishment of a viable business model for a high-quality standard secondary market of mobile devices and networks/IT equipment in Egypt.
An extensive network of local and international partners, including Nokia, Cordon Group, Sofrecom Group, eTadweer and many others will join this transformation.
This pilot is part of the global Switch to Circular Economy Value Chains project (SWITCH2CE), co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Finland. Its ambition is to foster a just transition of the Egyptian electronics-ICT value chain to an inclusive, climate neutral and circular economy.
Egypt's e-waste generation represents 20% of the total e-waste in Africa with 585.8 kilotons. The Egyptian government has set a target of increasing the recycling rate to 25% by 2030 and ensuring the safe disposal of all hazardous waste.
The first refurbishment centre will be established in 2024 in Egypt and will support capacity building of locally recruited technicians.
This pilot project will focus on several key objectives to realise the circular potential of Egypt's ICT and electronics value chain. They include: supporting the adoption of circular economy practices and policies; developing a local infrastructure (including establishing network equipment and mobile devices refurbishment centres); and capacity development (including recruitment and training of local technicians).
This pilot aims to open new potential for reuse of products, extend their longevity and reduce the generated e-waste. Refurbished and recertified network equipment and devices will re-enter the local market. The residual e-waste will be collected and recycled by the pilot’s partners.
For more on the challenge of e-waste and how it can be tackled, see our recent series of features on the subject.