Should joining the information society happen without assessing the risks posed by the flood of equipment into African countries? What strategies and mechanisms can these countries, consumers of computer and electronic products that are often at the end of their life cycle, implement to seriously engage in the information economy while respecting the environment? What specific capabilities are needed to meet this challenge? These are some of the questions facing researchers, decision-makers and development stakeholders.
This publication looks at the situations in three West African countries (Benin, Mali, and Senegal) and demonstrates that the problems associated with electronic waste are still too often underestimated not only in public policy, but also by researchers. Studies addressing these issues are rare, but would lead to better decision-making in e-waste management and reclamation.
This publication is the fruit of pioneering research using a multidisciplinary approach integrating analysis of the institutional and legal contexts, and the economic and environmental situations in Benin, Mali, and Senegal. It reviews current practices so the opportunities and challenges of managing and truly reclaiming electronic and computer waste can be faced. It also provides an objective framework for building strategies, policies and programs that aim to ensure sustainable development that protects health and the environment.
Cheikh Diop, professor, chemist/environmentalist, teacher-researcher, Institut des sciences de l’environnement, Faculté des sciences et techniques, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal, and Regional “e-waste” Project Coordinator.
Ramata Molo Thioune, researcher, economist/environmentalist, Senior Program Officer, International Development Research Centre (Canada), Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa.