Africa is Not a Digital Dumping Ground

15/08/2013

Computers 4 Africa believe that action must be taken to stem the import of electronic waste to Africa, which is shipped abroad for disposal.  Only fully functioning IT that will benefit the community should be allowed onto the continent.  There are stringent environmental laws, which dictate that e-waste should be disposed of appropriately through recycling and Africa should not become a digital dumping ground for Europe.

Any donated computers and other equipment that Computers 4 Africa receives goes through a rigorous process to confirm it is working and reliable.  As a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, we securely data wipe (up to Department of Defence standards), PAT test, upgrade, professionally clean and install an authenticated operating system onto the machines.  Each procedure is thorough and systematic to guarantee only useable donations are shipped to Africa.  On top this we verify that these computers go to local projects and schools benefitting the community.  It is important that these processes are in place to certify that only working and useful equipment goes into African countries.

We fully comply with the WEEE directive, which is EU law, as well as UK Environment Agency legislation.  Crucially, we operate a 0% to landfill policy; everything is either reused or recycled.

As the computers we send out do have a life expectancy period we are working hard to encourage and partner with recycling facilities into Africa.  This is currently within Kenya, there are however plans to develop into 5 additional counties over the next 12 months.  We have links with Digital Pipeline Africa who run an electronic recycling plant.  It utilises safe and environmentally friendly systems to recycle computers, monitors and other hardware.  The procedures are run by competent technical personnel using appropriate tools and protective gear.  By partnering with organisations like this we ensure that computers we have donated do not end up in African landfills, instead they are recycled, which in turn create jobs and further opportunities.

Related Articles: 

The Guardian: Africa will not be Europe's digital dumping ground, say leaders

Salon: African Ledaers: Stop sending old electronics

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