The increasing use of electric and electronic devises in Ghana, a sign of increasing prosperity, presents also a massive challenge, since after use, devices turn into toxic waste of electrical and electronical equipment (WEEE or e-waste). E-waste generation in Ghana is accelerated because many imported second-hand devices have a short lifespan and between 15 - 30% of imported devices are non-functioning thus they are imported in violation of international laws and conventions.
The e-waste recycling is almost exclusively organised informally. Actors in the informal sector extract the valuable materials with simple tools without regarding the negative effects of the process on health, environment and climate. Hence, Agbogbloshie Scrap Yard, where most of the recycling takes place, belongs to one of the most contaminated sites worldwide.
Action against illegal imports is expected to increase after the Basel Convention has been translated into national law in July 2016 via the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill. The Ghanaian-German financial cooperation is supporting Ghanaian partners to set up an incentive mechanism for sound recycling of e-waste as well as the construction and operation of a so called ‘Handover-Center’ (HOC) serving as the logistical basis for reception and storage of the purchased e-wastes.