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Nigeria’s new gold mine

June 24, 2019

A new initiative by the Nigerian government is said to tackle the e-waste problem and turning it into a “gold mine”.

As reported by Eurasia Review a new initiative driven by the Nigerian government, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UN Environment pledging $15 million (€13 million) to deal with Nigeria’s e-waste of 300,000 tonnes and turning into a new circular economy project.

The article said: “A global model for a circular electronics system, the project was announced at the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019 and will kickstart a sustainable electronics economy in Nigeria, protecting the environment while creating safe employment for thousands of people.”

The money is to be used to change the current somewhat dangerous and casual electronics recycling industry in Nigeria into a more “a formally legislated system that benefits all actors by including a small fee on the sale of electronics to subsidise formal recycling.”

Calling it Nigeria’s new gold mine, Eurasia Review explained that “with 100 times more gold in a tonne of e-waste than in a tonne of gold ore, alongside other scarce and valuable materials such as platinum, cobalt and rare earth elements, a safe and efficient recycling industry has huge economic potential.”

This new initiative for Nigeria is aimed to expand the circular economy model for the e-waste industry in Africa “by sharing best practices, promoting regional and global dialogue, and engaging global manufacturers.” Some of these manufacturers are Dell, HP, Microsoft and Phillips who, as part of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) from the World Economic Forum, will form partnerships with e-waste recyclers.

Eurasia Review reports that Managing Director and Head of the Centre for Global Public Goods at the Forum, Dominic Waughray said: “This project demonstrates how the circular economy can spur economic growth, create jobs and benefit the environment. As a platform for public-private collaboration, the World Economic Forum is delighted by the teamwork between recyclers and electronics manufacturers working side by side with government and international organizations to reach shared goals.”

The $15 million (€13 million) initiative was announced at the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019 held earlier this month.

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