The sourcing and supply of raw materials for today’s society needs is an increasingly global challenge. The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials is a European Commission initiative trying to address this by encouraging the development of multi-stakeholder networks for raw materials recovery. The EWIT project, which focuses on resource recovery from e-waste in Africa has been developed in this context. This 2-year coordination and support action is funded under the Horizon 2020 Framework and started in February 2015.

The project is set up as a joint European and African cooperation to developing a toolkit by bringing together best practices and successful case-studies of e-waste management in Africa and Europe. This toolkit will help setting up environmentally sound management of e-waste which in turn will lead to better protection of human health and the environment, as well as promote the recovery of secondary materials.

Within the EWIT project four sets of twin cities were formed by ‘twinning’ each a European and an African city: Florence (Italy) with Johannesburg (South Africa), Vienna (Austria) with Choma (Zambia), Porto (Portugal) with Kisii (Kenya) and Antwerp (Belgium) with Abidjan (Ivory Coast).

The project consortium consists of stakeholders from the cities and subject matter experts and is led by REMEDIA. ABF-BOKU is one of the partners and its staff had the opportunity to visit many of the African cities to gather first hand insights and experience the conflicting pressures e-waste management faces in those cities. Through joint workshops held at each partner city, the consortium members were able to share experiences, discuss challenges and opportunities as well as data. From that reports aligned to four thematic pillars were compiled: (1) e-waste collection, (2) e-waste processing technology, (3) e-waste system legislation and financing, and (4) circular economy of e-waste. Possible next steps and approaches to common problems were then discussed and elaborated. This information was then combined within a web portal (the toolkit) which is freely accessible for any interested party ( The EWIT toolkit is a dynamic and easy-to-use information and service portal for a wide range of stakeholders, from policy makers to collectors and recyclersof e-waste.

As the development of the EWIT toolkit is in its last stages, the EWIT consortium announces the start of the public launch of the portal in October 2016, which kicks off with a series of conferences in Africa aimed to disseminate the project’s result and the use of the toolkit. In January 2017, a pan-African conference held at the African Parliament premises signals the official end of the EWIT project but at the same time is an opportunity to explore further activities and cooperation on e-waste management in Africa.

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