Egypt's Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) hosted the launching event of the Sustainable Recycling Industries-SRI Project- in Egypt, as a result of the agreement signed by the Egyptian and the Swiss Governments. The event was attended by all the partners from the Egyptian and Swiss sides, the implementing organizations and experts and other stakeholders. On top of the list was H.E. Eng. Yasser ElKady, Egypt’s Minister of MCIT, H.E. Dr. Khaled Fahmy, Egypt’s Minister of Environment, H.E. Mr. Marco Leitner, the Swiss Ambassador to Egypt, Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Director of CEDARE’s Sustainable Growth Programme, besides a distinguished team of experts from Switzerland. Experts from relevant ministries, civil society & NGOs, international organizations and private sector were present as well. Swiss and international experts of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), responsible for supervising the project’s implementation, participated in the event.
On May 8th, 2016, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) hosted the first meeting of the Sustainable Recycling Industries (SRI) Steering Committee. Chaired by Eng. Khaled El Attar (MCIT), the committee comprised representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Trade & Industry, Ministry of Finance, Swiss Embassy, and the Project Management Unit at CEDARE.
This meeting aimed at introducing core stakeholders with SRI Project’s objectives, components, implementation plan and deliverables in addition to setting the level of involvement of each organization within the project as well as the roles and responsibilities assigned to each one, where synergy is fundamental.
Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is one of the fast-growing types of waste worldwide which includes discarded electrical or electronic equipment such as old televisions, computers, printers, mobile phones and lead batteries. High toxicity of e-waste, including lead, causes pollution and health problems if improperly disposed of through methods like incineration. On the other hand, e-waste also contains important secondary non-renewable materials such as copper. Disposal of such valuable materials means that they are lost forever and cannot be reused. This pushes countries worldwide to mine for new materials.
From an economic perspective, e-waste includes non-renewable precious components as gold, silver & copper. If totally disposed, that would absolutely impose a great financial burden on nations who would waste huge budgets again for mining, and hence the value of the Project and its sustainable outcomes such as reducing pollution, preserving non-renewable natural resources, besides creating jobs.
On March 10th, 2016, the Embassy of Switzerland signed an agreement with Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology titled “Sustainable Recycling Industries in Egypt”. It aims at supporting sustainable integration and participation of small and medium enterprises in recycling of electronic waste in Egypt. Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is one of the fast-growing types of waste worldwide which includes discarded electrical or electronic equipment such as old televisions, computers, printers, mobile phones and batteries.
The agreement has three goals: to contribute to the promotion of policies and standards for the sustainable management of secondary resources; to build local capacity for sustainable recycling industries; to provide cities across Egypt with access to experiences developed in other countries under the project.
The Swiss-Egyptian two-year agreement is valued at 1.17 million Swiss francs and is expected to contribute to the Green Information and Communication Technology national strategy of Egypt; the basis for e-waste related initiatives in Egypt.