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.
The speakers shed light on the project’s scope of work, objectives, components, and outputs. The main goal is to support the sustainable integration and participation of small and medium enterprises in the recycling of the electronic waste in Egypt. Non-hazardous resourceful management of secondary non-renewable resources will be optimized, and local capacity of formal and informal sectors will be improved ensuring sustainable e-waste recycling and job creation. The SRI Project will be providing legal, administrative and technical backstopping through capacity building and training. This is in addition to job creation and increasing competencies of formal and informal sectors in sustainable recycling.
The project’s plan of activities comprises building technology partnerships, setting up institutional standards and conformity, and establishing a financing system for sustainable recycling industries in Egypt. The project will focus on implementing an incubation program for start-ups, developing a program that builds capacity, developing an accreditation system for companies operating in the field of e-waste recycling, besides preparing a draft law for the sustainable e-waste management. This is in addition to stimulating Extended Producers’ Responsibility models as well as raising the awareness to the newly-emerging industry.
Eng. ElKady has emphasized the significant role of ICT applications in addressing the challenges facing the environment, stating that “this project is in the context of MCIT plan aiming to contribute to improving sustainable development policies and driving economic growth by encouraging investment in the field of green ICT”.
In turn, Dr. Fahmy highlighted that SRI project comes within the framework of Egypt’s General Strategy in the environment field. The project is an integral part of the Ministry of Environment’s strategy and its projects in the management of e-waste in particular, in cooperation with the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Synergies between both projects will certainly be attained to maximize the utilization of allocated financial and technical resources for the public interest.
On another note, Mr. Leitner said that SRI project will turn e-waste into job opportunities through financial, administrative, legal and technical support. It will also encourage Egyptian SMEs to develop e-waste recycling in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
It is noteworthy that SRI Project will be locally implemented by CEDARE, MCIT and the international experts from Sofies Switzerland. Collaboration with the Egyptian ministries of Environment, Finance, and Trade and Industry will also take place.