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.
“The SRI project has three primary goals. The first is to contribute to the promotion of policies and standards for the sustainable management of secondary resources. The second is to build local capacities for sustainable recycling industries, and the third is to provide Egypt with access to experiences developed in other countries under the project”, said Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Director of Sustainable Growth Programme at the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE).
“The E-waste sustainable recycling industries is one of the new industries in Egypt that fulfills the five standards of the sustainability framework (Economy, Environment, Equity, Efficiency, and Effectiveness)”, said Eng. Khaled Lotfy El Attar, Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Sector at Egypt’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
“The ‘Sustainable Recycling Industries’ project will turn electronic waste into job and income opportunities. Through financial, administrative, legal and technical support, the project encourages small and medium-sized Egyptian enterprises to develop a viable business by recycling electronic waste in a safe and environment-friendly way”, said Mr. Markus Leitner, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Egypt.
The project, which is expected to be completed by December 2017, comes within the framework of Switzerland’s wider partnership with Egypt. Switzerland provides more than CHF 20 million annually to development projects across Egypt in three domains: economic development and employment; democratic transition and human rights; and migration and protection.