Switzerland, Egypt sign MoU to encourage e-Waste Recycling industry

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Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the embassy of Switzerland in Cairo signed Thursday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in supporting e-waste recycling industries in Egypt.

The MoU is part of the ministry’s plan to improve sustainable development policies, driving economic growth through encouraging investment in the eco-friendly ICTs and setting foundations and national policies for recycling e-waste in Egypt. In addition, the ministry plans to raise community awareness about eco-friendly ICTs and building the capacities of calibers specialized in the green ICT field.

Moreover, the MoU is designed to foster the sustainable management of e-waste, support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and encourage involvement in the industries of recycling and extracting secondary materials from electronic waste. This is in addition to maximizing the use of precious metals in e-waste and ensure its recycling in a manner that is safe for human health and the environment.

It also focuses on developing laws for this industry, improving stimulating mechanisms for applying the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and implementing programmes of incubators and capacity building for youth. The MoU aims to develop a system for accrediting companies operating in the field of e-waste recycling and prepare a bill for the sustainable management of e-waste.

The period prescribed for implementing the MoU is two years, ending on December 31, 2017. During this period, the Swiss government is committed to providing a financial contribution to support the implementation of these projects. The MoU also contributes to achieving the objectives of the “Green ICT” programme that has been adopted by Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Environment since 2010.

The main objectives of the programme is the use of ICTs to preserve the environment in various fields and to increase awareness and community participation by linking ICT, environment and energy policies.

It also aims at climate change adaptation and reduction, where the ICT applications played an effective role in addressing many problems and challenges facing the environment in Egypt. These challenges include the use of mobile applications in the follow-up on the burning of rice straw, the use of remote sensors in the smart management of water resources and the rationalization of energy consumption and the use of GIS applications in reducing emissions from the transport sector through smart transportation applications.

The MoU was signed by MCIT ICT Infrastructure Director Khaled El Attar and the Ambassador of Switzerland to Egypt Markus Leitner.