Stakeholders in the e-waste management ecosystem have come together to discuss the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines and regulations for e-waste management in Rwanda. The hybrid workshop was held in Kigali and online and brought together representatives from public and private entities working to advance proper e-waste handling in Rwanda.
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an internationally accepted policy mechanism applied in e-waste management programmes under which producers are given a significant financial and/or physical responsibility for the disposal of post-consumer products.
Rwanda’s e-waste management regulation provides for the establishment of extended producer responsibility where the producer of electrical and electronic equipment must play a role in supporting the collection and recycling of this equipment.
The workshop was convened by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It featured discussions on the status of e-waste in Rwanda, existing regulatory frameworks, and the role of digital solutions in implementing EPR concept in policies and regulations.
“Rwanda is one of the cleanest countries in the world and we have achieved much in environmental protection. Let’s utilise this fruitful workshop to advance e-waste management in Rwanda to further our efforts,” said Charles Gahungu, General Manager of ICT Regulation Department at the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority.
Speaking at the workshop, Beatrice Cyiza, Director General, Environment and Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment, highlighted Rwanda’s efforts and the importance of strengthening existing policies and regulations.
“Implementing Extended Producer Responsibility guidelines and regulations for e-waste management in Rwanda is timely as Rwanda promotes the circular economy and takes advantage of the opportunities to turn waste to wealth and create jobs,” she said.
To support Rwanda and other countries in their journey to proper e-waste handling, the International Telecommunication Union has put in place a number of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for e-waste management, building capacity, and creating awareness for effective e-waste management.
“The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility applied to the sound management of E-waste is understood and can be implemented in Rwanda by taking into account the different legal frameworks already in place or being developed, and through a harmonised EPR procedure with the support of all key national authorities. ITU will continue to support to meet the targets set,” said Chali Tumelo, from ITU’s Area Office.
The workshop provided an opportunity for representatives from the Rwanda Information Society Authority, RURA, and Enviroserve Rwanda to discuss the status of e-waste in Rwanda, including legal and institutional frameworks, management, infrastructure and what relevant entities are doing to raise awareness on e-waste recycling and collection.
“By recycling e-waste, we not only protect people’s health and our environment but also contribute to the global goals to improve the well-being of Rwandans and advance development,” said Steve Sebera from Enviroserve Rwanda, the country’s leading e-waste recycling facility.
The second day of the workshop saw participants take part in a series of discussions around financing models applicable to e-waste, how digital solutions can support EPR implementation, as well as legal and institutional amendments to facilitate e-waste financing through the EPR framework. The consultation workshop served as a space to discuss the preparation of implementation guidelines for EPR in Rwanda and will be followed by a consultation workshop for the private sector in May.
Find here pictures for the workshop
● For more information on ITU work on e-waste, visit ITU-D Environment.