Eye on ICT Blog
Kenya’s recently published guidelines for e-waste management tell us that increased use of technology especially in ICT, low initial cost, and unplanned obsolescence of electrical and electronic equipment has led to an e-waste generation problem for Kenya. The guidelines have been developed by the Ministry for Natural Resources and Minerals and the National Environment Management Agency with GESCI and other partners, with the strategic objective of providing a framework for the development of regulations and policies in Kenya that it is hoped will help to stymie the deluge of e-waste that is finding its way to landfills and dumpsites all over Kenya. In a country afflicted with many other pressing problems such as growing youth unemployment, a refugee crisis in the North East, and an estimated 1.5 million strong aids epidemic, how does the e-waste problem compare? Well, UNEP estimates the current e-waste generated annually in Kenya at 11,400 tonnes from refrigerators, 2,800 tonnes from TVs, 2,500 tonnes from personal computers, 500 tonnes from printers and 150 tonnes from mobile phones (Press Release UNEP, 2010). This high rate of accumulation of ewaste stems not only from the rapid pace of emerging technologies but also from e-waste disposal by developed countries in the form of used electronic equipment with short life-spans. I took the most modest tonnage of e-waste on the list and thought about what that might look like. After some web-scouring I found this image of 105 tonnes of seized marijuana to give me an idea of the scale of the problem in visual, if not visceral terms.
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The Kenya Daily Nation published a ‘Special Report’ today, July 6th, on the TIVET baseline survey produced by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and Technology and GESCI. The full article can be found on the GESCI site – http://www.gesci.org/technical-vocational-education-training.html. It’s little wonder that TIVET and youth skills and development are grabbing headlines. A determined government wishes to transform Kenya into a middle-income economy by 2030. They need a skilled workforce to master that transformation, and Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions are part of the answer. The African Union concur, concluding at their summit last week that the AU and its partners should elaborate a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) framework, addressing specifically the domains of Agriculture and ICT, while accelerating the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action. With a growing continental focus on youth empowerment driven by the African Union, Ministries of Education, Training, and Science Technology and a large body of European donors encouraging Knowledge Society development, GESCI can expect ongoing coverage of ICT and Skills Development from national, regional and continental media outlets. Read full article: http://www.gesci.org/technical-vocational-education-training.html. continue reading >