As part of efforts to ensure a robust implementation of Ghana’s regulations on e-waste management, the European Union funded E-MAGIN project has organized a two-day Progress and Access to Finance workshop in Takoradi for 40 selected Micro Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the e-waste sector in Central and Western Regions.
The workshop is to connect MSMEs under the e-waste sector at regional level and encourage them to share ideas and reflect on the practical opportunities and challenges under the new legal regime (Act 917, LI 2250 and the Technical Guidelines on Environmentally Sound E-waste Management).
Participants were mainly drawn from MSMEs in the Central and Western regions including Western Region Scrap Dealers Association, General E-Waste Scrap Dealers Assoc, Tarkwa, National Air-conditioning Refrigeration Workshop Owners Association (NARWOA) and Ghana Electronic Services Technicians Association (GESTA).
Over the past three years, the EMAGIN project has been supporting the effective implementation of Act 917 by supporting the formalization of informal stakeholders, establishing a nation-wide collection mechanism, conducting trainings and capacity building programs and providing decision-support to policy makers through dialogue events, studies and policy briefs.
Prof. Rosemond Boohene, the EMAGIN Project Coordinator and also a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape-Coast stressed the need to incorporate the informal sector into formal e-waste management activities to ensure sound collection, dismantling and recycling of discarded e-waste.
She explained that some of the discarded e-wastes contained useful and harmful substances and so “the project seeks to educate and help the MSME’s manage their wastes in an environmentally sound manner.”
She noted that apart from the Environmental, Health and Safety issues discussed, the participants were also briefed on how they can manage their businesses very well. “They have been taken through some business fundamentals including how to market their products and how they can access finances from financial institutions to expand their businesses,” she added.
Also, she said the participants were briefed on the current progress of e-wastes collection centers dotted across the country and how they can obtain permit to operate a collection center.
Ebenezer Kumi of Adelphi Germany, an international partner of E-MAGIN indicated that most of the scrap dealers, who dominated the e-waste market are in the informal sector. He said there is the need to bring all e-waste businesses into the formal sector so they can be sensitized to know the dangers associated with burning e-waste and halt that practice.
Abraham Dsane at the Corporate Department of CalBank- in charge of green financing explained that green financing is a product to support enterprises whose activities have impact on the environment.
He added that the bank is ready to provide support to budding businesses in the green space to ensure sustainability. SUNREF, in partnership with CalBank has designed a special purpose financing programme to enable Ghana seize the opportunities of going green.
This innovative program is part of a worldwide initiative developed by AFD to mobilize public and private banks to finance private sector investments involving green technologies and sustainable energy. In addition, the EU is supporting the program by financing the technical assistance component as well as providing an investment grant to eligible projects.
Benjamin Afful-Eshun, Chief Executive Officer of Ahantaman Rural Bank Limited also took the participants through how they can access finances from the bank to expand their respective entities which is offering businesses, organizations and households the opportunity to access financing for sustainable energy projects, and assistance in structuring green investments.