The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Centre (WEEE) is one of Africa’s largest e-waste management organisations that focusses on clean technologies, waste management and recycling. As WEEE recycling organization, we believe that we need to embrace a circular economy to preserve the environment while simultaneously creating social and economic impact. This is why, with the help of the CFYE program we seek to create green jobs in Kenya for youth, women and people with disabilities.
Kenya is facing a sustainability problem concerning the surplus on non-recycled e-waste, alongside high youth unemployment rate. Annually, 5,13 metric tonnes of e-waste is generated while only 1% is being formally recycled. As a result, the remaining 99% of the generated e-waste ends up in dump sites and water ways, causing soil, water and air pollution and eventually finding its way into the food chain. Most of the e-waste resides in homes, offices and storage facilities due to the lack of adequate awareness and recycling options.
The skills and aspirations of Kenya’s youth are often disconnected from the realities and demands of the labor market. Youth unemployment rates in Kenya are estimated to be 35% between the ages of 18-34, which is twice as high as the unemployment rate amongst adults. The average rate of unemployment for women is even higher, at an estimated 10% more than the male rate. Young people, especially women, are more likely to face difficulties securing employment.
Youth unemployment and e-waste create a lot of challenges but also a lot of opportunities. We believe that the promising market of WEE management offers opportunities for youth employment while simultaneously achieving a better e-waste disposal practices.
Being one of the biggest e-waste management organisations with a broad range of experience, WEEE centre intends to create a two-year management programme to provide 1200 green jobs for the Kenyan youth. The two-year management programme will be aimed at empowering young people between the ages of 18 – 35, whilst trying to target 50 % young women and 10% people with disabilities.
In this programme they will receive training concerning business operations and technical skills which will prepare them to work as collectors at the regional e-waste management facilities. Besides that, they will learn how to create awareness surrounding e-waste. The programme will mainly focus on five regions, namely, Nairobi Metropolitan, Central, Coast and Rift Valley and Western. This programme will create employment opportunities for youth while improving environmental conditions as well as social and economic circumstances of the engaged agents.
Support from the CFYE will help in improving regional infrastructure for e-waste management in Nairobi Metropolitan, Central, Nyanza, Coast and Rift Valley. These centres will allow us to collect more e-waste and employ more youth in the peri-urban areas of Kenya to collect e-waste in the regions and therefore improve their socio- economic circumstances.
We have a five-year strategic plan that seeks to venture into urban mining. Since urban mining requires a lot of e-waste to be processed daily, we have to increase the tonnage of e-waste we collect. To achieve this, we require collection agents that will drive the e-waste collection and create awareness. The support of CFYE will help us with achieving our plan on time.
In addition to that, the support of CFYE will help us with our goal of creating 1,200 jobs for youth, women and people with disabilities. Finally, it will help us to expand the infrastructure of e-waste management and increase awareness on the importance of e-waste disposal.