Agbogbloshie Scrapyard in Accra, Ghana:
E-Waste Formalization : Planning for Equity, Safety, and Sustainability
The Case in Agbogbloshie - Lessons Learned in Electronics Circularity and Justice
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Agbogbloshie was home to an informal e-waste processing site, surrounded by informal settlements and a large fruit and vegetable market in the capital city of Accra, Ghana. Unsafe e-waste processing led to toxic exposure causing negative health outcomes in workers, residents, and ecological harm. This is exacerbated by illegal international exports of electronic waste and insufficient protection for workers and residents. For years, the e-waste scrapyard, market, and refurbishing businesses provided employment to Ghanians from all over the country, but in 2021, the Ghanian government forcibly demolished the site destroying livelihoods and an entire economy it is wake. This case looks at the displacement, abuse, exploitation, and exclusion of Agbogbloshie workers. We use a process based approach to understand historical context of the region, e-waste flows, informal economies, human health and environmental impacts, and local and international governance that has enabled this site. We suggest strategies for implementing safety measures, site remediation, worker reparations, international import regulations, and e-waste recycling formalization that actually serves workers, residents, and the environment.