Africa-USA NOW: Second-Hand Everything: Donating or Dumping?
What starts as well-intentioned donating of used items can end up as dumping, overflowing landfills and harming local economies. The continent is inundated with donations and used items from the US, from clothing to electronics to cars. This has become big business, and not as benevolent as it may seem. Millions of garments shipped to Africa have crippled local garment industries, and countries that try to limit the import of second-hand clothing have had serious repercussions. It’s illegal to export e-waste under the Basel Convention, but containers full of end-of-life electronics arrive in Africa daily, labelled “used electronics” to evade the law, and ending up in landfills where they cause environmental and health hazards. Dive into this topic with ours guest this week, Antoine Kajangwe, Director General, Ministry of Trade & Investment of Rwanda, Joseph Oliech, project manager for WEEE Centre and Gail Strickler, President of Global Trade for Brookfield Associates.