Formalising E-waste in Ghana: An emerging landscape of fragmentation and enduring barriers

Richard Grant, Martin Oteng-Ababio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 2016 Ghana has introduced several initiatives to formalise parts of the e-waste economy. This e-waste management system is based on the experiences, expert policy advice and partial funding from the Global North. Employing serial interviewing, we assess the rolling out of this formalisation pathway, the evolving e-waste management landscape and reflect on informal terrain’s reconstitution and remaining barriers, such as inadequate funding, low levels of awareness about informal e-waste management among policymakers and the general populace and inadequate training programmes to equip informal operators with technology. Several formal/informal economy overlaps are now visible in a ‘gray space.’ Some low-skilled e-waste work, ancillary collection services and workplaces are being upgraded and integrated but informal infrastructure remains very deficient. Downgrading of some e-waste work is taking place. Fragmentation of the main hub is occurring as rival informal operations continue in various locations, and new small ventures are emerging in peripheral locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment Southern Africa
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • E-waste
  • formal firms
  • management barriers
  • serial interviewing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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