Telcos in drive to recycle counterfeit phones


Image: By BiztechAfrica
Telcos in drive to recycle counterfeit phones

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

As Kenya gears for the switching off of counterfeit mobile phones, the biting question has been on how to handle the anticipated surge in electronic-waste (e-waste). 

To tame the e-waste menace, mobile phone handset manufacturer Nokia has partnered with local mobile service providers and retail outlets to collect and recycle counterfeit phones, ahead of the planned switch-off  by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

The company, which already has several collection points at its customer care centres, has partnered with Safaricom, Airtel, Nakumatt, Naivas, Phonelink, and Tuskys to ensure an additional 100 collection points are set up across the country, making it easier for consumers to dispose of fake phones.

Ahead of the CCK’s planned switch-off at the end of September 2012, there has been mounting concern amongst Kenyan NGOs, environmental agencies and consumers as to what will happen to these devices once they are discarded.

The number of counterfeit handsets in use around the country is estimated at over two million, and it is feared that once switched off the handsets will end up in landfills, contributing to the growing e-waste threat in the country.

Rresearch conducted by Nokia in late 2011 indicated that only 14% of Kenyans were aware that mobile phones could be recycled, and only 2% were actively recycling these devices.

“Consumers in Kenya, like in many countries across the globe, are unaware of the environmental benefits of recycling their broken or unwanted mobile phones,” says Bruce Howe, General Manager for Nokia East Africa.

"The reality is that mobile phones contain many valuable and useful materials that can be recycled, including precious metals and plastics. In fact, for every one million phones recycled, it is possible to recover nearly 35kg of gold and 350kg of silver, which can be re-used in the production of future electronic goods,” he said.

With over 6,000 collection points in about 100 countries, Howe says Nokia runs the largest mobile phone recycling programme in the world.

“The company’s recycling program generates no revenue for the company, but is an important part of its overall sustainability initiatives. As part of this program Nokia collects and recycles handsets and mobile phone accessories, including counterfeit ones and those of other manufacturers,” he said.

“We have the capability to manage a recycling program of this nature and to ensure that these phones are broken down and recycled to the highest quality standards. In addition to the benefit from re-using the materials, this also greatly reduces the need for virgin minerals and reduces carbon emissions,” adds Howe.

 “If all the people currently using mobile phones recycled just one unused phone at the end of its life, together we could save nearly 370,000 tonnes of raw materials and reduce greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking 6 million cars off the road”.

Nokia is also working with the Anti-Counterfeits Authority (ACA), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), as well as local operators to encourage consumers to adopt a recycling mentality.

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


InnJoo introduces latest fingerprint smartphone in Lagos

InnJoo has unveiled its latest smartphones, Innjoo2, Max 2, Max 2 plus and a smart television, Inn TV4. It has also introduced the fingerprint technology, which is one of the unique features of its new flagship smartphone; Innjoo2. Read More

Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G mobile subscriptions to hit 150 million by 2021

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report provides insight into the future of 5G networks, including a forecast of 150 million 5G mobile subscriptions by 2021.  Read More

Yes Mobile partners AXAMansard on free phone, computer insurance

Yes Mobile, a Nigerian mobile phone retailer, has partnered AXAMansard Insurance Plc to offer insurance on all phones and computers bought from any of its outlets. Read More

BlackBerry enhances enterprise software platform

BlackBerry Limited has announced several updates to its enterprise software portfolio that define new levels of productivity, set new standards for secure communication and enable seamless access to data and applications behind the firewall or in the cloud. Read More

Airtel takes Platinum spot sponsorship ahead of Pope’s visit to Kenya

Bharti Airtel has partnered with the Catholic Church as a platinum sponsor for the upcoming historic visit of Pope Francis to Kenya. Read More

MTN now offers dual-SIM high end smartphone

MTN for the first time will be offering a high-end dual-SIM smartphone to cater for an increasing number of customers who have multiple SIM cards. Read More

Airtel Ghana appoints new Head of Corporate Communications

Airtel Ghana has announced the appointment of Richard Ahiagble as the company’s Head of Corporate Communications.  Read More

MTN Business now offers wholesale multi-tiered service offering to all

MTN Business has given further weight to its intentions of supporting open access fibre networks by announcing a multi-tier model that leverages off MTN’s fibre infrastructure and applies equally to enterprise end-users, households, and SME users. Read More

Tigo Rwanda offers customers 4G internet on all enabled smartphones

Tigo Rwanda has announced the launch of 4G internet services accessible on all enabled smartphones. Read More

MTN Cameroon launches fight against SIM box fraud

MTN Cameroon has hosted a summit aimed at kick-starting a crackdown on SIM box fraud, which costs telcos millions in lost revenue annually. Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks Unlimited


eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile

The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets. 


Nigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says WoodNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood

Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.