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Vodafone Germany Set To Recycle 1 Million Old Cell Phones From Africa


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Vodafone Germany, one of the largest and most modern telecommunication services providers in Europe has announced its plan to recycle more than 1 million old mobile phones from Africa.

The company which is based in Düsseldorf, is a one-stop innovative and integrated technology and service provider with a portfolio including mobile communications, fixed network telephony, internet and broadband data services for business and private customers.

It realizes turnover of more than 9.6 billion euros and has 10,500 employees. Its continuous development, numerous patents and investments in new products, services and the modern network have made Vodafone an innovation leader in the German telecommunications market.

Moreover, the company’s networks keep families and friends connected, as well as businesses and society at large.

Notably, Vodafone Germany is the largest operating company of the Vodafone Group and its Customer Innovation and Service teams are both multi-faceted and multi-talented. Their job is to advise the customers in every capacity, to come up with digitally-enabled solutions that benefit them in the long term.

The Dutch firm Closing the Loop will help in the endeavour to gather old phones primarily from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon and transport them to Europe for recycling there.

Head of the private customer division at Vodafone Germany, Andreas Laukenmann said the project is a good start for setting new standards for a circular economy.

“Recycling isn’t enough. The life span must also be made longer”, he said.

Vodafone said it would not only collect electronic waste originating from Europe, but also phones used by people in Africa. The campaign will be financed by the raw materials obtained in the process.

The project will share profits with partners on the ground including churches, community centres or repair shops.



Founder of Closing the Loop, Joost de Kluijver noted that the countries in question have no capacity for safe recycling so the waste will be transported by ship to Europe.

Vodafone will also support Closing the Loop to build recycling infrastructure in developing countries, which will eliminate the need to ship e-waste and create many more jobs in those countries, he said.

E-waste is the fastest-growing type of household waste worldwide, according to the United Nations Global E-waste Monitor 2020. In 2019, a record 53.6 million tons of e-waste was produced, up 21 percent in just five years.

In Germany alone an estimated 200 million unused phones are in drawers, according to digital industry group Bitkom.

It may be recalled that Vodafone is the first operator in Germany to begin 5G expansion into rural areas using dynamic spectrum sharing.

The technology enables Vodafone antennas to share 700 Megahertz (MHz) spectrum between 4G and 5G services depending on which smartphone the customer is using.

Simultaneously, Vodafone is launching new 5G routers.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Germany, Hannes Ametsreiter said: “We are building the network for connected driving, for even more reception in the home office and for finally more speed in the countryside too. This is how we create the right mix between bandwidth and reach for Germany”.

The company’s Sustainability Team works towards sharing a responsible approach to global business and through collaboration with its partners and customers, it hopes to overcome critical global challenges by improving wide-reaching environmental, social and economic issues


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