Accepted paper:

A contemporary urban dynamic in face of a twentieth-century theory: to what extent can e-waste recycling activities in Accra be analyzed by the theory of the urban economy circuits?

Author:

Kaue Lopes dos Santos (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Paper short abstract:

At the beginning of the 21st century, activities related to the recycling of e-waste have become extremely common in Accra. Therefore, I aim to debate to what extent such activities can be analyzed according to the theory of urban economy circuits, developed by Milton Santos in the 1970s.

Paper long abstract:

At the beginning of the 21st century, activities related to the recycling of e-waste have become extremely common in Agbogbloshie, a neighborhood located in Accra (Ghana). However, the great part of the e-waste has been imported from developed countries, contrary to the Basel Convention resolution of 1989. In Agbogbloshie, hundreds of workers are engaged in a number of activities related to the recycling of electronic objects, creating a real global value chain in which a precarious set of techniques prevails. Thus, these activities provide several recycled minerals (such as copper, gold and silver) to the international market. Generally referred to as "urban mining", these activities provides to the international market a specific type of good that I named "recommodity". Therefore, I aim to debate to what extent such activities can be analyzed according to the theory of urban economy circuits, developed by the Brazilian geographer Milton Santos in the 1970s.

panel Env04
Spatial theory and African urban studies