Wednesday, August 10

Why thousands of broken cell phones from Africa are collected and sent to Europe

  • Ben Morris
  • BBC Business Technology Editor

Eric Arthur

Image source, Eric Arthur


Eric Arthur collects broken cell phones on the weekends.

Eric Arthur doesn’t have much time for leisure: he spends most of his weekends driving around Ghana to pick up broken cell phones.

From your home on the Cape Coast in the south of the country, you can travel more than 100 miles in a weekend visiting repair shops and scrap yards, or anywhere that has a decent supply of broken devices.

On a good weekend you can collect 400 of them. In addition, he manages a team of six who do the same in other parts of the country. Among them they expect to collect around 30,000 phones this year.

Arthur and his agents pay sellers a small amount for each cell phone, between 2.5 and 2.7 Ghana Cedis (about US $ 0.44).

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