Grace Akese


Office: Chat Lab, CS Portable 1017

Telephone: (709) 864-2966
Fax: (709) 864- 3119




Dr. Josh Lepawsky


Dr. Max Liboiron and Dr. Carissa Brown

Thesis Title

Agbogbloshie and the Electronic waste (e-waste) controversy: How much e-waste is processed at the site? Where do they come from? How do we multiply their economic possibilities and politics?

Research Description

The Agbogbloshie scrap processing zone in Accra, Ghana is easily the most famous, yet controversial example of the proliferation of electronic waste (e-waste) hotspots in the developing world. For over a decade, the scrapyard has been cast in a negative light and held up as a ‘graveyard’ where the Global North’s electronics “go to die” Although the site continues to circulate widely in the media and related academic literature as the “world’s largest e-waste dump”, the extent to which the scrapyard is a direct dumping ground for foreign e-waste and the scope and scale of e-waste activities there is now in question. My proposed research aims to intervene in the controversy over the site’s status by using participatory citizen science as a novel research tool to systematically survey (characterize and quantify) discard materials processed at Agbogbloshie and further explore possibilities for a craft enterprise (craft electronics) around discarded electronics in the city.

Research Interests

  • Geographies of waste/e-waste
  • Informal waste economies
  • Participatory/Ethnographic research methods


Lepawsky, Josh, G. Akese, M. Billah, C. Connolly, and C. McNabb. (2015). Composing urban orders from rubbish electronics: cityness and the site multiple. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 39(2), 185-199.

Lepawsky, Josh and G. Akese. (2015). Sweeping Away Agbogbloshie. Again.Discard Studies.



Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000