Tanzanian engineer scoops the African Entrepreneurship Award

27Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Tanzanian engineer scoops the African Entrepreneurship Award

THE BMCE Bank of Africa Group has just revealed the list of winners of the third edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award, whereby a Tanzanian Allen Kimambo won in the environmental category.

Kimambo who is an engineer is one of the 12 winners of the African Entrepreneurship Award 2017 scooping 224.5m/-, which is equivalent to US$100,000.

Eng Kimambo owner of Zaidi General Enterprises has won in the category of environment-start up.

According to BMCE Africa, the third edition of African Entrepreneurship Award is an initiative that seeks to promote entrepreneurship through business development and job creation, thus contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of African communities.

The award support programme for African entrepreneurs has encouraged, since its launch in 2015, 33 entrepreneurs who were supported by more than 300 African and Global Mentors.

Following the final stage, 40 finalists from 19 countries were brought together for bootcamp in Casablanca on December 6 to 10 this year of which the most impactful sustainable projects in three categories of the programme: education, environment and unchartered fields were awarded.

For the third edition of African Entrepreneurship Award, 12 winners from 9 African countries shared an envelope of 1 million dollars.

Kimambo said he cleans the environment, prevents deforestation, provides new sources of revenue for many, and will soon manufacture locally produced recycled products for the Tanzanian market.

The founder of Zaidi General Enterprises says that his cardboard recycling business has already “stopped thousands of tons of waste paper from burning in landfills.”

His goal is to “save trees, clean the environment, and provide incentives for the community.”

The Presidential Jury noted how Allen “demonstrated immense commitment to solve the issue of recycling. He collects discarded cardboard papers from various disposal sites, thus reducing the ecological impact of these abandoned materials.

His recycled paper creates jobs and saves trees.” Allen poured his heart and resources into launching Zaidi General Enterprises. The company collects, bales, and recycles corrugated cardboard waste.

In Tanzania, less than 10 per cent of waste paper is recycled, with the large majority being burned or dumped.

The business spearheads job creation, drives up profits, and drives out the paper waste problem. With $100,000 of award money, what started as a manual baling operation will now scale up into automated machines for dramatically increased efficiency and impact.

Allen plans to stop exporting recycled bales of cardboard waste and will locally manufacture and market a variety of products.

According to the organisers, the 2017 edition of the African Entrepreneurship Award has reached more than 12,000 project proposals from 132 countries, including all the 54 African countries, and hosted more than 112 entrepreneurs, accompanied by more than 180 mentor from Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America.

Louise Williamson from South Africa was awarded the first prize of USD 100,000 in the education category, for the production of sustainable fuel ovens for schools in remote areas.

Folashade Amusa from Nigeria also emerged winner for his project on the collection, treatment and recycling of residual material with a reward system for households.

Awards also went to Adan Mohammed from Kenya for the animal food production from insect and larvae, to Sylvester Mujakperuo from Nigeria for the processing of used paper and cardboard into new paper products, and finally to Kwame Ababio from Ghana for the optimization of the cultivation and exploitation of palm oil.

In the uncharted fields category, the prize went to Flavien Simo from Cameroon for his aquaponics production project that combines fish farming and plant breeding, and to Paul Bartels from South Africa for his project that develops waterbok community fire-fighting carts.

The pioneer award of USD 50,000 was attributed to Meryam El Ouafi from Morocco for creating a prototype of new irrigation technology for optimizing water consumption.

The same prize went to Badr Idrissi, also from Morocco, for creating intelligent drones to combat illegal fishing, to Geoffrey Ssekatawa from Uganda for the collection and recycling of lubricants, and to Christelle Kwizera from Rwanda for a project that purifies and distributes drinking water to vulnerable communities.