“It’s important to actively stimulate the economy but it’s also important to address environmental concerns. And we have been able to encourage this kind of economic development that Africa needs to move on to where it needs to be.” – Cuthbert Ayodeji Onikute, CEO and Founder, Dechets a l’or.
Africa is brimming with a rising generation of creative thinking individuals who are concerned about solving local problems and are committed to developing exceptional solutions to help change lives and transform societies. Cuthbert Ayodeji Onikute is one of such individuals.
Ayo is the CEO and founder of Dechets a l’or, a social venture that creates new sources of revenue for communities and improves environmental sustainability through an innovative waste management system in Guinea. During his Master’s programme at Columbia University where he studied Urban Planning with a focus on International Development in African cities, Ayo came across the idea of using waste as a source of fuel and energy to improve cities. “And that’s how Dechets a l’or came about,” he told Ventures Africa.
Sub-Saharan cities are growing at a fast pace, and so is their waste. The average Sub-Saharan city is experiencing a steady annual growth rate of 5 to 6 percent, and the average Sub-Saharan citizen produces .34 kilogrammes of waste daily. But these wastes are not treated properly, resulting in environmental pollution and creating unnecessary health hazards.
To effectively tackle this issue, Ayo and his team have created a functional waste management system that both improves public health and provides communities with meaningful and lasting local employment opportunities.
In this exclusive interview, Ayo talks the value of waste, the importance of urban environmental sustainability, and his goal for Dechets a l’or in Africa.