How Ecopreneurs Alleviate Poverty in Africa

With African populations projected to continually increase over the upcoming decades, waste production and management will equally be an increasing area of concern. Uncollected or improperly managed waste is a public health concern as it causes diseases and environmental degradation from the polluted land and water. Only 40 percent of waste is generally collected by the government in Nigeria, and, of that, only 13 percent is recycled.


With no initial capital, I cleaned the environment by collecting used plastic bottles and sold them to a plastic recycling plant. After I had raised my initial seed capital of 36,000 Ugandan shillings ($14), I soon started making paper bags at a small scale while still in high school.

YELI proposes eco friendly paper bags from recycled paper

I was born in the rural area of Mbale, Uganda, I moved to Kampala on a half bursary to study at an advanced level. It later became a hurdle to cater for my needs while at school after my parents became unemployed. In 2008, at the age of 16, I saw a market opportunity in creating paper bags. As the Ugandan government leaned towards a ban on use of polythene plastic bags, I decided to venture into an environmentally friendly project of paper bag production.