Allen Kimambo is an Environmental Activist and Social Entrepreneur and founder of Zaidi Enterprises Company. The Company deals with collection of cardboard paper waste from streets, markets, factories, warehouses, ports, municipal disposal sites and offices. The papers are baled and later transported to Mufindi Paper Mill for recycling.
The project to supply cardboard paper waste to one of the largest paper factory in Tanzania and Africa was hatched in 2015 when Allen saw cardboard paper waste being cleared at the Dar es Salaam port. He says “I asked the Clearing and Forwarding Agent as to where those papers were coming from and where were they going? He replied to me that those papers were imported from Dubai by Mufindi Paper Mills for recycling. I asked myself why someone should import cardboard paper waste while we have a lot here in Tanzania” This was an opportunity eye opening. Allen embarked on a small research on the availability of cardboard paper waste in the country. He later contacted Mufindi Paper Mill to notify them that he could be their supplier. “Thanks to God that they gave me a chance to prove and I did not let them down” Says Allen.
Allen Kimambo 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 paperfrom burning in landfills.”
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% of used cardboard is recycled, with the large majority being burned or dumped. The business creates jobs,drives up profits, and drives out the paper wasteproblem. With $100,000 of award money, what started as a manual baling operation will now scale up into automated machines fordramatically increased efficiency and impact.Allen plans to stop exporting recycled bales of cardboard waste and will locally manufacture and market a variety of products.
And, Allen’s business employs a network of collectors who Allen says, “go around to the markets, shops, municipal dump sites and box factories to collect, bale and truck paper to recycling factories.” Before winning the Award, Allen already involved more than 100 people in his business, and that number will soon increase.
93,000 applications. 55 African Countries. 1,000 entrepreneurs selected. Over 93,000 African Entrepreneurs applied from 55 African countries, more than doubling the number of applications received in 2017 The Tony Elumelu Foundation have announced the top 1,000 applicants for the second cycle of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) a 12-week programme to equip startups with the basic skills required to launch and run their businesses at the early stages of their growth.
A second vignette from my recent visit (with Irene Guijt) to Tanzania to look at adaptive management (AM) in
the Institutions for Inclusive Development (I4ID) programme. It may not set the pulse racing, but rubbish disposal (formally known as solid waste management, SWM) is a big deal in any city, and is really bad in Dar es Salaam. Here’s how I4ID describes the problem:
‘Waste collectors must plough their way through a mound of hurdles. The government provides waste collectors with little subsidy or help with fee collection. Many residents fail to pay refuse collection charges because their service has got so bad, and the only legal dumpsite is dangerous and out of control, a long way from the city.’
The resulting accumulation of rubbish and illegal dumping sites is not only ugly and smelly, but dangerous: Soil and water contamination affects public health and marine life, while the build-up of rubbish in waterways contributes to devastating and deadly flooding every year.