Industrialization in Africa is taking a different shape and size with robust changes taking place. The digitization of the continent as well is picking up slowly but steadily as countries look forward to hitting their objectives before their scheduled dates come against them.
Energy has been one of the core pillars that will steer and gear up Africa to another position and dimension proving to be a big challenge to be overcome by a number of countries. Companies have chipped in to ensure the dreams of governments have been achieved as they also expand their markets in investment.
ARED brings sustainable energy and cheap WiFi to the African countryside, offering a clean alternative to diesel generators. Its franchise business model also provides employment opportunities for people living in remote regions.
Henri Nyakarundi (40), founder of ARED: “It’s amazing to be recognized as a green entrepreneur by such a competition in the field of sustainable innovation. The prize money enables us to scale up our business model and further improve the technology in the Shiriki Hubs.”
EarthEnable, another start-up from Rwanda has developed a method for making sustainable floors using locally sourced materials. The plant-based oil finish makes these floors easy to keep clean. This Rwandan start-up tackles a global problem, as more than a billion people still live on sandy floors, which are often a breeding ground for parasites and germs. A cement floor is often the only available alternative, but this is expensive and is not eco-friendly. The EarthEnable floors are 75% cheaper than cement floors and reduce the carbon footprint by 90%, offering a cheap green solution for the world’s poorest people.
Gayatri Datar (31), co-founder: “Being among the last five out of 515 entries is already a great achievement and honour. With the prize money we plan to scale within Rwanda and likely in three other countries. The prize money gives us the opportunity to test different scaling models to find a viable scale strategy to improve the health and lives of millions of people who are still living on dirt floors.”
Finale on 14 September
The finale will take place in Amsterdam on 14 September and can be followed via a livestream on the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge website. Leila Janah, founder of Samasource, is this year’s chair of the international jury.
About the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge
To contribute to a greener world, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has organised the annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge since 2007. It is one of the largest annual international competitions in the field of sustainability innovation. Each participant must submit a detailed business plan to the preliminary jury, who will establish whether the idea is viable. The best business plan that fights climate change wins €500,000. The runner-up receives €200,000. Winners from previous editions have successfully developed their innovative products thanks to the publicity and network of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.