Four Ghanaian companies have been selected among 30 companies from 13 African Countries for the semi-finals of the Afri-Plastics Challenge, which is a United Kingdom innovation and challenge, prize expert Nesta Challenges and funded by the Government of Canada.
The 30 semi-finalists will be supported with grants and capacity building expertise to develop and prove the effectiveness of their solution in pursuit of the three final prizes of, £1,000,000.00, £750,000.00, and £500,000.00 in March 2023.
The Afri-Plastics Challenge recognises the most innovative ideas in the plastic recycling space across Sub-Saharan Africa, a document made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema by Ms Ayomide Ibironke, Media Relations Account Executive at Africa Communications Media Group stated.
The semi-finalists were announced on November 10th 2021 at Johannesburg, South Africa – Nesta Challenges.
According to the organisers the prize aims to reduce marine plastics in Sub-Saharan African countries by developing and scaling innovative solutions to plastic mismanagement.
In July 2021, the competition’s first strand, Accelerating Growth, announced a call for applications from small and medium-sized enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa who have a scalable solution or proof of concept that improves plastic waste management in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
With mismanaged waste as one of the key drivers of marine plastic pollution, waste management systems throughout the region are at a crucial point in their evolution.
The development of new innovative processes and systems is imperative to improve the detrimental impact of waste pollution on the environment.
Mr Constance Agyeman, Director of International Development, Nesta Challenges, said: “Only 12 per cent of the 17 million tonnes of plastic pollution generated in sub-Saharan Africa each year is recycled – the rest is dumped, buried or burnt.
“The impact this has on communities, the health of individuals and the precious sub-Saharan ecosystems is colossal. Africa’s innovators are already working on home-grown solutions, but to have maximum impact they need meaningful support to scale”.
He said the 30 semi-finalists demonstrate that the long-term solutions to Africa’s plastic pollution dilemma are waiting in the wings, now is the time they take centre stage.
Mr Edward Mungai, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Climate Innovation Centre & Afri-Plastics Challenge Judge said: “I am so amazed at the quality of submissions for the Afri-Plastics Challenge, a truly remarkable undertaking against a backdrop of what has been a very challenging year for all.
“My admiration goes to all our applicants who have worked so hard to prepare their entries for the Challenge,” he said.
According to the programme outline: This month, the 30 semi-finalists will take part in a Digital Activation Workshop where they will be introduced to a capacity-building support package that will include expert mentoring in the following key areas: Innovation, Plastics, Market-Orientation and Narrative-Building.
This will be followed by six weeks of further capacity building support with these mentors to help consolidate plans for scaling solutions.
The semi-finalists will also be given grants of £10,000 each to support in the development and validation of their scaling plans. At the end of this phase, they will be required to submit a detailed scaling plan together with a pitch video for evaluation by the judges against the criteria.
At the end of January 2022, 15 finalists will be selected to move forward in the Challenge and continue their journey to win one of the three final prizes.
The four Ghanaian companies are: Chaint Afrique Academy; Nelplast ECO Ghana Limited; TinyDavid Limited; and Sesa Recycling Limited; Burkina Faso is represented by TECO2 Sarl; Cameroon by BLEAGLEE; and Côte d’Ivoire by two companies – Recyplast and COLIBA Africa.
The rest are: DR Congo represented by Full Development Agency; Ethiopia by Norwegian Church Aid, Ethiopia Country Office; Kenya by three companies – MEGA Gas, Watamu Marine Association, and TakaTaka Solutions; Rwanda by CareMe Bioplastic; and Tanzania by LIBE Green Innovation.
Others are: South Africa represented by two companies – SCRAB Tech, and Rantsilo; Togo by Green Industry Plast; Uganda by TRQLITE Green Limited; and Nigeria represented by eleven companies – GIVO-Garbage in value out, Horlag Recycling, Panet 3R, Stand Out for Environmental Restoration (SOFER) Initiative, and KALTANI International Ventures.
The rest of the Nigerian companies are – Trash2Cash Company, Greenhill Recycling, Scrapays Technology Limited, CHANJA Datti Limited, Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), and Wecyclers Nigeria Limited.