African green entrepreneurs are setting new benchmarks as the rest of the First World countries are still locked into endless discussions on ways to save the Earth.
Forbes, a globally renowned media company, focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and lifestyle, in its business section, is lauding young green entrepreneurs on the continent where eight out of ten nations are most at risk from climate change.
Fat cat governments across the world are congratulating themselves on their pitiful advances to address climate change while behind closed doors and with vast fortunes, the biggest carbon dioxide emitting countries are going for other greenies – those that fit into the collective pockets of greed.
Innovators with very little money and in many cases, living in rural poverty-stricken areas in Africa, are taking on the challenges of climate change and finding enviro-friendly and sustainable solutions. The sheer ingenuity of these projects are benefitting disadvantaged communities and shaking up the world.
Greening Africa looks at two pioneers behind Africa’s most successful start-ups.
Kalahari Honey in Botswana
The late Mavis Nduchwa was changing the world, one bee at a time. As CEO of Kalahari Honey, her aim and passion was to bring about balance between human, wildlife and the environment.
Mavis was usingbeekeeping to mitigate human and wildlife conflict, build sustainable communities while simultaneously addressing six of the Sustainable Development Goals as identified by the United Nations (UN).
As Botswana is home to the world’s largest Elephant population, farmers on the 30% of arable land available in the country are suffering huge financial losses and even lives, due to the destruction brought about by these huge animals.
According to a UN census, there are 130 000 elephants in Botswana of which 70% is desert. This means that only an estimated 112 farms are larger than 150 hectares with 63 000 subsistence farms sharing a very small area with the elephants. This has led to human fatalities, but also, in a way of securing their own safety, many had reverted to killing these pachyderms.
Mavis used beehives as living fences around the farms to keep elephants away. From the many products generated from the desert honey, Mavis in her short life created jobs for more than 500 women in Botswana’s rural districts. Her project was contributing to food security as farmers were able to harvest their crops without them being destroyed and Wildlife Conservation was given a boost as farmers stopped shooting elephants.
The land restoration was another by-product of Kalahari Honey’s success. With bees responsible for 70% of the earth’s pollination, the demise of these insects had a huge negative impact on agriculture and the food chain across the world.
Also, Gender-Based Violence Statistics Had Dropped As Women Are Empowered With Sustainable Jobs And Incomes. This Sustainable BUZZ Saw Mavis Win One Of The Most Coveted Awards, The SEED Award For Her Project And Receiving A Large Cash Prize To Further Grow Her Endeavour. She Unfortunately Died At The Age Of 37 In 2021. We Salute This Enterprising Woman Who Left Behind A Unique Legacy.
Wuchi Wami in Zambia
This brainchild of Harry Malichi and Kapesha Sandu, who, just as the late Mavis Nduchwa, realised the benefits of honey, is another major African success story.
Together with Gibby Samuheha and Kathryn Mwondela, Wuchi Wami had been marketing and distributing local raw and organic honey. The branding and packaging are also undertaken by these dynamos.
The honey is sourced from the wild miombo forests in Mwinilunga in the North-western province of Zambia. From there, it is processed through a registered cooperative, Kwasha Indimi, with 320 farmers participating in its beekeeping and an out-growers scheme.
Not only is Wuchi Wami’s income shared to improve the lives of Zambian farmers, but it is also used to advocate bee keeper’s interest and support honey bee health research, offer practical training in entrepreneurship, mentor others and disseminate the latest information.
With its environmentally sound business practices which support the environment and the impact on the socio-economics of the country, this organisation also received a SEED award in 2021.
The honey had been certified 100% organic and is unpasteurised and in unprocessed form, directly from the wild forest bees and their honey combs in the Miombo forest.