AFRICA: OceanHub Africa awards six start-ups for sustainable solutions

Cape Town, South Africa-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) OceanHub Africa has unveiled the five winners of its competition on protecting aquatic environments at a time when marine plastic pollution is accelerating on the African continent.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 11 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into African waterways every year. It is in this context that the non-governmental organisation (NGO) OceanHub Africa, based in Cape Town, South Africa, is rewarding six start-ups for their innovations in preserving marine ecosystems.

Among the winners is SeaH4. The South African-based start-up offers a green energy service to the maritime sector in order to limit their dependence on fossil fuels near the sea. There is also the Ethiopian company “Happy Pads”, which won over the competition with its eponymous solution. This is a range of ecological hygiene products that aim to reduce the amount of waste from make-up and body care for women.

One of the initiatives also honoured by the OceanHub Africa jury is “Scrapays”, a mobile application developed by Nigerians Tope Sulaimon, Boluwatife Arewa and Olumide Ogunleye. In Nigeria, the platform allows households and businesses to sell their waste (plastics, metals, aluminium, paper, cardboard, etc.) to collecting agents in order to recycle them into consumer products. Since its creation in 2020, the start-up has already collected more than 150,000 kilograms of solid waste corresponding to $60,000 in sales.

In Morocco, where marine ecosystems are increasingly threatened by human activity, the World Bank set up a sustainable coastal management plan in the northern region of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra in 2020. This plan aims to promote sustainable coastal development by 2040, through the organisation of artisanal fishing and the training of fishermen in best practices, the ecological rehabilitation of coastal wetlands, the construction of wastewater treatment plants in certain localities, the biological stabilisation of dunes and the recycling and recovery of plastic waste.

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