The Responsible Citizen - March 2024

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BasiGo: Africa’s Electric Mobility Solutions

Pride in Sustainability: Emboo River Camp’s Journey to Eco-Warrior Victory

GreenCape: Pioneering the Green Economy Through Collaborative Innovation Wildlife Conservation in Action



The Responsible Citi zen Maga zine is a leading digital Pan-Afr ican publication that outlines and promotes sus tainability and ESG through positive change and advocacy. Founded in Botswana and seeking to br ing together cr itical societal s takeholder s including commercial entities , gover nment ins titutions and people in society, through the integration of social, environmental and gover nance issues .

To feature your sustainability mission and advertise your business with us, contact: Tel: +267 3116813 /

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2 March 2024 GREEN INNOVATION COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS CONTENTS 07 05 | Foreword 10 | Wildlife Conservation In Action: Preserving Zimbabwe’s Rich Biodiversity 07 | Impact Africa: Shaping Africa’s Sustainable Future COVER STORY 17 | Greencape: Pioneering the Green Economy Through Collaborative Innovation 13 | BasiGo: Africa’s Electric Mobility Solutions 10 17

20 | Clozetsales: Fashion for a Greener Future

22 | Miti Alliance: Youth in Climate Action

25 | Hilton Garden Inn: Travel with Purpose Partnerships

27 | Pride in Sustainability: Emboo River Camp’s Journey to Eco-Warrior Victory

32 | Greenhill Recycling: Championing Waste Management and Community Empowerment

35 | Growing Together: Empowering Communities Through DIY Gardens

38 | From Waste to Wealth: Gjenge’s Journey in Plastic Recycling and Impact on Sustainable Construction Practices

41 | Clearing the Air and Sustainable Reporting: The Clean Air Catalyst Workshop

22 38 25

ZIMKHITA KWEZA Multimedia Journalist| Videographer| Writer | Storyteller. zimkhitakweza.

BEM ABUBAKAR Writer | Music Executive | @thisisbemabu on Instagram

BUSISWA LUTSHABA Non- Excecutive Board Member for the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa Members Commitee (PRISA) | Sustainable Goals Development Goals Enthusiast | Busiswa Lutshaba on LinkedIn


Sustainability Content Writer | Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist and Environmentalist | Peter Kinuthia Murimi (BSc, M.A) on LinkedIn

Founder MPHO MOLETLO KGOSIETSILE Managing Director of Wise Leadership (Pty) Ltd Editor LORRAINE KINNEAR Pan-African Coordinator PELONOMI MORRIS MARKETING & ADVERTISING

Tel: +267
@trcbotswana @TRCMagazine @theresponsiblecitizen @theresponsiblecitizenmagazine
ANN KIGO Strategist and Writer | Communication Specialist | Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Activist | Ann Kigo on LinkedIn
The myriad of challenges that we are faced with at the moment have required us to implement more out of the box thinking. In the heart of Africa, where challenges like climate change, inequalities, and poverty loom large, the call for innovative solutions has never been more urgent. The United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) underscores the pivotal role of green innovation in addressing these pressing issues.

Green innovation is a key component to navigating some challenges most pressing to the African region. It is a viable pathway towards a sustainable future for the region. By harnessing the power of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and ecofriendly technologies, African nations can mitigate the impacts of climate change and foster economic growth and sustainable social development.

Circular economies, with their emphasis on resource efciency and waste reduction, hold immense promise for Africa. By reimagining production and consumption patterns, Africans can create alternative economies that are regenerative, inclusive, and environmentally conscious. This shift towards circularity not only mitigates environmental degradation but also


addresses inequalities and poverty by creating new opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. The UNFCCC suggests that investments in green innovation have the potential to generate significant returns for Africa. By 2030, scaling up renewable energy deployment could create over 2 million jobs across the continent. Furthermore, transitioning to a circular economy could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% in key sectors, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.

A commendable move towards alternative economies has been noted in some parts of the African region. Africa however stands at a crossroads, having to find the intricate balance between embracing green innovation and circular economies or continuing

with traditional economies to alleviate poverty. The answer may lie in looking at our challenges holistically to be able to come up with solutions that factor in all elements of our society.

By fostering creativity, collaboration, and commitment towards sustainability, African nations can chart a course towards a brighter tomorrow for generations to come. From the diferent corners of our continent, we are thrilled to share with you stories from the change-makers leading the charge in green innovation!

Lorraine Kinnear

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Youth Impact celebrates 10 years of connecting youth to life-changing information!

Local NGO Youth Impact recently marked its 10th anniversary with a series of regional activations, including celebratory 10km walks, speeches and performances.

Youth Impact was founded in Botswana in 2014 with young staff members. A decade on, it now employs over people and has become one of Botswana’s youth-serving organisations. The NGO, which was pr known as Young 1ove, works hand in hand with ments to deliver foundational education and health p to young people. In Botswana, it implements programs out of 10 regions.

Doing what works

Youth Impact currently delivers three programs: Teaching the Right Level (TaRL), ConnectEd and Zones. “W about doing what works - all our programs evidence-based, proven to work and constantly being and optimized” says Co-founder Noam Angrist.

2 million lessons delivered

To date, Youth Impact has delivered over 2 million lessons over 200,000 youth. It is committed to ‘taking Botswana the world’ - sharing lessons learnt and expertise about ous, rapid research in the social sector throughout Africa beyond. So far, Youth Impact has worked in 19 countries, with more on the horizon. Co-founder Moitshepi Matsheng says “I am so proud of how far we’ve come, and so about the next decade for Youth Impact!”.

For more information please visit:

Impact Africa Shaping Africa’s Sustainable Future

With a foundation rooted in environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability, IACL has emerged as a prominent consultancy frm providing comprehensive sustainability solutions.


Dr. Edward Mungai stands as a visionary leader, pioneering change and championing sustainability through his brainchild, Impact Africa Consulting Limited (IACL). As the founder and driving force behind IACL, Dr. Mungai has embarked on a mission to elevate Africa’s standing in the global sustainability narrative. His journey began in Kenya, where the seeds of Impact Africa Consulting were planted, but it swiftly expanded to encompass the entire African continent. Dr. Edward Mungai’s foresight extends beyond regional boundaries, propelled by the firm belief that Africa must play a central role in shaping sustainable practices

for the world. With a foundation rooted in environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability, IACL has emerged as a prominent consultancy firm providing comprehensive sustainability solutions. Dr. Mungai’s commitment to ensuring Africa’s active participation in the sustainability dialogue reflects not only in the firm’s local impact but also in its strategic expansion and outreach to organizations across the continent. This article unfolds the story of Dr. Mungai’s leadership, his establishment of IACL, and the firm’s journey to foster a sustainable future for Africa and the global community.

Peter Murumi Kinuthia


At the heart of Impact Africa Consulting Limited (IACL) lies a commitment to steering African organizations towards a sustainable future. Dr. Mungai’s firm recognizes the nuanced landscape of sustainability and, accordingly, tailors its services to ofer comprehensive support. IACL’s suite of services is carefully crafted, comprising sustainability advisory services that provide strategic guidance, enterprise development programs fostering sustainable business practices, impact assessment and reporting to gauge and communicate organizational sustainability, and customized industryspecific training to empower teams with the knowledge and skills needed for sustainable operations.

Impact Africa Consulting Limited excels in demystifying the intricate landscape of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices for organizations. Through its tailored

The goal is clear: to empower African enterprises to thrive in a sustainable manner, contributing positively to both their bottom line and the broader well-being of the planet.

programs, IACL delivers specialized training that equips teams with a profound understanding of ESG principles, unraveling complexities and fostering a culture of sustainability. Recognizing the growing importance of transparent reporting, IACL ofers sustainability reporting training aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework, guiding organizations on how to communicate their sustainability eforts efectively. Furthermore, IACL extends its expertise to demystifying carbon credits and carbon markets, providing essential insights on

navigating this evolving landscape. With a focus on participation and engagement, IACL empowers organizations to harness the carbon credits potential, contributing not only to their environmental stewardship but also to the broader sustainability goals of the continent and the world at large.

Through these initiatives, IACL is not merely a consultant; it is a catalyst for knowledge and action, propelling African organizations toward a future where sustainability is not just a buzzword but an integral part of their operational DNA. By ofering this multifaceted support, IACL not only assists organizations

in aligning with global sustainability standards but also ensures that the unique environmental, social, and economic contexts of Africa are embedded into their sustainability journeys. The goal is clear: to empower African enterprises to thrive in a sustainable manner, contributing positively to both their bottom line and the broader well-being of the planet.


In a world where sustainability has become a universal rallying call, Africa is stepping up to ensure it plays a pivotal role in shaping the discourse. Driven by a wave of consciousness and a recognition of the interconnectedness of global challenges, the continent is embracing sustainability as a need - and no longer a “nice to have”. Dr. Mungai, through IACL, stands at the forefront of this movement, ensuring that African organizations not only catch up with global sustainability standards but


also tailor their approaches to align with the continent’s distinctive environmental, social, and economic contexts. The shift toward sustainability is not merely a response to global trends but a conscious efort to weave it into the fabric of corporate strategies, emphasizing the importance of environmental responsibility, social impact, and governance criteria for businesses operating in Africa. As organizations across the continent strive to strike this delicate balance, entities like IACL play a crucial role in guiding them toward a sustainable and resilient future.

Recognizing the pivotal role of sustainability in corporate success, Impact Africa Consulting Limited (IACL) positions itself as a trailblazer addressing a critical gap in the African market. The integration of sustainability into corporate strategy is not merely a trend but a strategic imperative. Businesses that embrace sustainability gain a competitive edge by unlocking operational efciencies, stimulating innovation, fortifying brand reputation, and bolstering resilience

against environmental and social risks. IACL understands the transformative power of sustainable business practices. By positioning themselves as leaders in the field, they aim to guide African businesses toward realizing the multifaceted benefits that sustainable strategies ofer. As global consumers and investors increasingly prioritize sustainability, businesses that align with these values open doors to new markets and opportunities. IACL’s commitment to bridging this gap underscores their dedication to empowering African enterprises, ensuring they not only meet global sustainability standards but thrive in an evolving marketplace where sustainability is key to success in the long haul.


At the core of IACL beats a fervent commitment to fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange in sustainability. Pioneering an innovative initiative, IACL has unveiled the Sustainability Practitioners Fellowship in Africa—a groundbreaking program designed to unite a diverse group of sustainability professionals from across the continent. Beyond a conventional networking platform, this fellowship emerges as a dynamic hub where participants share insights, learn from one another, and forge impactful partnerships. Rooted in the belief that collective wisdom is

transformative, the fellowship enables professionals to gain fresh perspectives on addressing sustainability challenges unique to Africa. More than a mere professional development opportunity, this fellowship embodies IACL’s unwavering dedication to creating a vibrant community of change-makers. As fellows collaborate and exchange ideas, they contribute collectively to building a sustainable and resilient future for the African continent. The Sustainability Practitioners Fellowship in Africa shows IACL’s commitment to nurturing a community of professionals who are actively shaping the trajectory of sustainability across the continent.


Sustainability consultancy firms like IACL are the driving force behind the sustainability revolution in Africa. Their unceasing eforts to ofer support, frameworks, and tools empower African companies to seamlessly integrate sustainability into their business ethos. IACL’s advocacy for sustainable practices, their impactful training initiatives for business leaders, and their role in fostering meaningful dialogue among diverse stakeholders exemplify their commitment to propelling the sustainability agenda forward on the African continent. It is through the resilience and visionary leadership of individuals like Dr. Edward Mungai that the sustainability word is spreading, leaving an indelible mark on Africa’s corporate landscape. Dr. Mungai and his team demonstrate an unwavering efort to shaping a sustainable and resilient future for businesses across Africa. Their endeavors inspire a new era where sustainability becomes not just a choice but a fundamental pillar of success for businesses, benefiting both the continent and the world at large.


Wildlife Conservation in Africa

With the increase in human population growth, extension of transport routes and expansion of agricultural and industrial activities, conficts between humans and wildlife have grown stronger over the years. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, in Africa, these conficts have become more frequent and severe over recent decades.

In the heart of Zimbabwe’s breathtaking landscapes, a beacon of hope shines bright for wildlife conservation, fighting for a harmonious existence between communities and wildlife is Moreangels Mbizah. Moreangels is a passionate conservation biologist, and the driving force behind Wildlife Conservation Action (WCA), a community-led organisation dedicated to preserving the country’s rich biodiversity.


Moreangels is one of five children. She grew up in Chiredzi, a town in Masvingo province in the south-east of Zimbabwe, where she stayed until she left for university. Her fondest memories include ploughing the fields and harvest time with her grandparents. She says her journey into the realm of conservation began by chance because growing up she did not know anything about wildlife conservation, she had never visited a national park, and she did not have any examples of people that looked like her and worked in conservation. Through her master’s

Zimkhita Kweza

degree in tropical resource ecology, she stumbled across the wildlife ecology course, and she decided to do her research on African wild dogs. Visiting wildlife areas, speaking to communities near these areas and experiencing nature for the first time in her adult life was the moment she made a deep connection and knew that this was her calling. Fuelled by her passion, Mbizah pursued her academic endeavours in conservation biology, earning degrees from leading institutions both in Zimbabwe and abroad. Armed with knowledge and determination, she embarked on a mission to make a tangible diference in the field of conservation.


In 2019, Mbizah founded Wildlife Conservation Action (WCA) with a vision to empower local marginalised and diverse communities located in the lower Zambezi region of Zimbabwe in the fight against habitat destruction, poaching, and other threats to wildlife. The organisation believes that anything they do without involving the community is not sustainable, the model of the organisation is around community guardians who are trained and equipped with conservation skills. These guardians are part of the community fabric, helping in the reduction of human-wildlife conflict, and building resistance against climate change and natural resource scarcity in their areas. At the core of WCA’s ethos is community involvement. Mbizah and her team work closely with local communities, engaging them in conservation initiatives and providing education on the importance of preserving their natural heritage. By fostering a sense of ownership and stewardship, WCA empowers communities to become guardians of their environment. Mbizah believes that conservation is one of the most interdisciplinary fields in the world, she says that everyone needs to be part of conservation regardless of their professional background. WCA still struggles to get funding and the support it needs.

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Over the years, Moreangels and WCA have achieved remarkable successes in their conservation eforts. Through targeted interventions, they have helped safeguard critical habitats, mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, and combat illegal wildlife trade. Their work has not only protected endangered species but also improved the livelihoods of countless people dependent on natural resources. Moreangels says that she is grateful for the partnership between WCA and the community, she boasts that they have seen a 67% decrease in human-wildlife conflict in an area they have been working in for the past three years. Local stakeholders, rural district councils and the government have played an integral role in the success of WCA.

Moreangels has had an impressive and illustrious career and she says one of her career highlights was becoming a Ted fellow and getting the opportunity to speak on the Ted Talk stage, talking to millions of people about what she loves most. As Mbizah looks to the future, her focus remains firmly set on expanding WCA’s reach and impact. Through continued collaboration with communities, governments, and

conservation partners, she aims to create a sustainable future where humans and wildlife thrive in harmony. Beyond her work on the ground, Moreangels Mbizah serves as an inspiration and role model for aspiring conservationists, particularly women, in Zimbabwe and beyond. Her dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to conservation have earned her recognition and admiration within the global conservation community.

In Moreangels Mbizah and Wildlife Conservation Action, Zimbabwe has found a beacon of hope for its natural heritage. Through tireless eforts and unwavering dedication, Mbizah and her team do not only protect the wildlife, but also empower marginalised and vulnerable communities to become stewards of their environment. As she continues to champion the cause of conservation, her legacy will endure as a testament to the power of grassroots activism and community-led initiatives in safeguarding our planet’s precious biodiversity.


BasiGo: Africa’s Electric Mobility Solution

Nairobi’s green revolution is silently gaining momentum as BasiGo emerges as a pioneer in clean-energy transportation. As the clamor for eco-friendly alternatives reverberates across the continent, BasiGo stands at the forefront, not merely as an e-mobility start-up but as a catalyst for lower carbon transportation. With its roots frmly planted in Nairobi, Kenya, BasiGo is set to redefne the public transportation landscape in East Africa and beyond.

Peter Kinuthia Murimi

At the helm of this movement is a dynamic team of visionaries, bringing together a wealth of experience in electric vehicle technology, mobility innovation, and renewable energy financing. BasiGo is an engineering powerhouse steered towards a sustainable future for public transport in Africa. Join us on a journey through the corridors of innovation and witness how BasiGo is driving the charge towards cleaner, cost-efective, and inclusive e-mobility solutions across the African continent.


In the vibrant and bustling cities of Africa, public transportation stands as the backbone of daily mobility, connecting communities and fostering economic activities. However, the reliance on

traditional fossil-fuel vehicles has exacted a toll on the environment, contributing significantly to air pollution and exacerbating the global climate crisis. BasiGo, an e-mobility start-up headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, recognizes the imperative for change. The surge in urbanization and the increasing demand for public transportation underscore the need for a sustainable alternative to traditional buses.

Cities across Africa are grappling with the dire consequences of vehicular air pollution, characterized by toxic emissions and the release of greenhouse gasses. This not only poses a serious threat to public health but also exacerbates the challenges of climate change, amplifying the urgency for eco-friendly solutions. BasiGo’s electric buses emerge as a transformative force, ofering a clean and sustainable alternative that holds the

potential to revolutionize public transport. By replacing traditional diesel buses with electric counterparts, BasiGo aims to reduce the carbon footprint of public transportation significantly.

The significance of BasiGo’s mission extends beyond mitigating air pollution; it is a pivotal step towards creating environmentally conscious and sustainable public transportation networks throughout Africa. BasiGo’s commitment to eco-mobility aligns with a broader vision of fostering inclusive and sustainable mobility solutions, ushering in a new era where public transport not only connects communities but does so with a minimal environmental impact. Through innovation, dedication, and a focus on sustainability, BasiGo is driving positive change in the transportation sector, paving the way for a cleaner and greener future for African cities.

BasiGo’s mission extends beyond mitigating air pollution; it is a pivotal step towards creating environmentally conscious and sustainable public transportation networks throughout Africa.


In public transportation sector, BasiGo’s flagship product, the E9 Kubwa electric bus, stands as an innovative eco-mobility creation. Specifically designed for Kenya’s Public Service Vehicle (PSV) sector, the E9 Kubwa represents a paradigm shift in the way urban bus transportation is envisioned. This 9-meter, fully-electric bus boasts a seating capacity for 36 passengers and provides safe standing space for an additional 18 passengers, ensuring efcient and comfortable commuting. One of the standout features of the E9 Kubwa is its rapid recharge capability, taking less than 2 hours to recharge fully. This allows the electric bus to cover substantial distances, operating up to 400 kilometers per day, making it a suitable and reliable option for various urban bus routes. Beyond its impressive range, the E9 Kubwa redefines the passenger experience with a quiet and smooth ride, ofering a respite from the noise and emissions associated with traditional buses.

Inside the E9 Kubwa, passengers are treated to a revolutionary experience. The interior is equipped with luxurious leather seats, providing a touch of comfort and sophistication. In addition, modern amenities such as WiFi, CCTV cameras,

and USB charge points contribute to a seamless and connected journey. The E9 Kubwa from BasiGo not only exemplifies the transition to sustainable mobility but also redefines the standards of passenger comfort and convenience, marking a significant leap forward in the evolution of public transportation in Kenya. The E9 Kubwa by BasiGo isn’t just a mode of transportation; it’s a paradigm shift towards a sustainable and eco-friendly urban mobility landscape. Equipped with real-time tracking and operations data, this electric bus transcends conventional public transport norms. With zero emissions, the E9 Kubwa becomes a beacon of environmental responsibility, significantly contributing to a cleaner and healthier city. By eliminating the release of pollutants and harmful emissions, it stands as a testament to BasiGo’s commitment to creating a public transportation

system that not only meets the demands of efciency but also champions the cause of environmental conservation. The real-time tracking ensures optimal operational efciency, providing a responsive and adaptive system that aligns with the dynamic needs of urban commuters. BasiGo’s E9 Kubwa isn’t merely a bus; it’s a transformative force propelling sustainable urban commuting into the future, reducing the carbon footprint and fostering a cityscape where public transportation and environmental preservation go hand in hand.


In just a short span since its inception, BasiGo has not only revolutionized public transportation but has also made


a tangible impact on the environment.

Avoiding over 166,000 liters of diesel and nearly 400 tonnes of carbon emissions, the electric buses have become a beacon of sustainable commuting. Having covered over 870,000 kilometers, BasiGo has provided more than a million passengers with a safe, clean, and comfortable journey. As BasiGo continues to green public transportation, it stands as a shining example of how innovative solutions can lead the way to a more sustainable future. To investors and companies alike, the success of BasiGo underscores the potential and benefits of choosing electric buses, not just as a practical alternative but as a powerful contributor to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable mode of transportation. The journey towards a sustainable future has just begun, and BasiGo is steering the way.



Pioneering the Green Economy Through Collaborative Innovation

There is a gap that needs to be filled in misaligned policies, ESG strategies, and green infrastructure solutions between key role players such as the government, private sector, and academia.

There have been few and far intentional intersections between these entities with regards to the development of economically viable green economy infrastructure solutions. Developing countries such as South Africa have the potential to catch up when it comes to investing in the green economy and generating substantial and sustainable climate finance initiatives to propel development. GreenCape, a non-profit organisation, is one of the important organisations that aims to solve the abovementioned issues.

Zimkhita Kweza
The green economy and climate fnance sector grow at a rapid rate in the African continent and yet, there still seems to be a disconnect between major societal players who can propel the green agenda.
Images sourced from AdobeStock


GreenCape was established in 2010 to be an intermediary between business, government, and academia to ensure the removal of “barriers to economically viable green economy infrastructure solutions in developing countries”.

Based in South Africa, GreenCape is proud to have expanded its team to a robust multidisciplinary team of members spread across diferent professional backgrounds such as engineering, economics, finance development, and environmental sciences. The teams focus on various economic building blocks such as water and sustainable agriculture.

The green economy, though fastmoving, is still in its developmental phases and thus, it can be an opportunity for investors to incentivise investment in such markets. GreenCape plays a crucial role in helping potential investors understand the local market, connect with the right people, and encounter barriers to entry in doing business in the green economy.


The organisation actively cultivates partnerships with a diverse array of stakeholders, including government agencies, businesses, NGOs, and research institutions. GreenCape implemented projects with a wide range of national and international, as well as local and regional partners.

GreenCape plays a crucial role in helping potential investors understand the local market, connect with the right people, and encounter barriers to entry in doing business in the green economy.

shares its knowledge and expertise through media platforms such as publications. It also has a leads programme that seeks to empower key decision-makers with a series of training works.


GreenCape’s projects span a wide spectrum of sectors, ranging from renewable energy adoption to circular economy solutions. One of their programmes focusing on energy seeks to accelerate the transition to clean energy by providing support to renewable energy businesses and advocating for supportive policies. Through this initiative, GreenCape has played a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of solar, wind, and other renewable sources, thereby reducing carbon emissions and enhancing energy security.

The NPO understands that because of how “new” the green market is, business opportunities may be constrained by issues such as legislation and policy, a lack of credible information, limited market awareness, demand, and some practitioners’ business finance and skills still require more honing.

Furthermore, the organisation assists local, provincial, and national governments in building a resilient green economy by providing support on the development of standards, regulations, tools, and policies, sharing expert technical knowledge on key sectors in the green economy, and providing access to networks of key players across the business, academia, and internationally.

On the more practical side, the NPO’s intentional about skills development, and this is done through establishing vital development partnerships, hosting and attending networking and informationsharing events, and lastly, the organisation

In addition to energy, GreenCape is also deeply engaged in promoting sustainable water management practices. Their website hosts an array of knowledge products that assist regions and businesses to work together to address water scarcity through innovation and technology. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, GreenCape is driving the development and adoption of waterefcient solutions that benefit both the environment and the economy.

Furthermore, GreenCape’s Circular Economy Program is at the forefront of eforts to promote resource efciency and waste reduction. It is also the secretariat of the South African Plastic’s Pact.

The Green Finance team works on various innovation challenges that are geared towards connecting green finance with bankable green economy projects and businesses and hosts a database of available green funding.

There is a perception of unlockable barriers in developing countries, however, by working in collaboration with the public sector, private sector, and academia, organisations like GreenCape are a good reminder of the very real fact of what it takes to achieve a thriving and prosperous green economy in Africa.


Clozetsales: Fashion for a Greener Future

In a rapidly evolving world of fashion, where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, it is often easy to disregard the environmental consequences. However, what if your choices when it comes to your wardrobe could actively contribute to the preservation of our planet? This is precisely where Clozetsales sets itself apart
Bem Abubakar

It is not merely another fashion platform, but rather a movement dedicated to promoting sustainability. By facilitating the decluttering of closets and revitalising pre-loved garments, every action taken by Clozetsales plays a part in reducing fashion waste and safeguarding our planet’s invaluable resources. Here, fashion transcends mere aesthetics, becoming a powerful force for positive climate impact. At Clozetsales, the fusion of style and sustainability takes centre stage, and every purchase made becomes a catalyst for saving our planet.

Clozetsales, led by CEO Onyinyechi Chikere, was born from her love for fashion and her desire to address the environmental impact of fast-changing trends. With over five years of experience in fashion retail, she gained valuable insights into the industry’s challenges and opportunities. Her academic background in Environmental Management and further studies in circular fashion have equipped her with the knowledge to drive sustainable practices in the fashion world. This organisation aims to empower individuals to make conscious choices about their clothing consumption. By promoting circular fashion, the company advocates for a more sustainable approach to fashion, reducing environmental impact and fostering a mindful consumer culture. Through decluttering services, community events, and educational initiatives, Clozetsales encourages people

This organisation aims to empower individuals to make conscious choices about their clothing consumption. By promoting circular fashion, the company advocates for a more sustainable approach to fashion, reducing environmental impact and fostering a mindful consumer culture.

to extend the lifespan of their clothes and contribute to a greener future. Furthermore, it leverages technology to provide a seamless experience for both sellers and buyers. The platform ofers advanced search and filtering options, making it easy for users to find pre-loved items that match their preferences. By emphasising quality control and transparency, Clozetsales ensures that pre-owned items are in good condition, extending their usability and reducing waste.

Through initiatives like upcycling workshops, repair drives, and donation programmes, the company encourages community members to participate in extending the life of their clothing. By diverting garments from landfills, using recycled materials for packaging, and exploring blockchain technology for ethical sourcing, Clozetsales is dedicated to minimising its environmental footprint.

Onyinyechi’s vision with this brand is to reduce fashion waste and promote sustainable practices. Clozetsales’ commitment to sustainability has been recognised through awards and partnerships, including winning the Google Hustle Academy Funds. The company’s focus on technology,

sustainability, and social impact aligns with Google’s mission to support innovative ventures. By educating users, fostering conscious consumer habits, and expanding its network of partners, Clozetsales continues to drive positive change in the fashion industry.

At Clozetsales, diversity and inclusivity are core values. The marketplace ofers a wide range of clothing and accessories for all styles, shapes, and sizes, making fashion accessible to everyone. By promoting conscious consumption and leveraging technology for positive change, Clozetsales advocates for a more sustainable and inclusive fashion industry.

Looking ahead, Clozetsales is focused on strengthening partnerships, developing educational programmes, and enhancing its platform to provide personalised and sustainable shopping experiences. The company believes that everyone can play a role in promoting circular fashion and contributing to a more sustainable future.



Youth in Climate Action

In the battle against climate change, youth hold the key to a sustainable future. Harnessing the passion, innovation, and determination of the youth is both a choice and a necessity in addressing the pressing challenges of our time.

Miti Alliance involvement in climate action is not merely symbolic; it is a powerful force driving real change and shaping a world where environmental stewardship is ingrained in every decision and action. Waiyaki Nganga through the Miti Alliance, developed a method to educate both older and younger generations extensively on climate action, a subject they had not previously been

exposed to. This organisation, based in Kenya, is aimed at ensuring that the younger generation possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to be enthusiastic about climate change and actively engage in addressing it.

Miti Alliance is a registered social enterprise in Kenya dedicated to environmental education by empowering and preparing both the present and future cohorts of conservationists. The Miti Schools Program is centred on empowering and preparing students in schools with comprehensive knowledge, skills, and awareness of climate change matters, particularly focusing on the cultivation

and nurturing of trees, specifically fruit and native species. The name is derived and linked to the organisation’s mission of mitigating climate change by forming positive mindsets towards the environment. The Alliance works to empower communities through environmental education and the promotion of green livelihoods.

The organisation ofers consulting and managerial support for tree cultivation initiatives and actively promotes environmental conservation and rejuvenation through their communication platforms. Additionally, they oversee an indigenous tree nursery and operate two training facilities aimed at educating individuals on tree cultivation, conservation practices, and sustainable approaches.

The Miti Alliance School Program, under which 250 schools across 14 villages in Kenya have participated, has come a long way in chartering a path for learning about the impact of climate change. The first course Waiyaki took after High School was accounts, but being a Rotaractor and Global Shaper, he was exposed to climate action. When he was involved in a research endeavour about the use of solar lamps in Kenya by Global Shapers Nairobi, and Global Shapers Rome in collaboration with Givewatts, a solar energy company in Kenya. He travelled across Kenya and understood the potential that solar lamps had to improve the lives of rural residents. With his knowledge in this area, he was ofered a job at Givewatts.

At Givewatts, Waiyaki rose through the ranks quickly to become the country manager for the company which grew and expanded to Tanzania. He had found work that resonated with his passion and by the time he left Givewatts 4 years later, they had changed the story of lighting in many rural areas in Kenya and Tanzania. He had established operations with a complement of 44 members of staf, 22 in Kenya and 22 in Tanzania.

Miti Alliance was founded by Waiyaki in 2018, and when first founded his vision was to plant 5 million trees by 2025, but the project started to stall at about 180,000 trees. A monitoring and evaluation exercise revealed that approximately 50% of the trees were dying. In the quest to understand the hindrance, it was

The Miti Schools Program is centred on empowering and preparing students in schools with comprehensive knowledge, skills, and awareness of climate change matters, particularly focusing on the cultivation and nurturing of trees, specifcally fruit and native species.
Ann Kigo Photography by Derrick Milimo, Kenya www.derrickmilimo. com

discovered that the main challenges were water and space. Waiyaki and his team knew they needed to run substantive programs, focusing first on equipping the people who were going to participate in tree planting and growing.

When they changed the strategy, there was increased success, and mostly in schools. “Schools have a high population, they have space, and having done many projects with adults, we had learned that it was hard to get older people to keep up with the care needed for growing trees,” Waiyaki explains, and continues, “Many adults were not driven enough to make a diference.” Children gave Miti Alliance a diferent experience. Once they were equipped with the right information, they were passionate about the course. Therefore, working with children gave Waiyaki a fighting chance at achieving his goal of ofering transformational, informative, and long-term solutions to the issues of climate change.

To minimise the chances for such wastage and disappointment, Waiyaki and his team conducted a thorough interview and baseline survey with the school management before engaging them, just to ensure that the tree planting would not be done to check a box. The genuine intention of the management to get into a sustainable tree planting program is crucial in the impartation of the learners with values of climate action. This as Waiyaki points out, has helped

them get into fruitful partnerships with corporations, individuals, or organisations. With the schools’ program, Waiyaki is hopeful that they will have planted and maintained 5 million trees by 2025, contributing significantly to increasing Kenya’s forest cover and reversing some of the adverse efects that the nation is experiencing because of deforestation.

As we navigate the complex web of environmental crises, one thing remains clear: the active participation of the youth in climate action is not just a hopeful aspiration but a pragmatic necessity. Their voices, actions, and unwavering commitment are the seeds of a greener,

more sustainable future. Empowering and supporting the youth in their endeavours to combat climate change, secures a better tomorrow but also ensure that the legacy left behind is one of resilience, responsibility, and reverence for our planet. With the youth at the forefront, a path can be forged towards a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.

24 March 2024

Travel with Purpose Partnerships Hilton Garden Inn:

To celebrate the ffth anniversary of Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone, the hotel announced a collaboration with the local community to drive responsible tourism. Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone launched a partnership with Galaletsang Primary School to establish a herb garden to support the school’s learning and catering efforts for students and staff.

The Responsible Citizen 25

Hilton Garden

Inn Gaborone is a shining example of hospitality and community service par excellence.

This partnership is in line with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose commitment focused on driving responsible tourism globally. Through this initiative, the hotel aims to champion education, destination stewardship, local farming, and planet protection.

The hotel also celebrated the launch of a football team to help members of the local community thrive. The launch of this initiative is in line with Hilton’s wellness programme – Thrive@Hilton which centres around nurturing the mind, body, and spirit of its Team Members. Following the Galaletsang engagement, the team took to the pitch to celebrate the first tournament of the newly established

HGI Gaborone football team, which comprises hotel team members and members of the local community.

Thabani Ndlovu, General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone, said, “We are excited to celebrate five years of operations in Botswana and are proud of our impact to our customers, team members, local community, and owners. Across our operations, we employ over 100 Team Members, with 70% of those being female in a drive towards greater inclusion and empowerment. We host regular career fairs to create opportunities for the youth, and our collaboration with Galaletsang Primary School is a testament of our commitment to Botswana. We look forward to continuing the amazing work we have already started and providing the best stay experience for travellers.”

The mutually benefitting partnership with Galaletsang Primary School began in 2023, when the hotel supported the school with community projects including the repair and replacement of doors, windows, toilets and the donation of stationery and garden tools.

Ms. Tefetso Lebotse, School Head, Galaletsang Primary School, said, “Congratulations to Thabani and the Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone team on celebrating this incredible anniversary milestone. Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone is a shining example of hospitality and community service par excellence. We are

proud of the support they have provided to the school by creating an engaged learning environment for the students to thrive. We look forward to a continued partnership with the Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone team.”

Following the school activation, the hotel hosted a stakeholder cocktail celebration to show appreciation to their clients and highlight the incredible achievements over the years. The event was attended by representatives of the owners, Botswana Public Ofcers Pension Fund (BPOPF), Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) and the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB). Worthy accomplishments over the last five years include the launch of the #PushaBW Brunch in partnership with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, Botswana Tourism Organisation and Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports, and Culture. The brunch doubles as a platform for local artists to showcase and sell their artwork to international customers from the hotel’s lobby. Other milestones include the launch of the HTA School of Culinary Art Hilton Sponsored Diploma Apprenticeship for Food & Drinks Culinary Team Members and was the first hotel to launch an Electronic Vehicle (EV) charging station available to the public.

26 March 2024


Emboo River Camp’s Journey to Eco-Warrior Victory

Organized by Tourism Kenya, this accolade firmly positions Emboo River Camp as a leader in the hospitality sector’s quest for sustainable business practices. The award not only recognizes excellence but underscores the camp’s profound impact on the conservation landscape. It was a pleasure to learn more about Emboo River Camp, exploring how this award-winning destination is redefining luxury tourism with a deep-seated commitment to the environment and local communities.


Sustainability has emerged as a critical thread in the tourism sector, weaving together the delicate balance between industry growth and environmental preservation. The Responsible Citizen Magazine had the privilege of being the media partner for the 2023 Eco Warrior Awards, an event aimed at shining a spotlight on businesses in the tourism sector leading the charge in sustainable practices. This annual ceremony, orchestrated by Eco Tourism Kenya, celebrates enterprises that embrace a vision of “Sustainable Tourism: A Brighter Future for People, Planet,

In Maasai Mara, where the untamed beauty of the wilderness meets a commitment to sustainable practices, lies the Emboo River Camp—an epitome of eco-conscious tourism. This camp recently clinched the prestigious EcoWarrior Award for the year 2023, a testament to its unwavering dedication to addressing climate change through innovative adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Peter Murumi Kinuthia

and Profit.” The success of the awards highlight the industry’s growing awareness of its reliance on natural capital and the imperative to safeguard it for future generations. In this context, the fact that Emboo River Camp emerged as the distinguished winner in the accommodation category at the 2023 Eco Warrior Awards stands as a resounding testament to its unwavering dedication to sustainability.

Emboo River Camp has become a leading example of responsible tourism, actively contributing to the well-being of both guests and the local communities. The camp’s commitment transcends the boundaries of its immediate surroundings, reaching out to foster socio-economic prosperity within the neighboring Maasai community—a vital indigenous group integral to the balance of the Mara Ecosystem. By engaging and collaborating with the Maasai community, Emboo River Camp is not only preserving the unique cultural heritage of the region but is also contributing to the sustainable development of the local economy. This holistic approach underscores the camp’s belief in a model of tourism that is not

only environmentally conscious but socially impactful, creating a harmonious relationship between nature, visitors, and the indigenous communities that call the Mara Ecosystem home.


At the heart of Emboo River Camp’s commitment to sustainability lies its very name—”Emboo,” a Maasai word that resonates with a profound meaning. In the Maasai language, “Emboo” translates to pride, a group, a community. This intentional naming reflects the camp’s dedication to fostering a sense of unity and shared well-being, mirroring the communal values embedded in the Maasai culture. By choosing this name, Emboo River Camp goes beyond mere semantics; it signifies a commitment to actively engage with and uplift the Maasai community, acknowledging their pivotal role as custodians of the delicate Mara ecosystem. This emphasis on community, inherent in the camp’s very identity, underscores its integrated approach to sustainability—one that recognizes the interconnectedness of environmental preservation, community empowerment,

Emboo River Camp has become a leading example of responsible tourism, actively contributing to the well-being of both guests and the local communities.

and responsible tourism. In aligning its mission with the essence of “Emboo,” the camp aims to contribute not only to the preservation of the natural wonders of the Mara but also to the thriving community that has safeguarded this ecosystem for generations.


Emboo River Camp stands as a groundbreaking model of sustainability in the heart of Maasai Mara, employing a spectrum of innovative strategies and cutting-edge technologies to redefine eco-friendly lodging. The camp proudly holds the title of the first carbon-negative and closed-loop lodge of its kind.


Emboo River Camp leads the way in sustainable energy practices, with a robust commitment to relying entirely on solar power. The adoption of solar energy is a pivotal element in the camp’s journey toward carbon neutrality. The 100% solarpowered setup not only aligns with the principles of sustainability but also contributes significantly to reducing


the ecological impact associated with traditional energy sources. The camp’s decision to harness energy from the sun ensures a quiet and emission-free environment, in stark contrast to the noise and pollution often linked with generator usage. The solar energy generated not only illuminates the camp, providing a serene ambiance under the Mara’s night sky but is also channeled to recharge the electric vehicles that serve as a sustainable mode of transportation for the camp’s guests. Emboo River Camp has truly embraced the transformative potential of renewable energy, illustrating that luxury and environmental responsibility can coexist harmoniously in the heart of nature.


At Emboo River Camp, sustainability flows seamlessly into every drop of water. The camp’s water management practices demonstrate their meticulous commitment to minimizing water use and maximizing efciency. Adopting a zero-waste strategy, Emboo River Camp goes beyond conservation, recycling 100% of its wastewater for various purposes, achieving unparalleled efciency. The commitment extends to the use of ecofriendly cleaning products, ensuring that not a single harmful toxin infiltrates the pristine surroundings. Even the swimming pool at the camp embraces natural elements, utilizing the ECOsmarte system with 100% natural copper ionization and oxidation. This innovative approach not only adds to the natural allure of the camp but also contributes to water conservation eforts. Emboo River Camp’s water-saving initiatives amount to an impressive 295,650 liters every year, a testament to their dedication to sustainability and responsible stewardship of natural resources.



Emboo River Camp’s commitment to sustainability extends to its transportation practices, marking a significant stride towards eco-friendly safari experiences.


At the forefront of this initiative is the camp’s adoption of an electric vehicle fleet, setting a new standard for responsible tourism. The entire fleet of land cruisers operates solely on solar power, with no reliance on internal combustion engines. This groundbreaking approach not only ensures a serene and noise-free safari experience for guests but also eliminates the carbon footprint associated with traditional vehicles. Emboo River Camp’s dedication to silent, solar-powered transportation not only enhances the immersive wildlife experience for visitors but also exemplifies a harmonious coexistence between modern comforts and environmental stewardship in the heart of the Mara ecosystem.


When it comes to sustenance, the camp prioritizes sourcing food locally, minimizing its carbon footprint and supporting nearby communities. At Emboo River Camp, waste is not just discarded; it is rather considered to be a valuable resource. The camp boasts a comprehensive waste management system that goes beyond mere disposal. Emboo’s innovative ‘Trash to Treasure’ strategy is a shining example, achieving a remarkable 100% recycling and upcycling rate for paper and plastic on-site. Beyond conventional recycling, the camp has invested in a cutting-edge biodigester. This alternative cooking fuel solution not only ensures efcient waste disposal but also transforms organic waste into biogas and bio-fertilizer for the camp’s thriving vegetable garden. Emboo’s commitment to turning waste into sustainable resources echoes its holistic approach to eco-friendly practices, setting a new standard for responsible tourism in the Maasai Mara. Furthermore, the camp opts for eco-friendly materials, contributing to a reduction in overall environmental impact.


Emboo River Camp has not just embraced sustainability; it has set new benchmarks for the industry, showcasing that luxury and responsible stewardship can go hand in hand. As an industry leader in eco-conscious tourism, it calls upon other businesses within the industry to follow suit, recognizing that the preservation of our planet is not just an ethical imperative but a shared responsibility. Sustainable practices are not only feasible but also economically viable, contributing to the longevity of our planet’s natural wonders. As a call to action to other players in the tourism industry, Ebo River Camp invite fellow members


of the tourism sector to embark on this journey toward sustainable luxury, redefining the narrative of indulgence to one that is conscious, ethical, and enduring.

To the discerning traveler, this is an invitation to consider destinations like Emboo River Camp—those committed to sustainable practices and environmental conservation. By choosing such establishments, travelers become active participants in the global movement towards responsible tourism. Choose not just a destination but a commitment to responsible travel, where luxury and sustainability intertwine for a truly enriching and enduring experience. Every decision, no matter how small, to support businesses dedicated to reducing their ecological footprint contributes to the greater cause of preserving our natural wonders for generations to come. Emboo River Camp is an inspiration, a model for sustainable luxury that echoes through the vast landscapes of the Maasai Mara and beyond.


Championing Waste Management and Community Empowerment

Founded on a commitment to address the global waste crisis, Greenhill Recycling’s journey began modestly, with operations housed in a garage.


However, fueled by dedication and a vision for change, the company has flourished, expanding its reach to own properties and collection centres. Employing over a hundred individuals and benefiting more than seven thousand and five hundred people, including schools and estates, Greenhill Recycling has become a force in waste management and poverty alleviation eforts. Their capacity to handle over five hundred tons of waste underscores their dedication to making a meaningful impact. But Greenhill Recycling’s impact goes beyond mere collection and processing. They’ve embraced innovation to reach communities with limited access to technology, ensuring inclusivity in their operations. By focusing on pre-processing within the waste value chain, they not only mitigate environmental threats but

Bem Abubakar Photography by UC Willis Studio

also provide individuals with sustainable income opportunities.

Greenhill Recycling operates as a community-focused recycling company, dedicated to managing waste in Africa. Their mission extends beyond mere waste management; Greenhill strives to address broader societal issues, including education and health, by harnessing the potential of waste. They are committed to empowering women, especially the unbanked, through innovative waste utilisation initiatives, and their overarching objective is to transform waste into a valuable resource, serving as a currency to efectively combat socio-economic challenges. Waste poses a global crisis, evident in its significant environmental and economic impacts. Observing the limited eforts to address this issue, Greenhill developed a strong commitment to tackling it. Nigeria ranks top as one of the countries with the most people living in poverty.

Interestingly, the country also ranks top as one of the greatest waste generators in the world. Recognizing the challenges these pose, Greenhill took the initiative to

leverage waste management as a solution, especially because it was evident that no one was engaged in profering solutions. Greenhill took on the challenge of alleviating poverty by addressing waste management. Statistics show that 4.22 million people living in Lagos state are below the poverty line. Interestingly, Lagos state generates nine thousand tons of waste daily, with about eightysix percent of it being plastic waste. The plastic waste generated in Lagos state is expected to increase by 9.6% annually and reach 1.9 million tons by 2025. Between 2012 and 2016, a staggering 174 million tonnes of waste was generated annually in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, this alarming number is projected to rise even further to reach a staggering 269 million tonnes by the year 2030. Greenhill Recycling has since experienced tremendous growth. Today, it proudly owns multiple properties and collection centres, serving as a testament to her dedication to tackling this pressing issue. By utilising the fleet of collection vehicles, they have not only succeeded in managing waste but also in creating employment opportunities for over 100 individuals. Moreover, their eforts have reached far beyond mere job creation.

They have managed to positively impact the lives of over 7500 people, including schools and residential areas. With a capacity to handle over 500 tons of waste, Greenhill remains committed to advancing efective waste management and poverty alleviation. Greenhill strives to make a substantial diference in the world by addressing these critical challenges head-on.

Greenhill took on the challenge of alleviating poverty by addressing waste management. Statistics show that 4.22 million people living in Lagos state are below the poverty line.

In the past, Greenhill partnered with a technology service provider to facilitate pickup requests. Currently, Greenhill is exploring simpler methods due to the communities’ limited education levels. Greenhill is considering using technology that is more accessible to clients who do not have internet-enabled phones. Additionally, Greenhill plans to implement clustering and other means of outreach while operating as preprocessors in the value chain, enabling the company to add value to the waste collected from diverse communities and levels. This not only helps to reduce flooding and other environmental threats but also prevents the burning of waste, which can be carcinogenic. Through this process, individuals can earn a sustainable income. Additionally, Greenhill is exploring partnerships with health organisations to provide insurance coverage to members within identified communities. This is why Greenhill believes that waste is a currency. Plastic bottles (PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, PE), corrugated cartons, and cans are the major types of waste focused on because they cause environmental problems within immediate surroundings. Plastic, in particular, is an abundant waste material, and its production contributes to the depletion of natural resources.

Currently operating in Africa, specifically Nigeria, Greenhill encounters several fundamental challenges. Firstly, there is the difculty in accessing government support due to government policies that do not prioritise or adequately support recycling companies. Secondly, Greenhill faces limitations in accessing funding. Another significant challenge is behaviour change among the populace. Many people lack awareness of the importance of recycling waste and its positive impact on the environment. Additionally, there is resistance to adopting recycling practices and


understanding its benefits for health and well-being.

Greenhill provides training and education to women and children, highlighting the benefits and importance of waste management while addressing socio-economic gaps within the communities. As a stakeholder in the waste management community, Greenhill influences policy to better serve the needs of all stakeholders, including the government. For private sectors, Greenhill ofers solutions to their waste management challenges, helping them achieve sustainable growth while meeting their environmental responsibilities.

Greenhill has successfully empowered over 7,000 individuals who have earned a sustainable income through partnering with the company, benefiting both them and their families. Additionally, Greenhill has raised awareness within the community about the importance of a clean environment, which contributes to overall health and well-being.

Greenhill provides training and education to women and children, highlighting the benefits and importance of waste management while addressing socio-economic gaps within the communities. As a stakeholder in the waste management community, Greenhill influences policy to better serve the needs of all stakeholders, including the government. For private sectors, Greenhill ofers solutions to their waste management challenges, helping them achieve sustainable growth while meeting their environmental responsibilities. Greenhill has successfully empowered over 7,000 individuals who have earned a sustainable income through partnering with the company, benefiting both them and their families. Additionally, Greenhill has raised awareness within the community about the importance of a clean environment, which contributes to overall health and well-being.

One of Greenhill’s clients, Cecilia Ochigbo, a widow with six children, used to rely on begging for alms to support her family. However, since engaging with Greenhill in 2022 and discovering the value of her waste, she began collecting waste and earned almost a million naira in 2023 alone. This newfound income has made her financially independent and

Greenhill has successfully empowered over 7,000 individuals who have earned a sustainable income through partnering with the company, benefting both them and their families.

has enabled her to assist others in similar situations. Cecilia is just one of many more women whose stories are transformed through the company’s initiative.

Greenhill maintains comprehensive records of all waste obtained from partnering collectors. For suppliers, Greenhill utilises an open weighing system and maintains a record booklet of all subscribers. Greenhill measures its environmental impact primarily by the amount of waste it recovers from the environment for recycling and the resulting Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions prevented. In 2023, Greenhill collected over 500 tons of waste. For every kilogram of plastic waste collected, Greenhill prevented 6 kilograms of CO2 from being released back into the environment. The company has the goal of expanding its presence to every city in Nigeria and beyond, recognizing the global waste crisis. Greenhill recently set up a new community collection centre in the heart of Isolo, in Lagos state, and is in the process of setting up community clusters within estates and high-trafc areas. Additionally, positioned to become a leading recycling company, Greenhill collaborates with other recycling companies to provide processing service to them.



In South Africa’s Western Cape province where many families struggle with food insecurity, initiatives like DIY gardens are proving to be a transformative solution. With underserved groups in mind, these gardens not only reduce hunger but also promote inclusivity and community resilience.

Busiswa Lutshaba
Making planting look cool and relatable to anyone to pursue is my selling point” - Joy

Roots For Food, a non-profit organisation in Gugulethu, South Africa, is at the forefront of this movement, empowering children with disabilities and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds through agriculture and personal development training. Joy Mkunqwana, a driving force behind this initiative, highlights the importance of merging traditional and modern farming methods to address the challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Joy Mkunqwana started experimenting with planting spinach and was motivated to grow her vegetable patch bigger.

Joy is also keen on educating her community about farming through regular community engagements, dialogue, and through her social media posts. “Making planting look cool and relatable to anyone to pursue is my selling point” expressed Joy.


Joy is the second born of three girls. She was born in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa. Her grandmother was praised by the community as a philanthropist. She witnessed her grandmother extending a helping hand to her community while growing up. Most of the time her home was filled with members of the community who needed some form of support from her grandmother. Before Joy became enthusiastic about Agriculture, she was in the education sector as a facilitator and trainer. But soon realized that is not her passion, influenced by the challenges in the education sector.

BL: In your view what can households do better in starting their backyard gardens?

Joy expresses that understanding the behaviour of the crop to be planted and being mindful of the space, the environment, the availability of water and access thereof. In addition, feeding the garden with compost and homemade fertilizers as these are cost-efective. A consideration depending on the end goal can be made between vertical farming, the use of baths, and other available empty spaces.

BL: What are some of the common challenges households face in starting their own backyard farming?

The common ones are:

• Space – unavailability of land to produce.

• Water – access to water

• Knowledge – the right skillset on what to crop/plant.

BL: According to you, how can the Government do better to support communities to grow their own food?

Supply of water tanks or irrigation systems, along with fertilizers and

manure. Planter boxes for easy access to individuals who are not able to bend to the ground. Doing a proper needs assessment to partner with households and individuals who are keen to participate in farming. “Barriers of entry are still a major challenge. The Government can host mobile workshops that aim at educating and forging the right relationships” – Joy adds on with enthusiasm.


BL: What does inclusion mean to you?

Food insecurity is an ongoing crisis. Inclusion is of pivotal importance in the development of children and adults living with disabilities because it gives them a fighting spirit and the opportunity to develop themselves and uplift their families as active contributors in society. Giving them confidence and the dignity they deserve.

BL: Goal 11 of 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals speaks about sustainable cities and communities. In your view, how can small-scale farmers tap into economic growth starting with their communities?

We can start by thinking about strategic ways to sustain home gardens. We need to generate income from the little that we harvest and plow back, so we can be able to sustain our gardens. We need to monetise our gardens through consortiums/co-ops and tackle the industry as a unit. It is evident that through collaboration we stand a better chance to penetrate an industry with so much red tape.

BL: What does a poverty-free Africa mean to you?

It can satisfy basic human needs, such as water and food security. You can’t fight nor think on an empty stomach. If people and communities are taken care of holistically, they have access to meaningful participation in the economy.

The Responsible Citizen 37


Gjenge’s Journey in Plastic

Recycling and Impact on Sustainable Construction Practices


In Nairobi, the urban landscape grapples with the weight of 500 metric tons of daily plastic waste. Meeting this challenge is Nzambi Matee, a 29-year-old materials engineer and the Founder of Gjenge Makers, a groundbreaking start-up on a mission to transform plastic waste into a valuable resource.

Nairobi’s struggle with plastic pollution, often ending up in landfills or despoiling natural landscapes, has found a revolutionary answer in Nzambi’s inventive solutions. Through Gjenge Makers, discarded bags and containers undergo a metamorphosis, reborn as bricks with the potential to redefine construction practices.

Gjenge Makers takes a bold step toward combating the plastic deluge, exemplifying how innovative thinking can turn environmental challenges into opportunities for positive change. To Learn how this start-up channels plastic waste to a new purpose, and how the landscape of Nairobi transforms, one recycled brick at a time.


In the relentless fight against the environmental scourge of plastic pollution, Gjenge Makers stands out as a pioneer, wielding an innovative solution that transcends the ordinary. At the heart of their groundbreaking approach lies a commitment to transforming plastic waste into a valuable resource, challenging

the status quo of how we perceive and manage discarded materials. Gjenge Makers has not merely created bricks; they’ve engineered a symbol of resilience and innovation. This green revolution in construction materials demonstrates a paradigm shift, where what was once considered environmental blight is now harnessed as a cornerstone for sustainable innovation. Gjenge Makers’ commitment to green innovation is not just about

recycling plastic; it’s a bold statement that challenges industries to reimagine waste as a catalyst for positive change, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in extending the lifespan of plastic. In a world grappling with the consequences of overconsumption and environmental degradation, Gjenge Makers’ innovative strides ofer a glimmer of hope, showcasing that through ingenuity and dedication, we can carve a path towards a greener and more sustainable future. What sets Gjenge pavers apart is not just their aesthetic appeal, but their afordability and unparalleled durability. These recycled bricks have been put through three years of relentless experimentation and have defied the conventional expectations. Boasting a melting point exceeding 350°C, they stand stronger than concrete, providing a sustainable alternative to traditional construction materials. Nzambi Matee and her dedicated team navigated a path of trial and error, meticulously fine-tuning the combination of plastic and sand while engineering the necessary machinery for seamless processing. Now, Gjenge Makers produces a staggering 1,500 pavers daily, utilizing raw plastic sourced directly from factories and recyclers, often at minimal cost. This unique approach not only minimizes environmental impact but

Peter Murumi Kinuthia

also facilitates afordability, ensuring that Gjenge pavers become accessible to schools, homeowners, and even those in Nairobi’s underserved communities. As the company shapes the urban landscape, it does so with an unwavering commitment to sustainability, proving that innovative solutions can indeed pave the way to a cleaner, greener future.


In the burgeoning landscape of sustainability, Gjenge Makers stands as a beacon, not only for its remarkable environmental impact but also for the transformative socioeconomic ripple it has generated. Beyond the impressive feat of recycling over 20 tonnes of plastic, Gjenge Makers has become a catalyst for positive change in the community,

Nzambi Matee’s vision goes beyond the immediate success of Gjenge Makers; she aspires to spark a movement, an educational wave that empowers the youth across Africa to confront local waste challenges headon.

creating 112 job opportunities that extend far beyond the walls of its workshop. Their journey is not just about bricks; rather, it is about building livelihoods and fostering a sense of

purpose. Nzambi Matee’s vision goes beyond the immediate success of Gjenge Makers; she aspires to spark a movement, an educational wave that empowers the youth across Africa to confront local waste challenges head-on.

Nzambi Matee’s journey symbolizes the embodiment of youth empowerment and innovation in the face of pressing global challenges. As a material engineer, Matee’s remarkable achievements at the helm of Gjenge Makers serve as an inspiration for the younger generation. She has become a role model, illustrating that innovative solutions to contemporary issues, such as plastic pollution, can emerge from the passion and determination of the youth. Beyond bricks and pavers, Gjenge Makers represents a movement that encourages young minds to actively engage with and address local waste challenges. Nzambi Matee’s story serves as a testament to the transformative power of youthful creativity and dedication, demonstrating that sustainable solutions can be born out of the ingenuity of the next generation. The potential is vast, and the impact transcends the materiality of recycled plastic; it resonates in the lives transformed, the economic empowerment realized, and the hope instilled. Gjenge Makers is not just reshaping discarded waste; it’s sculpting a narrative of empowerment, resilience, and sustainable progress - brick by brick.


Gjenge Makers has positioned itself strongly in the green innovation and sustainability space, showcasing that the journey toward a circular economy is not just a necessity but an achievable reality. While the ultimate goal remains

reducing the production of new plastics, Gjenge Makers demonstrates that recycling and reusing can be powerful interim solutions. By transforming tons of discarded plastic into durable and afordable pavers, Gjenge not only addresses the immediate challenge but also contributes to extending the life of the vast amount of plastic already present on our planet. This solution serves as a reminder that each recycled brick is a tangible step towards a more sustainable future. The quicker, smarter, and safer we embrace such transformative solutions, the closer we come to curbing the plastic problem and paving the way to a circular and responsible approach to our planet’s resources.


Clearing the Air and Sustainable reporting

The Clean Air Catalyst Workshop

In the pursuit of sustainability across environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions, The Responsible Citizen Magazine (TRC) takes pride in contributing to the discourse on critical issues affecting our communities.

Peter Murumi Kinuthia
This event was a signifcant moment of alignment, where media professionals were empowered to contribute meaningfully to the broader conversation on sustainability within the context of the Triple Planetary Crisis.

Recently, through one of our sustainability reporters, Peter, had the honor of participating in the Clean Air Catalyst workshop, a transformative initiative organized by Internews and supported by USAID in Kenya, and in collaboration with the Nairobi City County government and other esteemed sponsors. This media workshop brought together 30 journalists from top media houses who report on various environmental issues in Nairobi.

Despite being a critical component of overall sustainability, air quality has often been a neglected topic in media coverage. The Clean Air Catalyst workshop, which TRC sustainability reporters had the privilege to attend, marked a pivotal moment in addressing this oversight. Air pollution, particularly in urban environments and African cities like Nairobi, carries profound implications for public health, environmental resilience, and community well-being. By bringing together journalists and reporters from diverse media backgrounds, the workshop aimed to shine a spotlight on the often-underreported issue of air

quality. The intent was clear: to equip media professionals with the knowledge, tools, and narrative skills needed to amplify the urgency of addressing air pollution in Nairobi and to foster a deeper understanding of its far-reaching consequences on inhabitants of the city.


The Clean Air Catalyst Media Workshop could not have come at a more opportune time, running concurrently with the sixth edition of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi. The assembly, a global convergence of more than 7,000 delegates from around the world, provided a comprehensive platform to tackle the Triple Planetary Crisis of Air Pollution, Climate Change, and Biodiversity Loss. This simultaneous occurrence underscored the pivotal role that air quality plays in the broader context of sustainability. As environmental


leaders and experts engaged in finding solutions for pressing global challenges, the media workshop, with its focus on air pollution, ensured that the narrative around sustainability was not only comprehensive but also timely and aligned with the urgent discussions happening at UNEA-6. It marked a significant moment where the discourse on sustainability expanded to include the often-neglected area of air quality, highlighting the interconnectedness of environmental issues and the need for holistic solutions. This event was a significant moment of alignment, where media professionals were empowered to contribute meaningfully to the broader conversation on sustainability within the context of the Triple Planetary Crisis. Through this convergence, the workshop not only reinforced the interconnectedness of these global challenges but also highlighted the pivotal role of media in advocating for solutions and fostering a sustainable future.


Vehicular maintenance as one of the most widely spread urban industrial activities comes with disheartening realities: ignorance, whether inadvertent or intentional, which contributes to air pollution. Mechanics, taking advantage of motorists’ lack of awareness regarding catalytic converters, are increasingly involved in dubious practices. During routine repairs or maintenance tasks, some mechanics remove these critical emissions-filtering devices and sell them of. Catalytic converters play a pivotal role in fossil-fuel-driven vehicles by filtering out harmful emissions, ensuring that what is released into the air is significantly less harmful. Some mechanics, however, exploit the ignorance of vehicle owners, falsely claiming that removing these gadgets will enhance fuel efciency and speed. Tragically, the consequence of driving vehicles without catalytic converters is the unrestrained release of

harmful emissions into the environment. Considering that vehicular transportation already contributes over 40% to air pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases, the removal of catalytic converters exacerbates both the public health menace of air pollution and the climate change crisis. This underlines the urgent need for increased awareness and stringent measures to curb such practices, fostering a collective responsibility to protect both the air we breathe and the planet we inhabit.


As a publication, it is important to learn more about sustainable solutions, in an efort to raise awareness on issues that afect us. During the Clean Air Catalyst Media Workshop, where revelations about the top three sources of air pollution were brought to light: vehicular emissions from the transportation sector, industrial emissions, and poor waste management practices, such as open-air burning of waste. To combat air pollution stemming

from vehicular transportation, there’s a resounding call to support the ongoing silent revolution in electric mobility, with various companies emerging to produce electric vehicles and buses. Simultaneously, addressing air pollution linked to unsustainable waste management practices emphasizes the need for sustainable waste management through recycling, reuse, and upcycling. The Responsible Citizen Magazine stands firm in its dedication to amplifying these sustainable solutions, contributing to the broader conversation on mitigating the environmental impacts of human activities.



In the realm of responsible journalism, it is imperative that we, as reporters and journalists, take to heart the critical role of air quality in the broader spectrum of sustainability. The Clean Air Catalyst Media Workshop served as an eye-opener, underscoring the often overlooked connection between air pollution and the


pressing challenges of our time. As we reflect on the workshop’s insights, the urgent call to action resonates: we must consistently weave air quality into our coverage, recognizing it as an integral component of the sustainability narrative. The persistent issues stemming from vehicular emissions, industrial pollutants, and unsustainable waste practices emphasize the imperative to embrace sustainable alternatives. It is a clarion call for the widespread adoption of electric mobility, the pursuit of low-carbon pathways for industries, and the advocacy for sustainable waste management. By spotlighting these issues, we, as storytellers, have the power to shape a narrative that fosters change, inspires sustainable practices, and safeguards the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.




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