On an otherwise reasonable evening, more than 1,000 people packed an auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, for the culmination of the 2011 Unreasonable Institute. They came to see 27 ventures present their solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.
Moses Sanga, Founder and CEO of Eco-Fuel Africa, shares how his venture is providing a holistic solution to problems devastating his home country of Uganda by providing a clean, affordable and sustainable cooking fuel alternative.
Eco-Fuel Africa is a social enterprise determined to eradicate over dependence on wood-fuel in Sub-Saharan Africa by making organic charcoal from agricultural waste. The company uses its proceeds to plant trees in Africa. The target is to plant at least a quarter of a billion trees by 2020. Eco-Fuel Africa works with women groups, youth groups and rural farmers, training these groups and individual farmers on how to make char powder from agricultural waste and supply them with locally made kilns. The company then buy the char powder from them and it’s what we use to make organic charcoal creating incomes for millions of poor people mainly in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. The main means of transport is bicycles and Eco-Fuel Africa employs many young energetic Ugandans to transport our charcoal on bicycles to markets and to our network of distributors. We specifically look-out for young Ugandans employed in wood-charcoal production and offer them jobs in our company. This is creating many alternative green jobs and is reducing pressure on African forests and the charcoal is distributed mainly through a network of small-scale retailers mainly made of poor women and youths.