Nigeria’s Waste recycling startup, Wecyclers has emerged winner of the King Baudouin African Development Prize 2019 worth €200,000.
The announcement was made in the offices of the start-up on the occasion of the first day of the Silicon Lagoon Mission, that has a team of Belgian start-ups, scale-ups, corporations and NGOs visit different Nigerian companies in Lagos.
The € 200,000 prize will assist the local start-up to further develop their business and increase their impact at national and global levels.
Herve Lisoir, Coordinator Africa and Developing countries, King Baudouin Foundation, told newsmen on Wednesday that Wecyclers won the prize for its contribution to solving waste management problems not only in Nigeria but Africa. “We selected Wecyclers because we know that waste management is an issue for Lagos, Africa, and Europe. We celebrate your innovation, perseverance and keeping it real,” Lisoir said.
He noted that the prize aimed to acknowledge the work of African persons or organizations which have made an exemplary contribution to development in Africa.
Mrs. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Founder, Wecyclers, said that the organisation has not only shown the people of Lagos the value of recycling but helped to improve lives and the environment.
She said that as a start-up, her passion was about helping to solve the waste challenges facing Africa, and thanked King Baudouin Foundation for its support and the award.
Wale Adebiyi, Chief Executive Officer, Wecyclers, said that it had collected about 5000 tonnes of recyclable waste since 2012, given over $100, 000 as incentives, and have over 17,000 subscribers. He said that the company averaged four tonnes of plastics daily, which did not contribute to ocean pollution and ruin the ecosystem.
We're excited to announce that we are 2018-19 @KBF_Africa African Development Prize winner!
The Prize recognises our work in leveraging communities and generating impact by redistributing the benefits from recycled waste.
— Wecyclers (@realwecyclers) March 21, 2019
The award ceremony will be held in Brussels, Belgium on June 12, 2019 in the presence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde at the Royal Palace.
The King Baudouin African Development Prize aims to acknowledge the works of African individuals or organizations which have made an exemplary contribution to development in Africa.
Past winners include Dr. Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, for his contribution to founding the Panzi Hospital in Eastern DR Congo, where tens of thousands of sexual violence victims were treated.
Others are BarefootLaw Limited for its work in providing online legal service in East Africa to the most vulnerable so they can understand and defend their basic rights for free. Farmerline Limited for its work in connecting over 200,000 farmers and enabling them to share information, helping some small-holder farmers grow their profits by 50 percent among others.