On the 25th September 2014, Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda hosted a one-day conference on Improving Conditions in Urban Slums through Innovation, Enterprise and Partnership. This high level conference celebrated and shared the lessons learnt from the Waste to Wealth programme.
Below are some of the enterprises that showcased their products and services at the conference:
The guest of honour – Adolf Mwesige Honourable Minister for State of Local Government – gave appreciation on the part of the Ugandan National Government for LEU and LEF’s work in this project. Presentations and talks were also delivered by Daudi Migereko (Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Planning), Dr Levi Kabagambe (Associate Dean at Makerere University Business School), John Seryazi (representative from the European Commission), Josephine Kitaka (Solid waste management supervisor from KCCA), along with beneficiaries from the project, Living Earth Foundation and Living Earth Uganda staff, and representatives from our partners from Nigeria and Cameroon.
The conference outlined the project’s approach to tackling the problems of poor waste management and widespread unemployment in urban slum areas. This was done through training and supporting micro and small enterprises (MSEs) engaged in these industries. In addition, we work with local government to encourage public-private-partnerships (PPPs) between them and MSEs for effective service delivery,
The conference reflected on the success of the project raising awareness of the remaining issues and encouraging further action. Attendees heard how the pan-African programme has worked with 150 enterprises, training over 2,000 people greatly impacting these MSEs capacity to deliver services and helped formalise their operations. This has helped increase their profits between 15-30% and jobs increasing on average by 5-10 per MSE. In addition new PPPs have been signed between the public sector and MSEs (such as supplying charcoal briquettes made from biodegradable waste to schools, replacing the more costly and environmentally unfriendly alternative of wood). Attitudes to recycling and waste has also transformed in these communities with residents enjoying a much cleaner, and as a result, safer environments to live in.
In addition to the conference, there was an outdoor exhibition of the MSEs that we have worked with. Fifteen enterprises, working in areas of waste collection, charcoal briquette making, handicrafts from waste products makers, fuel efficient stove sellers, and other, exhibited their enterprises showing their work and telling their stories to attendees and others.
Further conferences are planned for Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Douala, Cameroon, in November 2014.