19-Year-Old Kenyan Starts Company to Eradicate Electronic Waste in Africa
Alex Mativo
Alex Mativo

Alex Mativo,19, and  a student at the University of Nairobi in Kenya pursuing a bachelors degree in Computer Science has founded E-Lab, a startup founded that aims at eradicating electronic waste in Nairobi Kenya, then expand to cities in Africa.

Mativo, E-Lab’s CEO told TechMoran, E-waste is “a rather new environmental problem due to Africa’s exponential growth in the number of mobile phone users and electronics over the last couple of years.”

He therefore founded E-Lab to promote a culture of safe and responsible e-waste disposal among Kenyans.

“Instead of the old system of collecting and dumping. We will use art as a platform for this initiative where we seek to transform this hazardous e-waste into innovative products such as art pieces, jewellery, shoes and sculptures.”

ewaste-lead01
Image:Habitat.com

The startup will then use the art pieces, jewellery and shoes for an anti-jigger campaigns in rural areas of Kenya. Copper and other metallic materials will be channeled to the “juakali”, Kenya’s informal artisan industry to produce metallic money boxes which E-lab aims to use in a campaign to promote saving among the youth. The process will also give youths jobs across the country.

 Mativo also added that he is keen on partnering with mobile service providers in Kenya who are responsible for over 3000 tons of e-waste generated annually to set up an art challenge for the youth age 15-22. The  challenge will ask the youth to identify electronic waste in their surroundings and transform it into creative art pieces.
Image:unep
Image:unep

The two months-old startup aims to set up a community e-waste collection system to help firms, institutions and industries sort out and dump their e-waste then E-Lab would channel it to its network of entrepreneurs to come up with innovative products. E-Lab has been featured among the 50 most brilliant startups for the Global Entrepreneurship Week by Istart and Kauffman Foundation and on Startup Open.

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The company is based in Athi-river Kenya. You can read more about the amazing young man here, happy Mashujaa Day!

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