Africa University students in partnership with students from the Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences acquired investment from one of Zimbabwe’s largest beverage manufacturers Delta Corporation Limited for an upcycling project that saw the students repurposing used bottles and beverage containers for re-use by consumers. The proper disposal of waste products generated from industries, businesses and homes remains a constant challenge for many countries in the world but more so in Africa where waste disposal systems and protocols are often overlooked, unregulated or lacking the enforcement necessary to ensure that illegal dump sites do not occur and rubbish is disposed of efficiently and correctly.
In acknowledgement that industry has a part to play in ensuring the reduction and proper disposal of waste, Delta Corporation runs the annual competition named Delta- Boost in partnership with Boost Fellowship, an organization that seeks to capacitate youth to build a future for themselves and their communities through business enterprise and innovation. The competitions were held in Harare on the 8th of November 2019 at the Rainbow Towers Hotel under the theme, “Recycle. Make a difference.” where the team pitched their project to judges drawn from the corporate sector.
The AU ENACTUS team’s project made use of used beverage containers through repurposing glass bottles into cups for domestic use while plastic bottles were repurposed into bins. What shone through and snagged the investment for the team was the level of community engagement that was used in executing their project where primary schools around the City of Mutare were also brought on board to collect the used packaging materials with a book hamper offered to the school that managed to collect the highest number of empty bottles thereby spreading the message and awareness of the necessity to keep the environment clean demonstrating that even in waste, there is value.
ENACTUS Vice President Tapiwa Gotora, a second year student in Public Administration said,
“For us this project was about so much more than making a profit, it was about social entrepreneurship and as the theme of the competition implied, making a difference. When we started this project we had no other capital apart from human capital. We pooled what little physical resources we had to make our vision happen.”
The combined universities team was comprised of a number of women which Mr. Gotora hailed as a positive sign that more and more women are entering the previously male- dominated sphere of entrepreneurship especially in the African context,
“ It was so uplifting to see that our group actually had more women than men and I will say that they were the heartbeat of this project and kept us on our feet meeting our deadlines and ensuring we were doing what we were supposed to at all times with regards to our project work cycle.”
The ENACTUS team plan on using their investment of ZWL 3100 to expand their business model to other cities in Zimbabwe with an aim towards seeing their repurposed and upcycled products reaching the market and being used in homes.
Recycle. Make a Difference
12 Universities participated