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Start-up in Senegal: sustainable waste disposal to make my country better

Modou has achieved what he set out to do: with support from the CSAEM he has set up his own waste management company.

Start-up in Senegal: sustainable waste disposal to make my country better

My name is Modou, and I’m an expert in waste recycling and renewable energies. I’m 35 years old, married, and I have one daughter. I’d like to do something for my home country by improving waste management in Senegal. In 2017 I came back to Senegal from Germany with some good ideas. I have a master’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering, and my thesis was about waste management in Senegal. This is a good foundation for my project.

My master’s degree at the Polytechnic College (EPT) in my home town of Thiès took me to Germany at the end of 2016. There I was assisted by the organisation Greening Africa Together to work on concepts and ideas for combating climate change. This organisation helps young people in Africa to develop sustainable options for our continent.

Modou doesn’t just want his start-up to help others to act sustainably, he wants to act sustainably himself.

While I was in Germany I realised that private companies are also responsible for waste management there. My stay in Germany therefore encouraged me to set up my own company in the waste management sector. I want to use my project to introduce the experience I gained in Germany into Senegal.

I’d like to make good use of my experience

Even before I went to Germany, in 2016 I took part in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). That was when I got the idea of setting up a waste management company. I wanted to modernise waste disposal in Senegal. YALI taught me the commercial basics, as well as how to set up and run a business.

In 2018 I also won a prize awarded by the “Returning to New Opportunities” programme. I won the prize for a project proposal that suggested producing energy from recycled materials. That gave me the courage to set up my company SEN SERVICES PLUS OR-DUR in 2018. I also got help with defining my project as well as technical advice from the Senegalese-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (CSAEM). They also referred me to the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII), which gave me start-up capital and supported me in implementing my idea for 12 months. Today, there are 28 young people working for my company in Thiès, 17 of whom are women.

Modou wants to use his start-up to help reduce the amount of pollution from landfill sites in Senegal.

The green pillars for my start-up

Environmental protection has always been important to me. The government in Senegal has introduced a zero-waste programme. I'm involved in it, and develop systems that can be used to manage waste more sustainably. My start-up provides services in four green sectors: green clean, green technology, green consulting and green communication. We keep records of recycling and recovery services, waste collection points and waste collectors in numerous towns and cities throughout the country. We offer solutions relating to the treatment and recycling of waste. We advise our customers about sustainable waste management practices and prepare project studies, as well as planning and supporting with the implementation and running of training courses dealing with sustainable waste management. We also show private and public institutions and companies how they can better communicate regarding environmental issues.

My company is on the right track. I’m convinced that I can play my part in making waste management in my country more sustainable.

I plan to keep innovating

I want to use my company to increase environmental awareness in Senegal. I’d like to help reduce the amount of pollution from landfill sites. I want to show local people and administrations how to properly manage their waste. That would improve their quality of life. We also want to provide employment and eco-friendly services, especially to young people and women.

We have to deal with frequent power cuts in Senegal. That’s why the CSAEM is helping my company to build a 30-kilowatt mini solar power plant. In the process I also get advice from experts at the Green People’s Energy for Africa initiative. This was launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The intention behind my start-up isn't just for it to help others to act sustainably. We want to be as sustainable as possible ourselves. That’s why we’re planning to buy a solar water pump. I’m going to use the solar power plant and water pump to be more independent in supplying my company with energy and water.

As of: 01/2022

I want to use my company to increase environmental awareness in Senegal. I’d like to help reduce the amount of pollution from landfill sites.

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