ICT Africa Headline News

Kenya's 'E-Lab' Entrepreneurs Tell How They Are Boosting the War Against E-Waste

13 June, 2014

Source: CIO East Africa

With research indicating 10-20 percent of all computers sent to Kenya from abroad are unusable, the amount of electronic waste being disposed on a daily basis in the country is growing steadily.

On CNN International's 'African Start-Up' this week, entrepreneurs Alex Mativo and Simon Mumo are profiled, the co-founders of an electronic waste lab dubbed, 'E-Lab' that is now boosting Kenya's war against electronic waste.

Mativo and Mumo collect electronic waste like old computers, mobile phones and fridges, and turn them into pieces of art - like earrings, necklaces, and shoes.

"I came across a huge problem, nuisance, in society where people were dumping electronic waste, which is not biodegradable. So I was able to use art as a platform to initiate the campaign, I was able to transform what was once hazardous into something really amazing, to showcase to the world that we have the solutions to all our problems," Mativo explains to 'African Start-Up.' It is the potential of creating art from discarded hardware that inspired Mativo and Mumo to create E-lab, and in so doing they not only contribute in helping Kenya manage its electronic waste but also earn their living.

"My market is basically the art fashion and the jua kali industry - from the fashion industry we've been able to generate good income which is brought back to the business and has enabled us to acquire premises and to buy the resources that we need to be able to grow the company," explains Mativo.

In addition to shoes and jewellery, E-lab makes furniture exclusively of metal and electronic waste, then sells it to local businesses.

Don't miss this Kenyan success story on 'African Start-Up', Wednesday 11 June in 'Connect the World' at 1800 Kenyan time on CNN International.

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