A Nigerian start-up, Salubata Technologies, has emerged as one of the top four winners of Kigali Startup Festival 2022 at the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) in Kigali, Rwanda.
Yewande Adebowale, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Salubata, which transforms plastic wastes into customised shoes, received a prize of $10,000 at the closing ceremony of the Forum.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Youth Forum is one of the four that took place ahead of the main Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM).
No fewer than 400 entries were received for the startup award’s four categories: green innovation, inter-trade, agricultural innovation and digital geeks.
Adebowale’s entry was selected in the Green Innovation Guru Award category.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, the Salubata COO said: ‘‘We wanted to do something that impacts on everyday part of our lives. We’ve always seen plastic wastes around us and have always looked for ways to help the environment.
“We believe these customizable shoes from Salubata could help stamp out plastic wastes in its entirety.
“We believe we are making a very significant change, particularly from an environmental viewpoint, because the volume of plastic wastes in our environments keeps growing every year.”
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Rwanda, Aishatu Musa, who hosted the Nigerian youth delegates, congratulated them for representing the country well.
The High Commissioner said: “It is great to see young people from Nigeria doing great things. I must commend your efforts and contributions in trying to address some of the challenges facing the commonwealth countries.
“Nigeria is blessed with lots of talents and the youth are the country’s pride, so I urge you to be passionate about your dreams and aspirations and continue to push them to make the world a better place.”
She also expressed delight that the cream of young people who attended the youth forum on behalf of the country were drawn from academia, medical personnel, technology and scientific fields, youth-organisations representatives, amongst others.
On her part, Oluwakemi Areola, leader of the delegation and aide to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, thanked the High Commissioner for the warm reception for the delegates.
Areola described the High Commissioner as a real motivator to young Nigerians, urging her compatriots to learn from Musa’s experience.
She said the Nigerian delegates were among the over 350 youth leaders from the 54 countries of the Commonwealth that participated at the three-day meeting to network, exchange ideas, build skills, amongst others.
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