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Innovative ideas for cities in Africa

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Published on: 21 December 2020 | Changed on: 22 December 2020
Royal HaskoningDHV, Stiphout Industries B.V. and Studio Stroomer are developing innovative ideas for a circular economy in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. The 3 businesses submitted plans for turning waste into construction materials and collecting textiles for re-use and recycling. The businesses will get up to €200,000 to develop their ideas with local partners during the next 2 years.

Circular innovations

Royal HaskoningDHV: Turning waste into construction materials by Ghanaian local business

Aluminium or iron salts are often used during the treatment process for drinking water. Sludge is a by-product of this process that negatively affects the environment, public and economy. In Weija, Ghana, these issues affect the urban area.
In the construction industry, there is a high demand for fair raw materials. In Europe, innovative technologies are being developed to turn sludge into construction materials. With this project, Royal HaskoningDHV applies this technology to the Ghanaian situation. This will help 2 construction companies that want to use local materials in their products.

Stiphout Industries B.V.: From waste to raw materials

Stiphout Industries, together with Senegal Recyclage Plastique (SARL), wants to collect all types of plastic waste and process it. Once processed, waste can turn into useful products. For example, locally made watering hoses and building blocks. The goal is to clean up the environment in Senegal without using extra energy.

Studio Stroomer: Textile collection for re-use and recycling in Lagos, Nigeria  

Worldwide, around 60 billion kilos of textiles and footwear is burnt or sent to landfill every year. Many countries, including Nigeria, want to move towards local production. Yet, their markets are flooded by new and second-hand clothing from Western countries. The project ‘Africa Collects Textile Nigeria’ aims to introduce a new model for:
  • Collecting and distributing used clothing in Nigeria. This will provide low-income communities with proper but fair clothes.
  • A  circular fashion industry. Large numbers of sorted materials will be prepared for upcycling and recycling.

Want to know more about SBIR?

The Dutch government uses the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) in Developing Markets programme to challenge entrepreneurs to solve societal problems with innovative products and services together with local partners in Africa. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency carries out SBIR on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Projects in this programme are selected based on the following criteria:
  • impact on the theme;
  • innovation;
  • quality of the project; and
  • economic perspective.
Also taken into consideration are:
  • collaboration with local partners;
  • the gender approach; and
  • the involvement of women.