Dangote launches a circular economy programme

.Trains traders on financial literacy

Dangote Cement has launched a circular economy programme, called “DangCircular”, aimed to promote recycling and reuse of scarce resources in society to reduce landfilling and create wealth as a contribution to environmental sustainability.

DangCircular was rolled out during this year’s Dangote Sustainability Week, targeting students of Nigerian higher institutions. The company partnered with the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and the UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO-UNEVOC) in a competition tagged: ‘Yaba Green Challenge’.

Dangote employee volunteers and executives witnessed the presentation of 10 sustainability innovations the students created from waste after a screening of over 30 entries.

Among the panel of judges were the academic staff of Yabatech, officials, and UNESCO UNEVOC, as well Dangote Cement Technical Director, Duraisamy Anandam, and General Manager Regional Sales, Johnson Olaniyi.

The judges engaged finalists on their projects, which included mixed media painting from sawdust; fungal growth medium from industrial wheat waste; medicinal mushrooms from sawdust and water hyacinth. Others were mycelia blocks from spent mushroom substrate; wearable art from the aluminium beverage can pull tab wastes, and sculpture from metal scraps.

The students also made paving interlocking blocks with plastics, hollow sand Crete blocks from plastics, a mixed media painting made with waste plastics and paper, as well as animal feed produced from water hyacinth.

At the finale of the Yaba Green Challenge competition which had over 300 staff and students, the Rector of the College, Obafemi Omokungbe, endorsed the initiative, describing the partnership between Yabatech and Dangote as a very strategic and exciting one.

He said: “Talks are on-going to obtain patent rights for the innovations showcased at the event to share with the private sector for adoption.”

The General Manager, Sustainability, Dangote Group, Dr. Igazeuma Okoroba, expressed satisfaction at the exhibition. “The goal of DangCircular is to spur Nigeria’s transition to a circular economy and support wealth creation through waste,” she said.

 She also encouraged the institution to carry out cutting-edge research for the economic growth of society.

Winner of the grand prize of the competition was Ms. Comfort Ajide of the Fashion Design Department, whose project was Wearable art from an aluminium beverage can pull-tab waste, expressed her gratitude to Dangote Cement and pledged to continue finding ways to integrate waste recycling in her designs.

Talks are on-going to obtain patent rights for the innovations showcased at the event to share with the private sector for adoption.

Financial literacy

Also, Dangote implemented “The Obalende Smart Money Campaign”, a financial literacy awareness campaign, to help over 300 traders of the Obada Obalende market to gain insight into managing money and limited resources sustainably.

The initiative was part of activities to mark Sustainability Week in Nigeria and Pan Africa.

Speaking on the financial literacy campaign, the Lead, Health, and Safety, James Adenuga, said the theme of the yearly programme: ‘People, Planet and Profit – The Dangote Way’ is driven by employee volunteers.

He explained to the traders the meaning of sustainable development and why it was a topic of concern for traders.

Okoroba said: “While seeking for their daily bread, it is important that traders ensure that the needs of the present and future generations are not threatened by poor treatment of land, water, and natural resources available to us.”

Diversity and inclusion were other aspects Dangote Cement sought to impact the society during the Sustainability Week, as its volunteers engaged in a charity outreach targeting the Down syndrome community and the visually impaired, to commemorate White Cane Safety day, an annual event celebrated worldwide every 15th of October.

The Dangote volunteers visited the Women and Children with Disability Initiative (WCWDI) home for the visually impaired children to interact with them, and made donations of food items, beverages, and specialized educational materials for the blind including white canes, slates, and marabous.

In another outreach, the volunteers visited the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN) located at Iju Fagba, Lagos, where persons with Down syndrome were trained in life skills. The National President of the Downs syndrome Association, Mrs. Rose Mordi, noted that ‘Down syndrome is not a disease but a condition which can happen to anyone.”

She said the theme of Down Syndrome Awareness Month was “Nothing About Us Without Us”, while acknowledging Dangote’s support and urged other private sectors to follow.

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