The Brighton University UK, has invited Makafui Awuku through a Peer Exchange Program by Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) to understudy as well as share his story that will influence the future research on waste management and plastic value chain to postgraduate students in Sustainable Designs at Brighton University, UK.
Makafui Awuku is the founder of Mckingtorch Africa, a social enterprise that uses plastic waste for arts & products and does advocacy on plastic pollution. The venture also partners other organizations on beach and community cleanup programs.
Mckingtorch Africa recycles, up-cycles, advocates for environmental sanitation and plastic pollution, community and beach cleanups, mentoring and training for youth on creating solutions from waste, plastic waste arts exhibitions and sales of products and arts from plastic waste.
Speaking to a group of PHD students in Sustainable designs at the University of Brighton, Makafui reckoned how the idea came about and the work his team has done in the last two years.
“Our motive is to change the narrative, looking at the situation we find ourselves in, in Africa thus we work to create more sustainable communities and cities in Africa”. Makafui said to the students.
The YALI alumnus from Cohort 3 Nigeria, further explained to his student peers how plastic has become one of the biggest waste resource in Ghana and through his team’s effort, has helped open avenues for employment. Speaking to the students and demonstrating some of the art works, he said; “we are not just making life easy but also curbing plastic pollution”.
Sample of his designs were on display to the admiration of the student peers who commended him for his effort towards climate, sanitation as well as environmental conditions.
Makafui’s strides are gradually gaining massive recognition. His work was selected to be part of an exhibition to be viewed by Prince Charles of Wales in 2018 during his royal visit to Ghana. Again, his arts, got published on the BBC, Forbes Africa, and Brussels Airlines brochure.
The young “socialpreneur” has been acknowledged for his passion and the ability to undo one of Ghana and Africa’s challenges, which is plastic waste. He is been recognized as the 27th most influential person in Ghana in 2018 in addition to being, 3rd most influential Person in Social Enterprise in the same year.
Makafui’s ideas are not only protecting the environment but creating job avenues for the teeming unemployed youth in Ghana. To that effect, was engaged by the board of directors of the MasterCard Foundation to discuss the “Africa Works Project” that would create approximately 3 million jobs for Ghanaian youth in the next 10 years by investing 200 million dollars in Ghana.
The Mckingtorch Africa’s partnership with Brighton University UK; will lead to the building of learning labs in Ghana for foundations and artist using plastic waste for arts in the near future.
Mckingtorch Africa makes sandals, rubbish bins, flower pots, wall artworks, laundry baskets, bracelets and other products from plastic waste and has exported some of its products.