Salubata Technologies, a Nigerian start-up that transforms plastic wastes into customised shoes, 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 of Salubata, received a prize of 10,000 dollars at the closing ceremony of the Forum.
The Youth Forum is one of the four that took place ahead of the main Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM.
According to the organisers, no fewer than 400 entries were received for the startup awards which are in four categories: green innovation, inter-trade, agricultural innovation and digital geeks.
Ms Adebowale’s entry was selected in the Green Innovation Guru Award category.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, the Salubata COO said her products impacted the Nigerian economy.
‘‘We wanted to do something that impacts on the everyday part of our lives. We’ve always seen plastic waste 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,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Rwanda, Aishatu Musa has congratulated the Nigerian youth delegation to CHOGM 2022 for representing the country well.
The High Commissioner, who hosted the delegates at the Chancery in Kigali, urged them to continue to portray Nigeria as a country of innovators and entrepreneurs.
“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,” Musa said.
She also expressed delight that the cream of young people who attended the youth forum on behalf of the country was 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, among others.
Following days of deliberations, the CYF presented a six-point action plan (The Youth Declaration) on youth development.
This year’s forum addressed thematic areas such as governance and the rule of law, technology, skills, innovation, sustainability, health, Covid-19 and trade.