By Wallace Mawire
A Zambian entrepreneur,Mwila Lwando, has won through to the final stages of an Africa-wide sustainability challenge, after presenting his idea for a bio-waste energy solution.
Earlier this year, Zambian Breweries’ parent company, AB InBev, launched a pan-African sustainability challenge. It called on entrepreneurs to present sustainable solutions to problems faced in several areas, including smart agriculture, water stewardship, climate action, circular packaging and entrepreneurship itself.
The challenge was open to eleven countries including Zambia. Just 25 participants were selected for the next round, one of whom was Mwila Lwando, a 33-year-old Lusaka-based businessman.Mr Lwando, a chartered accountant with project and strategy management skills, will now join the other entrepreneurs in South Africa from August 20-22. During this period, the candidates will undergo a sustainability challenge boot camp, where they will attend master classes, receive mentoring from sustainability experts, and pitch their ideas to selected panels.
“I’m looking forward to the boot camp; I’m especially looking forward to understanding the critical challenges AB InBev faces, and to see how our solutions could solve those problems,” said Mr Lwando, who holds an MSc in Strategic Management from Edinburgh School of Business.
The top 15 solutions from the boot camp will then be selected to visit Silicon Savannah in Kenya for a five-day exposure experience.And Mr Lwando is cautiously confident about his prospects of making it to the next round.
“I think I have a good chance. Ultimately, I just want to do my part to improve the environment and people’s lives. This is a great opportunity to do that, and I would like to go all the way,” says the entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur has always been passionate about finding sustainable solutions to human problems and improving their lives. The AB InBev sustainability challenge is offering Mr Lwando and other creative thinkers the chance to not only see their ideas come to life, but also to potentially see their implementation on a large scale.
Mr Lwando’s solution to the sustainability challenge addresses two key issues: water stewardship and climate action.His solution proposes setting up of a water treatment plant that generates energy from bio-waste. The plant would recycle water used to produce alcoholic drinks. The water would produce biogas used for heating. Other waste from the process would make fertiliser.Mr Lwando’s solution will reduce fresh water used in alcohol production and replace coal with biogas helping to save the environment.
He is already involved in a real-life sustainable business. He owns a start-up company called Live Clean Energy that develops and operates public toilet and shower facilities that are clean, hygienic and affordable for people living in the peri-urban areas of Zambia.He formed Live Clean Energy after noticing market traders did not have adequate sanitation facilities, so created a fee-paying toilet and shower system that optimizes water use and recycles it, as well as reducing the incidence of water -borne disease and cholera outbreaks