CAMEROON: Start up Pneupur transforms non-reusable tyres into eco-friendly flooring.

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CAMEROON: Start up Pneupur transforms non-reusable tyres into eco-friendly flooring©Piotr WytrazekShutterstock

Pneupur strives to minimise the environmental and health damages, caused by the inappropriate disposal of used tyres in African countries. Freshly established in Cameroon, the startup is rather well received, with initial orders valued at 50,000 euros in turnover.

The domain of nature conservation in Cameroon has recently introduced a new operator: Pneupur. Through an innovative process patented by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the young startup collects used non-reusable tyres, processes them according to local criteria to make them a secondary raw material, which is used to manufacture 100% ecological flooring. These coatings can be used to cover sports fields (basketball stadiums, athletics tracks), schoolyards, residential interiors and public spaces.

Specialising in the recycling and recovery of non-reusable used tyres, Pneupur aims at reducing the ecological and health risk associated with waste tyres in African countries, while creating jobs and wealth in a circular economy and combating climate change.

Housed since 2018 at the National Polytechnic College of Yaoundé, the startup plans to set up in 2020, a three-hectare plant in Bikok, a Cameroonian locality located in the Centre region. Aiming to create 41 direct and 150 indirect jobs over a three-year period, this industrial unit will start with a processing capacity of 70,000 used tyres, before increasing to 150,000 processed tyres by the end of the third year of operation. According to the promoters, this investment will cost about 500,000 euros, or 327 million CFA francs, made available by private operators and investment funds.

A mobile application for tyre collection coming soon

The startup Pneupur is the work of two young Cameroonians, the Belibi twin brothers. They are automobile enthusiasts and passionate about entrepreneurship, and have decided to put their passions at the service of the environment. Their work on tyre recycling has earned them several awards. From 2015 to 2017, they were winners of several awards such as Entrepreneur en Afrique (EEA) organised by Campus France, Bond’Innov of the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and Centrale de Paris. They also received financial support for the implementation of their project for the recycling and recovery of used non-reusable tyres, which helped them to co-found “Pneupur”.

The Belibi brothers, who are based in France and monitored since 2017 by the Bond’innov incubator, have therefore chosen to start production in their home country, Cameroon, from which they plan to expand their activities in Africa. Their installation soon paid off. In just a few months, four test projects were completed in private schools, a leisure centre and a group of guest houses in Yaoundé. In all, more than 2,000 m² of soil representing approximately 50,000 euros in turnover. “We have had the official support of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Mines and Industry in Cameroon, an important point to facilitate administrative procedures and the import of equipment related to the start of the activity,” explains Benjamin Bélibi.

For a better availability of their resource material, the twins are planning to launch a mobile application that will make it possible to geolocate used tyres, to map collection points and to interact with used tyre operators.

Boris Ngounou

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