Juvéline Ngum Ngwa, a young Cameroonian woman, won first prize in the "economic development" category at the 3rd edition of the Youth Connect Africa Summit, held in Kigali from October 9 to 11, 2019. The winner was received on Friday, October 18, 2019, by Cameroon's Minister of Youth and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou, during a ceremony held in her honour in Yaoundé the capital.
Juveline Ngum Ngwa returned from the 2019 edition of Youth Connect Africa with $5,000. The young Cameroonian woman was rewarded for her work in preserving the environment. In recent years, she has set up a company, Bleaglee, specialising in the recycling of metal waste. Juvéline Ngum Ngwa won the 1st prize in the “economic development” category. ”In September 2019, Juveline received a similar award at the 6th edition of the Rebranding Africa forum.
From metal waste to improved fireplaces
Bleaglee, the company managed by Juvéline, uses metal waste as its raw material. The young winner explains the manufacturing process of the ovens she puts on the market in these terms. “We manufacture durable baking ovens from metal waste and scrap. In addition, thanks to a biomass digester that uses solar energy, we recycle biomass waste into fuel for cooking.” It is an initiative that helps in the fight against deforestation (since it is an alternative to charcoal) and, in a global way, against greenhouse gas emissions. In its strategy to contribute to the protection of vulnerable population groups in its area, the 30-year-old trains and employs young people (especially girls) in the production and sale of baking ovens. Eco-friendly ovens, according to the winner: “Our clean baking ovens emit 70% less smoke than traditional ovens and can be easily transformed, reducing indoor pollution.”
In Cameroon, metal and biomass waste accounts for about 50% of the country’s annual waste production. The waste often remains in landfills, and poses a real threat to the environment. They are also not without risk to the health of populations.
The Youth Connect Africa Summit initiative was launched in 2012 by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The programme offers young Africans discussions on topics such as access to employment, skills development, entrepreneurship, access to finance, etc. The event is supported by the United Nations Development Programme.