COTE D’IVOIRE: GreenTec invests in recycling specialist startup Coliba

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COTE D'IVOIRE: GreenTec invests in recycling specialist startup Coliba©Coliba

Ivorian start-up Coliba has received funding from GreenTec Capital Partners, a German investment company. Coliba will use these new funds to develop its plastic waste collection and processing business in Côte d'Ivoire.

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After Ecodudu in Kenya, it is Coliba’s turn to receive funds from GreenTec Capital Partners. The German investment company has just announced that it has invested in the start-up Coliba, a specialist in plastic waste management in Côte d’Ivoire. GreenTec Capital has not disclosed the exact amount or form of its investment in Coliba.

The German financial company justifies its initiative by the need for waste recovery in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as the organisation of the sector. “More than 5 million tons of waste are produced each year in Côte d’Ivoire, with less than half of the current waste being collected, and only about 3% is recycled. 94% of the players in the plastic waste economy operate in the informal sector, on the margins of the recycled plastics value chain,” explains GreenTec Capital.

Digital technology for plastics waste collection

In the city of Abidjan, the start-up Coliba is well known. The start-up has a mobile application and messaging system to facilitate waste collection. To report a pile of rubbish here or there, the user presses a button on the application. The user is then geolocated and the company sends one of its 50 pre-collectors for collection.

In exchange, the user receives bonus points that can be converted into telephone airtime, data for the Internet connection, vouchers, restaurant tickets, concert tickets or school kits “depending on the neighbourhood”. Coliba also works with several restaurants and hotels in the city of Abidjan where the company recovers waste.

Waste recovery

In the sorting centre installed by the start-up in Abidjan, women are the ones who select the plastic waste. The sorted waste is then transformed into reusable plastic granules. This material is sold to the “automotive, construction and textile industries” and many others.

According to the National Urban Health Agency (Anasur), the recycling market is very promising in Côte d’Ivoire. It is estimated at 120 billion CFA francs, or more than 180 million euros. According to the same source, this sector could employ more than 10,000 people. It is therefore not surprising that the start-up wants to expand its activities to all cities in Côte d’Ivoire. It also has ambitions to set up in other African countries such as Togo, Nigeria and Cameroon. According to GreenTec, to date Coliba has been generating revenue for more than a year, has created more than 50 jobs and has an impressive women’s employment rate of 77%.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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