These African women are creating a better Africa through green innovations

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the issues surrounding global warming and climate change, innovations surrounding eco-friendly and sustainable practices are becoming the order of the day. The whole world is doing its part to fix the damage that has been done. In their bid to create and heal, African women have also taken up the challenge to develop sustainable and innovative ways to improve their environment while generating wealth for the people in their companies.

Embracing our commitment to sustainability and celebrating women’s achievements, we’re excited to spotlight five remarkable women whose innovations in tech are crafting a brighter future. These pioneers are making strides and weaving magic, transforming our world through their passion and ingenuity. Join us in honouring their journey and the impactful change they continue to bring into our lives.

Nneile Nkholise, Thola Inc

Nneile Nkholise via LinkedIn

Nneile Nkholise founded Thola Inc. in 2021 to bridge the gap in trade access for African farmers through a B2B agricultural marketplace. Thola Inc. connects global companies with African farmers, offering climate-sustainable products that undergo forensic testing and verification. Nneile, originally from Lesotho but raised in South Africa, holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Central University of Technology and a Bachelor’s in Physics & Computer Science from the University of Witwatersrand. With expertise in design engineering, she has eight years of experience in the construction and biomedical sectors, co-founding iMed Tech, specialising in custom medical solutions, and 3DIMO, focusing on livestock data analytics automation.

Nneile’s achievements have been widely recognised, including being named Africa’s top female innovator by the World Economic Forum in 2016 and receiving the South African Youth of the Year award from the Office of the Presidency in 2017. In 2018, she was honoured in Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 list and recognised as one of the top 100 young Africans by the Africa Youth Council. She also received the Industrialist of the Year award in Southern Africa at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards. Additionally, Nneile was inducted as a fellow of the Harambe Entrepreneurship class 2018, a networking organisation supported by partners such as Cisco Systems and the Oppenheimer Generations Foundation.

Lorna Rutto, EcoPost Kenya

Lorna Rutto via Cartier Women’s Initiative

Lorna Rutto, a Kenyan eco-preneur, is the visionary founder of EcoPost, a social enterprise born out of the urgent need to address Kenya’s significant plastic waste challenge. Established in 2009, her company revolutionised waste management by collecting plastic waste and transforming it into environmentally-friendly fencing posts, providing a sustainable alternative to timber. These fencing posts, renowned for their durability and eco-friendliness, have become widely adopted across Kenya, contributing significantly to conservation efforts.

In 2011, the esteemed Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards honoured Lorna Rutto as the laureate for sub-Saharan Africa for her innovative solutions and impactful work. Through EcoPost, Lorna has tackled environmental issues and catalysed socio-economic development. Her initiative has created over 300 jobs, injected much-needed revenues into local economies, preserved over 250 acres of forests, and removed more than 1 million kilograms of plastic waste from the environment.

Lorna’s dedication and accomplishments have earned her widespread acclaim and numerous accolades nationally and internationally. Her unwavering commitment to sustainability and community empowerment serves as a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating the profound impact that innovative entrepreneurship can have on environmental conservation and social progress.

Sylvia Omina Otsieno, Omina Otsieno

Sylvia Omina Otsieno and model via Omina Otsieno on instagram

Sylvia Omina Otsieno, founder of Omina Otsieno fashion brand in Kenya, is known for her unique jewellery made from banana fibre. Growing up in Nairobi and Busia, Sylvia’s childhood in Busia sparked her passion for crafting, inspired by her family’s creative heritage. She established Omina Otsieno in 2018, initially focusing on clothing and yarn jewellery before shifting to banana fiber jewellery in 2021. Sylvia’s academic background in Community Development and Social Work and her internship at the World Youth Alliance reflect her commitment to social impact. Her innovative jewellery training initiative aimed to empower marginalised youth and alleviate poverty in informal settlements. Today, Omina Otsieno has created jobs for 17 locals, showcasing Sylvia’s dedication to artistic innovation and community development.

Francine Munyaneza, Munyanex Eco

Francine Munyaneza via Kigali Today

Francine Munyaneza, with a master’s degree in business administration and 15 years of globe-trotting experience, founded Munyax Eco in 2013, an impact-focused solar energy company based in Rwanda. Munyax Eco aims to provide clean and affordable energy while prioritising participation by women and youth. The company has positively impacted nearly 1,000,000 beneficiaries, reduced carbon emissions by over 5,000 tons annually, and created 30 permanent and over 100 temporary jobs, focusing on empowering women. Munyax Eco operates in Rwanda, Burundi, and soon in the DRC, offering various solar systems and energy efficiency consultancy services to promote sustainable development in the region.

Jennifer Uchendu, Susty Vibes

Jennifer Uchendu via Instagram

 Jennifer Uchendu is a leader in youth sustainability activism through her organisation, Susty Vibes.  She champions eco-feminism and climate justice, using creative methods to make sustainability engaging for young Nigerians. Susty Vibes empowers young people to take action through workshops, events, and online campaigns while also addressing the mental health impacts of climate change through the Eco-Anxiety Africa Project.

While this list is not exhaustive of all the African women creating magic through tech and mindful innovations, it properly encapsulates their efforts to ensure growth and green practices in their communities. With so many more African women creating and improving the environment, the world is a better place with African women in it.


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