Ghislain Irakoze connects consumers, manufacturers, and recyclers in Rwanda

By : Melchior Koba

Date : mardi, 28 novembre 2023 15:15

Climate change is one of the main issues currently facing the globe. In Rwanda, Ghislain Irakoze is actively engaged in contributing to the fight against that problem by spearheading the collection and recycling of electronic waste.

Ghislain Irakoze (photo) is a Rwandan entrepreneur, activist, and sustainability researcher. As the co-founder and CEO of Wastezon, a green technology company specializing in machine learning-based material tracking solutions, he is dedicated to fostering innovation in support of material circularity.

Ghislain Irakoze, born in Rwanda, has been passionate about waste management since he was a child. After he almost lost his friend in a landslide caused by waste, he decided to do something to help. In 2018, he founded Wastezon with Jacqueline Mukarukundo.

The company developed a namesake digital app that connects consumers, manufacturers, and recyclers to process electronic waste and other materials. Wastezon uses machine learning to identify materials, track them through the supply chain, and facilitate recycling. This helps to create value from waste and reduce environmental impact. 

To date, over 500 tons of electronic waste have been exchanged on the app, which has helped to reduce carbon emissions by over 4,100 metric tons. Before launching Wastezon, Ghislain Irakoze and his team launched the “Recycle for the Environment” campaign supported by Samsung Engineering-Korea. They managed to transform over 20 tons of household plastics into useful products.

Ghislain Irakoze holds a bachelor’s degree in business and international commerce from The African Leadership University, which he earned in 2021. He began his professional career in 2018 as a manager of the Circular Economy Club in Kigali. In 2019, he became a researcher at the Youth Think Tank of the Mastercard Foundation. Two years later, in 2021, he joined Global Resilience Partnership as an innovation and scaling consultant. The following year, he became a World Wide Web Foundation Sustainable Access Fellow. 

For his impact on climate and sustainability, Ghislain Irakoze has received recognition and awards. He was a finalist in the Innovate4Climate pitch competition organized by the World Bank in 2019 and reached the finals of the Young Champion of the Earth award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2020. He is also a finalist for the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Awards.

Melchior Koba


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