Green Social Enterprise from Ghana Wins UN Award

Recnowa Initiative, a unique social enterprise contributing to Ghana’s green economy, has been chosen for the 2011 UNEP SEED Initiative Award. The award recognizes exemplary social entrepreneurs who are helping meet the challenges of global sustainable development.

Recnowa Initiative was co-founded by Kwaku Kyei along with three young and enterprising Ghanaians. Kwaku received his education at the Valley View University, and has been employing his skills and knowledge to make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development in Ghana.

Recnowa Initiative is fighting against the widespread menace of plastic waste in Ghana. The enterprise up-cycles the waste into high fashion goods while generating new employment opportunities for unemployed artisans and street youth at the same time.

More than 500 applicants from 76 countries competed for this award, which eventually went to Kwaku’s social enterprise. His innovative approach to resolve local environmental problems has demonstrated a lot of promise.

SEED will give a package worth US$ 50,000 to support Kwaku’s enterprise, along with access to relevant expertise and technical assistance, and exposure at international conferences and through the associates and partners of SEED. Kwaku will receive the award at a high profile award ceremony to be held in South Africa in March, 2012 as a part of the SEED Green Economy Symposium.

Kwaku has also recently won the US President’s Volunteer Service Award for his exceptional contribution in the involving the youth of the United States in mobilizing global development assistance from the US to Africa.

The SEED Initiative, hosted at the UN Environment Program, is a global partnership for action on the Green Economy. The annual global SEED Awards, part of the SEED Initiative, give recognition to inspiring environmental and social entrepreneurs who are running grassroots business in development nations and helping meet the challenges of sustainable development.

Photo Credit: Ambrozjo