Youth Innovation: Bulawayo youth makes solar roofing tiles

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Youth Innovation: Bulawayo youth makes solar roofing tiles Msindazwe Ndlovu

The Sunday News

Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

THE call for creating a culture of entrepreneurship among the youth is gaining traction, with those from Bulawayo and other areas venturing into businesses that are critical in promoting economic development through innovation and aiding in the achievement of the country’s economic Vision 2030. 

Msindazwe Ndlovu (34), an entrepreneur in the recycling sector in Bulawayo, is one of the first people in Zimbabwe  to prototype solar roofing tiles and also manufacture counter-tops from scrap plastic and glass that are salvaged from the city’s waste collection sites and landfills.

His business, The Noble Savage, has grown from strength to strength and he is grateful to the Second Republic and its youth empowerment drive as he has had access to loans and other financial products that have seen progress in his business.

His vision is to be the leading manufacturer of low-cost building materials that incorporate high technology to help Africa accelerate to clean renewable energy innovatively.

The solar tiles manufactured by Msindazwe are used to power households and are a cheaper, lighter, and an eco-friendly option than the conventional roof tiles. His counter-tops are also affordable and durable. 

He said Zimbabwe produces 1.7 million tonnes of waste annually and has a housing shortage of 2.3 million. 

His innovation will assist not only in cleaning up the city of waste but also contributing to providing affordable materials for housing.

 He is also a winner of the Old Mutual Value Creation Challenge where young budding entrepreneurs pitch ideas and are supported by the organisation to realise their aspirations.

President Mnangagwa, on the occasion to mark the National Youth Day last week, donated ten tractors to vocational training centres across the country as a declaration and gesture of his sincerity in aiding youth development initiatives.

He also encouraged the youth to desist from tribalism, regionalism and hate as they only lead to divisions within a people and limited development.

Youth Invest, a  trust based in Victoria Falls working to promote the youth’s sustainable social and economic development through synergy effort and capacity building focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and civic engagement also highlighted the need to continue empowering youth initiatives. 

Information and Advocacy Officer Nokuthula Khumalo, said the youth play a significant role in economic development and must be nurtured to be reputable entrepreneurs.

President Mnangagwa

“As we celebrate National Youth Day, we would like to call on all relevant sectors to reflect on the crucial role that youths play in driving the nation towards inclusive development

 It is time for the nation to move beyond simply mentioning the youth when issues are limited to vocational training centres, business opportunities, and youth empowerment without action,” said Ms Khumalo.

She said while the youths desire to be entrepreneurs, some are met with financial challenges that hinder them from fulfilling their dreams.

“Providing support for youth entrepreneurs with access to finance, business incubators, and coaching can help them build successful enterprises and create jobs for themselves and others. 

This would allow the youth to practically contribute to Zimbabwe’s upper-middle income economy by actively participating in the mining, tourism, and agriculture sectors.

 If Vision 2030 is to become a reality, the intellectual resources and creativity of the youth must be recognised and utilised,” said Ms Khumalo.

President Mnangagwa last week challenged the youth during National Youth Day celebrations, to take a leading role in developing the country saying sanctions imposed on the country by the West should not deter them in realising a prosperous future. @NyembeziMu

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