A 2019 alumna of the U.S. Consulate’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, Jumoke Olowookere, has opened a first of its kind waste museum and upcycling training centre in Ibadan with support from the United States Africa Development Foundation.
The Waste Museum will provide environmental education and equip women and youth from underserved communities with up-cycling skills.
At the opening ceremony of the museum at Old Oyo road, Moniya, Ibadan, Olowookere highlighted the importance of finding creative and productive ways to create employment by turning waste into valuable products.
She explained that her overall objective of establishing the Waste Museum is to protect the environment from degradation and support the expansion of sustainable up-cycling businesses in Nigeria.
“Environmental risk factors of indiscriminate disposal of waste and the rising pile of garbage in our cities are huge. With the Waste Museum, we are showcasing the value of waste,” Olowookere said.
“We want people to see how waste can be turned into wealth. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that no waste goes into the landfill –– a zero waste future is possible.”
In a remark, U.S. Consulate Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Jennifer Foltz applauded Olowookere for raising awareness among the youth and encouraging community members to take the lead and be part of the solution to preserving the environment.
She noted that the U.S. government would continue to support efforts aimed at encouraging increased and improved up-cycling and recycling in Nigeria.
“Today, we are celebrating the opening of the Waste Museum as it creatively and sustainably addresses two societal challenges —unemployment and waste management.” Foltz said.
“The U.S. Consulate is particularly inspired by the work of our AWE alumna, Jumoke Olowookere. The opening of the Waste Museum further demonstrates the impact U.S. government exchange alumni are making to address challenges in their local communities across Nigeria.”
U.S. government-sponsored exchange programme alumni living in Nigeria have a number of opportunities to be involved in post-exchange activities, and receive access to specialized resources including grant opportunities.
The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is a U.S. government initiative that supports women entrepreneurs around the world.
Designed to cultivate entrepreneurial know-how, AWE helps women entrepreneurs connect with funding opportunities, enhance opportunities for business expansion, and increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial success.