Monica Umwari is a Rwandan female entrepreneur with a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and small business management from Makerere University, Uganda.
She has represented Rwanda at the Obama Foundation fellowship’s Africa chapter in South Africa and at the African Women Entrepreneurship Program and Peace through business fellowships.
Ms Umwari is the sole owner and managing director of Angaza, a Rwandan eco-brand. “Angaza” means “illuminate” in Swahili. The company aims to raise awareness of waste management in a non-conventional and non-rocket science manner. The brand is finding creative ways to reduce the waste from non-biodegradable materials in Kigali through upcycling, including using discarded advertising banners, jute rice bags and advertising material. Mostly the company repurposes old non-recyclable vinyl advertising banners (vinyl releases toxins when recycled) into beautifully handcrafted and unique personal accessories like wallets, tote bags, cross body bags and laptop bags, among other things.
By upcycling waste, she hopes to reduce pollution by managing waste, to reduce the depletion of natural resources, to educate people about the environment and to create more green job opportunities. She wants to build a brand that Rwandans can own and that can inspire them to do more with what is available to them.
Speaking at the following WCEF2019 sessions:
Monday 3 June at 14.30-16.00: The circular economy in Africa