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    Date submitted
  • 03-Sep-2017



We are a social enterprise based in Cotonou-Benin with a vision to transform the way Africans and the world have access to clean fuels. Our business is to convert ubiquitous urban waste into burning fuels. Our products are very impactful because they protect the environment, clean the city, protect our forests, reduce indoor air pollution and empower our women.

Macoal is an innovative, award-winning start-up that turns out to be Africa's contribution to reducing global warming and a cleaner society. In the quest for the world to find answers to how he manages climate change, this founder has just solved the puzzle from an African point of view. Many households continue to rely heavily on charcoal cut to meet their energy needs, transforming biodegradable waste into smokeless, odorless and environmentally friendly fuel for cooking and other heat requirements.

Have you thought about how smoke inhaled when cooking with charcoal affects the human system causing respiratory illness? Surprisingly, while producing clean energy, Macoal effectively disposes of waste in our communities. Even at its early stage, Macoal is getting a significant recognition that should propel it to the next phase of growth.

Enter the refreshing world of energy behind this rapidly growing company, a humble and futuristic young man in Benin as he discusses his business and his business.

Can you tell Africa that you are? Divine Arnaud Kouebatouka is the founder of Macoal, a green energy from waste. with a diploma in polytechnic engineering (Industrial Systems and Renewable Energy) in Integrated Community Development Studies. And also candidate for an MBA from the Catholic University of Milan (Altis E4impact).


Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

According to the Benin Energy Commission's survey, more than 75% of Beninese count or use coal as their main source of cooking energy. We believe that this number could be much higher than the price increase of the aircraft and the prices of electricity have pushed many people to return to charcoal use. At Macoal, we take the ordinary Benin, which makes our customers every day, especially the people of the countryside who sometimes have to rely on firewood. we made EcoPelaaffordable to meet every customer's pocket. Our main customers are the average Benin households who work with coal or firewood. The idea is to make Macoal a household product that everyone can afford. We are developing a website a website for orders. We are looking to integrate mobile money platforms so customers can order. Our site will soon receive Visa, Master Card and other cards to facilitate online sales. We offer free deliveries to Cotonou-Benin, we also target hotels, restaurants and nightclubs (Shisha coal), but individual households are our main focus. We believe that accessibility and training with direct marketing education will make our identity successful. We have already had a lot of interest in our identity, even before we succeed in the market. In fact, about 80 percent of households in our continent depend on wood and coal as their primary source of energy. Due to its desirable qualities, Africans use more than 23 million tons of coal each year, making it a multi-millionaire industry.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Our idea solves the annual rate of deforestation in Benin and parts of Africa. We are clearing our cities of waste, creating jobs, saving lives from inhaling dangerous fumes against unhealthy food fuels and creating jobs for young people. Deforestation and loss of vegetation: According to the Benin Forestry Commission, only 1.6 million hectares remain of the original forest cover of Benin at the beginning of the 20th century. The rate of deforestation is 2% resulting in an annual loss of 135 000 hectares. 91% of all cut trees are used for firewood or coal, which proves that access to energy is a major challenge in the country. In addition to deforestation, charcoal also contributes to indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is the world's deadliest environmental problem today, killing over 4 million people a year, more than deaths from HIV / AIDS and malaria combined. Our solution is to create cleaner and more efficient charcoal briquettes using biomass waste from the production of coconut oil, including coconut palm leaves, shells and straw. Poor waste management: EcoPela contributes to the construction of a cleaner society by producing coal briquettes from environmental waste. Cotonou generates about 2,000 tons of solid waste per day, of which only 500 tons are collected. Most of this waste is found in beaches and gutters and is the main cause of flooding and disease. Health hazards from smoke from firewood and ordinary coal: these fuels produce dangerous fumes that kill millions of people, while coconut coal produces little or no smoke and is environmentally friendly, environment. WHO reports more than 4 million smoke-related deaths - 13,000 in Benin. Access to energy: over 75% of the population of Benin depends on coal or fuelwood as the main source of primary energy. At present, 99% of the 400,000 households in Benin use wood and charcoal to meet their cooking energy needs. This practice contributes to deforestation and the destruction of natural wildlife habitat. While Congo's average deforestation rate is relatively low at 5% per year, there are some regions in the country where natural forests are depleted at much faster rates - from 13% in Mayombe to 26% in the North and south. This implies that if current trends continue, natural forests in these areas could be totally depleted within 30-60 years. Impact lives, save our world The World Health Organization estimates that over 4 million people die annually from indoor air pollution, so that Macoal burns perfectly with very little or no smoke. Benin has lost one third of its forests to coal and firewood. The Forestry Commission estimates that more than 91% of all trees cut in Benin are used for firewood or charcoal. Benin Energy Commission statistics show that more than 75% of Beninese people rely on charcoal / firewood as their main source of fuel for cooking. Macoal commits community groups of women to selling its products because we think it will increase their income level.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Since 6 months, EcoPela has sought to lighten the Benin of waste, there are more than a thousand sellers of coconut in the large municipality of Cotonou, these sellers after their daily sales find it very difficult to eliminate their waste, this creates a huge problem for the city authorities, who already have difficulty managing household waste. Macoal offers a healthy and clean cooking solution for establishments such as schools, hotels, hospitals and bakeries. It is almost smoke-free, which reduces the health risks of cooks and students, patients or customers. A load of Macoal lasts up to 4 hours of baking, so it saves time for cooks. It is also easier to handle, since it is prepacked in 50 kg bags, so there is no torn time by cutting the trees. Macoal has helped some of our school clients reduce their heating costs by more than 40%! It has already been adopted by dozens of schools, bakeries and hotels in Benin. Our goal in this project is to ensure that all households in Benin have access to more sustainable, efficient and healthier coconut briquettes that burn longer, emit more energy and are affordabl.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

EcoPela is committed to respecting the environment in 3 different ways: 1kg of EcoPelal charcoal can replace 1.1kg of traditional charcoal, saving up to 6.6kg of wood from forests. As a result, Macoal's activities are helping to reduce the pressure on natural forests in Benin, a country with one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa, and where biodiversity sanctuaries are now threatened by encroachment by forests. Green House Gazes Emissions are reduced at each stage of the process: Raw Material Collection: All biomass collected for use in EcoPela Coal is derived from organic material (coconut shells and shells, rice processing waste, etc.) that would otherwise be found in local landfills ; this reduces the amount of methane emissions resulting from the decomposition of biomass in open landfills. along the production process: our energy-efficient carbonization technology that completely burns organic matter and reuses the heat generated. When using the final product: the low volatile content limits the emissions of harmful smoke and greenhouse gases.