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Q&A: Taiwo Adewole Pushes Africa’s Green Movement Forward

Q&A: Taiwo Adewole Pushes Africa’s Green Movement Forward

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole, 35, is considered to be the architect behind a movement which protects the ecological wealth of Nigeria.

The CEO of Lagos, Nigeria-based environmental consultancy Taiwo Adewole and Associates, Adewole  was one of the 115 young African leaders who met with President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010. He founded the company in 2008 after completing a master’s degree in environmental resources management at Lagos State University.

He has written papers and abstracts for international conferences on the environment and waste management. Adewole was the only African presenter at the first Bahrain Zero Waste Conference in 2011, where he spoke on sustainable waste management in emerging mega cities such as Lagos.

 AFKInsider recently caught up with Adewole to learn more about the environment and the challenges of Africa’s green movement.

AFKInsider: Why is it important to protect the ecological wealth of Nigeria?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: It is very important in the sense that the whole world is talking about climate change and environmental sustainability. It is the developing nations that suffer most. It is better we preserve our forests and environment [which helps us move] towards sustainable development for the unborn to meet a cleaner and neater environment.

AFKInsider: What first interested you in the field?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: What really interested me in the field is protecting the environment and fixing nature in a sustainable way. Also the act of recycling; we need to start working towards zero waste — sustainable production and sustainable consumption.


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AFKInsider: Has it been easy for Taiwo Adewole and Associates get business?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: It has not been easy getting business because most organizations have yet to adopt the act of “greening” into their business activities. (The exceptions are) the government agencies that are in charge of managing the environment, ministries and authorities in charge of environmental issues.

AFKInsider: What are the economic pluses for protecting the environment?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: There are lots of pluses for protecting the environment. Most people are now embracing renewable energy products which saves money, is cleaner and does not cause any harm to the environment. The market for renewable and clean technology is very lucrative here in Nigeria.

AFKInsider:  Has it been hard to get others on board to protect the environment?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: It is hard at times to convince people about environmental sustainability because when you ask people in the rural area not to fell trees for cooking, the question they will ask you is, “What alternative do you have for us?”

When you ask people to stop burning fossil fuel (for) electricity, they ask you the same question, “What alternative do you have for us,” and where the alternative is available, “How affordable is it?”

AFKInsider: Are you looking to partner with businesses worldwide?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: Yes, we are looking forward to serious-minded business partners from the U.S., especially in the areas of training, capacity building, and technology transfer.

AFKInsider: Do you feel Africa is going through a green movement?

Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole: Gradually we are going through a green movement, especially countries like Kenya, which is doing great with solar and driving it down to Nigeria. Lagos State, for instance, has done a lot as a government and we also have some corporate bodies in Nigeria.