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Award motivates Zambian youth to form tech firm

(By Lenganji Sikapizye)

HIS drive to offer a solution to the energy crisis that the world is facing is what inspired Arnold Nyendwa to come up with an innovation called the Juvin Stainless Steel Cooking unit.

A cooking unit whose names he coined after his parents Justina and Vincent (Juvin) is able to perform seven functions namely: cooking, baking, frying, drying, roasting and warming, using less fuel such as charcoal.

The Juvin Unit provides clean, cooking energy by minimising the amount of firewood and charcoal used for cooking and creates employment through local production using local materials.

Born 22 years ago, the third year development studies student at Mulungushi University wants to be part of the elite young tech entreprenuers in Africa.

“The turning point for this innovation was in 2015 at a time when the country was undergoing massive load-shedding and I thought I could come up with an innovation that will not use electricity but be able to assist women to cook without inhaling the fumes as well which are a health hazard,” he said.

Nyendwa said he was further inspired to come up with this innovation because most people in low income countries still cook using solid fuels such as firewood, charcoal, dung cakes, and crop residue which created impacts such as forest depletion, the amount of time spent collecting fuels and smoke from burning solid fuels affecting health and air contamination.

Nyendwa said it was his persistence to have the project work that in 2016 he was given a chance to exhibit at the Agricultural and Commercial show where his project caught the attention of the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (SASSDA), one of the most active stainless steel industry associations in the world and has, since 1964, been involved in increasing awareness and use of stainless steel in Southern Africa.

“During the exhibition at the agriculture show, I was visiting some stands that is how I found Sassda who expressed interest in my project and then the Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa then introduced me to the Zambian Republican President who congratulated me on my project and the positive prospects that it was making,” he said.

Nyendwa said he was then invited to enter in the 2018 Sassda Columbus Stainless Award in South Africa where he emerged runner-up.

Because of his passion for spearheading positive change in the community, Nyendwa was also invited as an international speaker to represent Zambia at the World Youth Conference in India in 2016 and also to attend the first African Youth Summit in Accra, Ghana in 2017.

Asked what he hopes to achieve through his innovation, Nyendwa said; ”I want to start producing commercially and create linkages that will help my invention to grow not just in our country but globally.”

Nyendwa advises his fellow youths to be persistent in pursuing their dreams.

“Persistence, honesty, trust, respect and time management are important in achieving your dreams,” he said.

He called on the private sector to support local innovations.

“We need to build entreprenuers in science because science, technology and innovation is creating newer jobs and opportunities for young people,” said Nyendwa.

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