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Gulu Face Shield Innovator Scoops Danida Alumni Prize

The 30-year-old Entrepreneur was nominated for the prize for his quick, highly innovative and sustainable response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Peter Okwoko with a sample of recycled plastic face shield at his workshop in Gulu City.
Peter Okwoko, the co-founder of Takataka Plastics, a social enterprise aimed at fighting waste pollution by recycling plastic waste has won the Danida Alumni Prize 2020 in Denmark.

The 30-year-old Entrepreneur was nominated for the prize for his quick, highly innovative and sustainable response to the covid-19 pandemic. 

In March, Okwoko and his business partner Paige Balcom initiated the production of medical face shields using melted polyethene terephthalate [PET] bottle plastic wastes in Gulu City. At the time of their innovation, the country was in shortage of personal protective gear for medical workers in health facilities.

Together, the innovators have been able to produce and distribute 10,000 face shields to various health facilities in over 25 districts across the country, saving the burden of the shortage of protective gears amidst the fight against covid-19.

He told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that he was honoured to have been nominated for the prize and is among three other distinguished individuals who received the prize earlier.

“This prize sends a message to a young and social entrepreneur across the country that no matter how small their initiative is they have to keep working harder.

Okwoko says the prize is a motivation for the young people, he is working with at Takataka plastics and continues with the work they are doing in the waste management.

Okwoko earned a masters in Innovative Communication Technologies and Entrepreneurship at Aalborg University funded by Danida in Denmark in 2017.

The Danida Alumni Prize is awarded annually to Danida alumni who, based on his or her Danida funded studies have contributed to positive change in their home country or area of employment.

Okwoko becomes the fourth recipient of the Danida Alumni Prize since its inauguration in 2017.

Other recipients of the prize in the past are World Health Organisation- WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who was the first alumni to receive the prize in 2017, Dr Cheikh Mbow, Executive Director of the Washington based organization START International in 2018.

The other is Associate Professor Dr Phan Thi Van, Director of the Research Institute for Aquaculture in Vietnam who received the prize in 2019.

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