LUSAKA, June 21 — It is said that innovation is the major driver of economic progress in the world.
It is for this reason that, Chiyanjano, a youth-led cooperative in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia has been involved in the production of products that lessen the cost of doing business.
The cooperative, which serves as an innovation hub for youths in Lusaka’s Kanyama township, focuses on encouraging youths to exploit their creative potential by coming up with products that respond to the needs of businesses.
The initiative, which was conceived by 24-year-old Joseph Nasilele has since its establishment in January this year attracted more than 15 youths into its entrepreneurial programs.
Nasilele observed that many businesses particularly start-ups, are not able to run successfully mainly because of the high cost of production, a situation that prompted him to come up with ideas that help address the challenge as well as offer income opportunities for youths.
“At Chiyanjano, we strive to make products that reduce the cost of doing business as well as enhance livelihoods. Our poultry incubators for instance cost about four times less than the usual arrangements,” he said.
He further explained that the incubators are made from old refrigerators. The youths also make charcoal blocks, which are used mainly as poultry heaters from charcoal dust.
The charcoal blocks, which last up to 10 hours, are not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly, Nasilele pointed out, adding that the said blocks are becoming popular among those undertaking poultry businesses.
“We decided to make use of charcoal dust that has been piling up for years at a charcoal selling point in our township to make charcoal blocks that are used as poultry heaters. Our blocks cost far less compared to other heating systems. They also do not emit harmful substances,” he said.
Nasilele further said that the cooperative also makes poultry feed and medicine, which are sold at affordable prices, adding that everything that the youths at Chiyanjano made has a ready market.
“Business is good particularly now that a lot of people are taking up poultry farming as a business,” he enthused.
Nasilele also mentioned that the cooperative remains open to youths with new ideas around science and technology, as they are key to economic transformation.