Business

Meet the Zambian 31-year-old who has made a fortune from turning vegetable oil into fuel

GIVING BACK: Mutoba Ngoma

GIVING BACK: Mutoba Ngoma

AFTER STUDYING aeronautical engineering in the United Kingdom, Mutoba Ngoma, a 31 year-old Zambian entrepreneur returned home to seek his fortune in the renewable energy business.

He started Tapera Bio Industries Limited in 2009, a company that converts used vegetable oil into fuel, with a two-fold mission in mind: increase the country’s fuel supply sustainability and provide vocational training and stable job opportunities.

The company also processes vegetable oils into natural soaps, washing paste and organic shampoo.

At first it was very much a backyard business — with around 200 liters a month cleaned and processed. Today that figure has ballooned to 3,000 liters each month and generates about $15,000.

The astute technologist has also started designing his own oil processing machines, in turn, steadily building his client base.

“We’ve got one major client that takes the bulk of what we produce and then we’ve got about seven or eight small clients that come in for small quantities.”

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