FellowsKenyaEnergyCecil Chikezie
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In his third year of University, Cecil Chikezie found out that the Kenyan government issued a nationwide ban on charcoal. This heavily affected Cecil’s family as they were very reliant on the material for basic day-to-day use. Charcoal prices spiked and Cecil was inspired to search for more sustainable and cheaper fuel alternatives.

He discovered that fuel briquettes made from carbonized agricultural refuse were a feasible fuel alternative, but they were not easily accessible in the market. This was how his company Eco Makaa came about. Eco Makaa is an e-commerce company that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base. These briquettes are aggregated at one point and supplied by the company to clients who mainly order through the e-commerce website. Instead of the company owning any machines or premises for production, it brings together community members who already own these assets, ensuring a steady income by fostering community collaboration in the large and steady supply of quality briquettes to trusting clients.

The eco-friendly Eco Makaa briquettes are made out of carbonized agricultural waste, such as sugarcane bagasse, as well as discarded charcoal dust. Since their launch in April 2018, the company has sold 9 tonnes of eco-friendly briquettes through e-commerce, and, as a result, have saved about 75 trees that would have been cut down to produce charcoal.

Nairobi’s five-star hotels such as Sankara and Intercontinental Hotel are amongst some of their clientele.


2021 Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Recipient: Cecil Chikezie, MEng ’22 (BioE)



The Mastercard Foundation Scholarship supports future leaders in Africa. In this article, MEng student and scholarship recipient, Cecil Chikezie, speaks about what it means to be a MasterCard Foundation Scholar and his long term bio-engineering goals of supporting the financial stability and respiratory health of Kenyan communities.


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According to the African Development Bank Group, of Africa's nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed, another third are vulnerably employed and only one in six is in waged employment. While skills development and policymaking play a vital role in long term transformation efforts, youth entrepreneurship serves as a viable way to achieve tangible impact on a local, national and even continental scale.


Clean Fuel: Eco makaa set to replace charcoal

Standard Media


There are no festivities without food in any society, though as we celebrate we have to think of better and more efficient means of celebration, for instance, changing from carbon-emitting charcoal to something cleaner.

Briquettes fuel varsity student’s business dreams

Business Daily Africa


For 22-year-old Cecil Chikezie life as a university student cannot be a barrier to entrepreneurship and the creation of jobs for his fellow youth.

Cecil Chikezie on entrepreneurship, turning agricultural waste into sustainable energy

CNBC Africa


Cecil Chikezie figured out a way to turn agricultural waste into sustainable sources of energy by carbonating the waste and turning it into briquettes that can burn longer and with less carbon footprint than coal. CNBC Africa spoke to Cecil for more.

Anzisha Prize announces top 20 young African entrepreneurs of 2019 in running for $25k prize



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