Veolia and TheMakerSpace inaugurate the Baobab in Durban, a third place dedicated to circular economy

Inspired by the REcyclerie - a Parisian place dedicated to circular economy - Veolia is co-building in 2018 with the Empow'her association, the Oasis of Niamey, a third place dedicated to women's entrepreneurship, circular economy and eco-responsibilty. Today, the Baobab is inaugurated in Durban, South Africa, a third place co-created by the MakerSpace Foundation and Veolia with the support of its Foundation. 


Upcycle the future


A few months before the opening of its premises, the Baobab launched its website on Saturday 27 June. Its slogan "Upcyling the future" invites Internet users to form a community to develop solutions to reduce waste in the environment and create green jobs. 

Faced with contemporary South African challenges (pollution, poverty, social exclusion, etc.), the Baobab proposes a model of circular economy that simultaneously protects the environment, promotes innovation and supports disadvantaged communities through skills development and economic empowerment.  



The project is structured around several programs: Innovative Waste Design with the recycling studio “Plasticpreneur” to train in plastic recyling techniques and design new products;  My Lil’Pumpkin to introduce children in schools to the principles of sustainability through concrete activities (workshops, animations and crafts); and Zero Waste, an awareness program around the 5Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair), waste prevention and ecodesign.


The Baobab, a hub of the green economy


The Durban premises will be open from December 2020. A café, spaces dedicated to events and urban agriculture and a space for practical workshops will be accessible to all citizens. Programmes will be offered to unemployed young people, schoolchildren from disadvantaged communities, environmentally conscious consumers and small businesses.  

This project represents an opportunity to create a networking space around the green economy, bringing together citizens, young and old, NGOs, SMCTS, start-ups, local government and big business to build a more sustainable future. 

The Baobab project has been designed from a perspective of inclusion, collaboration and equity. From the general public to the business world, all stakeholders are invited to participate in the process to make integrated societal development possible. 

The Baobab's objectives for 2023

  • Launch 3 more precious plastics recycling workshops
  • Contribute to the empowerment of 30 entrepreneurs
  • Train 300 women and unemployed youth in recycling technologies
  • Converting 30,000 kg of waste into useful products
  • Reaching 30,000 visitors and participants within the programs