Man Crush Monday (MCM): Jean Bosco Nzeyimana

by Duke Magazine

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana is a Rwandan entrepreneur. He is the the founder and CEO of Habona Ltd, a company that provides integrated waste management services and further processes the waste into affordable and environmentally friendly fuels such as biogas and biomass briquettes. 

Jean Bosco grew up from a side of the world that is poor, rural, and which could boast of very little by way of infrastructure or even the necessities. Housing was shabby, potable water was hard to find, and electricity was a luxury most of the locals would rather not think about, simply because it was more non-existent than it was inconsistent. Growing up in his village, Jean Bosco was no stranger to the abjectly low life that is peculiar to tiaras community. Most of the community was living in squalor, and the young boy was greatly perturbed by those living standards, or perhaps, the apparent lack of it. However, his inspiration to ameliorate this lingering poor living standard standard got ignited. 

Jean Bosco was concerned by the devastating deforestation and rubbish-laden landfills that dotted parts of Rwanda, and his village was seeing more than its fair share.

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana was only 19 when he began to initiate better ways to solve the problem, and he soon came upon a single solution to what seemed like a two-headed problem. If his idea was anything like a slingshot loaded with a single rock pellet, it was going to take out two birds in a single shot.

The then-teenager found a solution that involved turning waste into energy and the solution was unique in such a way that it was going to take care of two problems; deforestation and waste. His idea involved turning organic waste into clean-burning and efficient briquettes, as well as fertilizers for farmers. 

Being at the fore of several entrepreneurship competitions and participating in some tech events, Jean Bosco had begun to be on spotlight with his waste-to-energy idea. He was lodged in talks with potential partners from various parts of the globe including the U.K. and U.S.

With some financial support from African Entrepreneur Collective, Jean Bosco was able to set up a business called “Habona” which literally translates to “Illumination” following an agreement with his district’s authorities which allowed him to use a waste management facility for free. He established the company back in 2013 while he was still studying Business Administration at the University of Rwanda’s College of Business and Economics.

Jean Bosco’s startup collects and sorts garbage to make briquettes, biogas, and organic fertilizers for a customer base that cuts across hospitality, business, schools, and government agencies. 

Jean Bosco has seen his enterprise rise greatly since piloting his idea. In 2014, he was named Top Young Entrepreneur of Rwanda while also going on to claim the African Innovation Prize. 

He however, shared the stage with the likes of former U.S. President, Barack Obama, and Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, at the Global Innovation Summit which took place in California back in 2016, both of whom were enthused with the progress he has achieved his community.

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