Alumni Webinar: Takataka Plastics – solving a health care challenge in Uganda using recycled plastic

Takataka Plastics staff
Employees at Takataka Plastics. Photo: Peter Okwoko

As a new initiative, Danida Alumni Network is inviting Danida alumni change makers to facilitate online forums for fellow alumni and their Danish partners. The forum topics address one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals. We will start with Peter Okwoko and his colleague Paige Balcom who make face shields from recycled plastic bottles in Gulu, Uganda.

By the DAN team

Danida Fellowship Centre believes in the power of cross-sector collaboration and knowledge sharing. We always encourage our fellows and partners to share experiences and expertise across industries and disciplines and that is why we have initiated online forums for alumni and partners. The purpose is to share knowledge about different ways of tackling the SDGs and thereby inspire one another. Learning from peers and colleagues may very well lead to new ideas and innovations.  

Each webinar features presentations by alumni speakers from a range of professional backgrounds. The topics may range from curbing violence against women, to cycling in order to beat air pollution, and tackling Mexico’s diabetes epidemic. The speakers turn the spotlight on a topic that they are passionate about, are working with or have spent years researching.

Innovation and impact in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

So far, we have two webinars in the pipeline. Both webinars will showcase innovative solutions to some of the many challenges and setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alumni Webinar: Takataka Plastics – solving a health care challenge in Uganda using recycled plastic

Date and time: 2 July at 14:00pm to 15:00pm CEST (Danish time)

Our first webinar tells you the story of how a world-wide crisis encouraged a local business to change its normal production line. Instead of producing construction materials, they started making face shields for the local health sector. The founders of Takataka Plastics, Peter Okwoko and Paige Balcom, will be sharing the challenges they faced during the first week of the lockdown and how they turned them into an opportunity. They will also explain the importance of partnerships in achieving their goals.

Takataka Plastics transforms plastic waste into construction materials while creating jobs for youths at risk.  They have already been recognized for their innovations and won several awards. You can learn more about Takataka Plastics in this article from the EastAfrican and in this video.

About our facilitators

Mr Peter Okwoko, an environmental and community activist, received his Masters of Science in Innovative Communication Technologies and Entrepreneurship from Aalborg University in Denmark. He lectured at Gulu University before co-founding Takataka Plastics.

Ms Paige Balcom is a PhD student in mechanical and development engineering at the University of California Berkeley. She is co-founder and CTO of Takataka Plastics. She was awarded a Fulbright grant and has lived and worked in Gulu since 2016.


Please register for the Zoom webinar before 30 June by using this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting.

Takataka Plastics staff
Takataka Plastics employees wearing face shields made from recycled plastic. Photo: Peter Okwoko

Alumni webinar: From Ebola to COVID-19 – Applying knowledge and practices from one health crisis to another

Our second webinar will be facilitated by Mr John Ekow Otoo, Public Health Physician and Deputy Director of Public Health, Ghana and Ms Gifty Sunkwa-Mills, Public Health Researcher, working for the Healthcare Associated Infections in Ghana programme funded by Danida. The date has not yet been set, but it will hopefully take place in July.

You will find more information about this online webinar and others to come at the Danida Alumni Network website and our social media platforms.

John, Ghana
Dr John Ekow Otoo (in blue) working in Kailahun which was the first district that recorded no
new cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone

Future webinars

After the summer holidays we want to continue the webinar series, so we invite Danida alumni who would like to facilitate a webinar to send an email to the DAN team with a short description of the topics you would like to present:

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