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This candid conversation - led by Andile Masuku - features two remarkable entrepreneurs. The first is Morris Dougba, a second-generation Liberian cocoa farmer and University of Liberia accounting graduate who fled his homeland to live in the US in order to escape civil war.
Morris has since returned to his country to found a company called Green Gold Liberia, which produces charcoal briquettes using organic waste. Green Gold is determined to end Liberia’s ecologically damaging reliance on charcoal production activities which destroy the country’s ancient rain forests.
Also on the show is Ayham Maksoud, a Syrian civil engineer born to an entrepreneurial family. After completing an engineering Masters degree at the University of Aleppo, he founded a steel structure manufacturing business called Al-Maksoud for Steel Constructions in Syria in 2011, before being forced to abandon it a year later when war broke out in Syria.
Ayham then emigrated to Libya where he re-established his business, but alas, he was forced to desert the second factory he built and migrate to Turkey when Libya was gripped by violent conflict in 2014. He has since incorporated Al-Maksoud for the third time in Turkey and is currently cultivating a solid business reputation with Turkish customers and many others all over the world.
Listen in for fascinating first-hand insights about what it takes to realise entrepreneurial success in difficult places, and to learn why the world needs more true-to-life stories like the ones you’re about to hear.
SPARK is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on inclusive economic progress being made in vulnerable states. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK.
This podcast series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 6th annual IGNITE Conference - a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs.
Image credit: Dakota Roos