Through our new partnership with DGB Plastique Mali SARL, Cordaid Investment Management is supporting the rise of the recycling market in Mali which is still in its infancy but has a lot of growth potential. Most of the recycling in Mali is done manually by small operators in the informal sector. Local artisans produce kitchen utensils and other tools from recycled aluminium and other metals, but almost no companies are operating in the sector. Bigger action is needed to fight plastic pollution in West Africa.
One of the pioneers in Mali, DGB is a recycling and processing company that addresses the major environmental challenge of plastic waste in Mali while creating jobs for youth. The company recycles plastic into tubing for the construction industry, electricity and network cables that are a cheaper and higher quality alternative to imports.
Our EUR 200,000 loan will be used to purchase additional equipment to increase the production volume and the range of plastic piping being made. DGB’s production capacity post-investment is estimated to quadruple.
"I learned about DGB in 2018 through our relationship with Macrowaste (Cordaid Investment Management's partner in Mali, involved in waste collection and disposal) while making a market assessment for the recycling sector. I was impressed by how motivated the owner Oumar Lamine Diaby was – every time I was visiting DGB there was a lot of activity in their facility. He'd been trained in Spain, in plastics engineering so he knew exactly what he was doing technically," says Brenda Pennell, Senior Investment Manager at Cordaid Investment Management.
This partnership was evolving gradually: back in 2018 DGB hadn't formalized the management of their operations and was not ready for our financing. We kept in touch and in two years when the organization has grown, we felt DGB was a good investment opportunity. Because motivation, ambition and technical ability were there. And their business activities – buying waste plastic, recycling it into a usable product and specifically employing youth – aligns well with our investment mandates.
To help the company formalize financial regulations Cordaid Investment Management supported DGB with a pre-investment grant for developing a robust business, audited accounts and introducing ESG documentation. "The implementation of the grant gave us enough ground to start an investment process. Our confidence in Oumar and his company allowed him to think big about the business. His ambition is genuinely to be the largest plastic waste processing centre in West Africa," concludes Brenda.