Success stories

Ugandan organisation found a Finnish partner at the NEABEC 2019 event in Helsinki


28 April 2020

Nurture Model Initiatives participated in the Nordic-East Africa Business Expo and Conference in September 2019 in Helsinki. Finnpartnership was one of the main co-organizers of the event. Nurture Model Initiatives found a Finnish partner, Meripalo Ltd, at the event, with whom it has now started to collaborate in Uganda with Meripalo Ltd’s green toilets. According to the CEO of Nurture Model Initiatives, Dr. Jane Francis N. Wanyama, the NEABEC 2019 event was life-changing for her company and she wrote a story about her experiences after the event, which we at Finnpartnership also want to share as an example of the successes of Matchmaking work. NEABEC is also one of the events where African diasporas in Finland have an active role in organizing the event.  


You can read Dr. Wanyama’s story below.


I got to know about the first Nordic-East Africa Business Expo and Conference from Ambassador Elly Kamahungye-Kafeero. I took it up seeing it would be a great opportunity to meet business partners for both my public health and education business ideas. The coordination team in Uganda (Simon to be specific) did an amazing job. They took my Visa application paperwork to Nairobi and I was fortunate to have gotten the Finnish! It was quite an expensive venture, costing close to $4000. We went in for it because at Nurture Model Initiatives, we have come to appreciate the fact that you have got to spend money to get money.

I arrived in Helsinki early in the morning on 3rd September 2019, had a change of clothes and moved to the Business Expo and Conference at the Scandic Grand Marina Hotel. It was a beautiful meeting with excellent organisation, thanks to Paul Jaaza, Hanah and the entire organising team. I was thrilled listening to the presentations, interaction and networking with some of the best business minds. The Uganda Mission to the Nordics did an amazing job coordinating and establishing networks. I met several people but looked out for strategic partnerships that we could work with. I met a team from the Finnish Education sector and these helped me refine our International School proposal. We have progressed immensely, and we have identified 3 Acre property for purchase along Entebbe Road. We welcome partners!

As a health expert, I interacted with a team from the health sector and identified an urgent need to address the human resources for health crisis in Europe and the west at large. Following up with that, we have developed a full proposal, acquired 4 Acres of land for a Model Training College in Wakiso District. We are working out a mechanism for collaboration/affiliation with some of the best health care worker training institutions in Europe and U.S.A.

The most interesting so far is the “Green Toilet” partner. At the NEABEC, I met Mr. Santosh, an accomplished business man from Dubai, and we discussed education and public health. I intimated to Santosh that I need a partner to address the problem of lack of proper faecal waste management services among the urban poor. This followed a recent research project I had been conducting in the slums around Kampala. The next day, Mr. Santosh brought a smart, young, polished business man called Eemeli Palo and he said he works with Meripalo Limited and he was happy to partner with Nurture Model Initiatives to address the issue of lack of affordable but decent toilets. Green Toilet is composting dry toilet designed for both private and public sites. Green Toilet operates without water and electricity. It is completely odourless because of good ventilation. By an efficient composting ability, it turns human faeces into valuable fertilizer that can be reused again e.g. in gardens and fields.

We established a very good communication mechanism with Eemeli and on the 14th November 2019, Eemeli and his mother travelled to Uganda to set up a pilot of Green Toilets. These first two toilets were offered and shipped to Uganda by Meripalo Limited. We spent a productive two days meeting key stakeholders in Kampala. When they left, our team in Uganda has been able to set the first Green Toilet at Christ Witness Church in Ntinda near Watoto Church. All I can say, the toilet is a wonder that has attracted so many people and they are asking us when and how they can acquire the same! We will be commissioning and handing over this toilet to the Church Leadership on Sunday 08th March. We have chosen this day because it is International Women’s day, well knowing that women and children are the most affected by poor toilet facilities. We are also putting up a joint grant application with Meripalo Limited to conduct a pilot for Green Toilets in public schools around the city.

We have also established a team to increase fish farming outputs with Dr. Gladys Bwanika with whom we travelled to Helsinki for the first Nordic-East Africa Business Expo and Conference. We have put together a proposal for funding to that effect.

All I can say is our lives can never be the same after NEABEC and if we don’t become the sun, we shall at least become the stars for business in Africa!

Dr. Jane Francis. N. Wanyama
CEO – Nurture Model Initiatives


Picture: NEABEC

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