Isatou Ceesay

Isatou Ceesay (born 1972) is a Gambian activist and social entrepreneur, popularly referred to as the Queen of Recycling.[1] 

She initiated a recycling movement called One Plastic Bag in the Gambia. Through this movement, she educated women in The Gambia to recycle plastic waste into sellable products that earned them income.

In 1997, together with four other women, she founded the Recycling Centre of N’Jau in her native village in Northern Gambia. Initially the goal of this project was to educate fellow villagers on the importance and benefits of reclaiming waste in plastic recycling thereby discouraging the act of littering around with plastic waste. Over the years, the project has grown and now empowers women, providing them with support and income.[6]

The project was recently recognised as an official community-based organisation in the Gambia, now referred to as the Njau Recycling and Income Generation Group (NRIGG). Today, Ceesay works with more than 11,00 people and NRIGG is based in four separate communities across The Gambia.[3][7][1]

“Isatou Ceesay.” Wikipedia, Accessed 8 May 2022.

Where is The Gambia?

The Gambia – from the Women’s Initiative Gambia

“These purses have saved many lives.”

Isatou Ceesay

‘These purses have saved many lives’

Isatou Ceesay runs a project in The Gambia which recycles plastic waste, and has created work for many women across the country. A BBC Africa One Minute Story, by video journalist Sasha Gankin.

Queen of Recycling

Isatou Ceesay, Queen of Recycling in The Gambia

Waste, and plastic waste is a huge issue globally. In Africa, even more than anywhere else, waste is a major contributor to carbon dioxyde emissions and climate change. Isatou Ceesay has been empowering women in The Gambia for over 17 years, to turn plastic waste into revenues and thus take a more importante role in society while ensuring their financial independence.


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