Kathia Gretta Iradukunda



She is the winner of the AWA Award, public vote category. This is a competition organized by the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) which highlights African women entrepreneurs.

Kathia Gretta Iradukunda reconciles entrepreneurship and environmental protection. Founder of Hyacinth Art House in Bujumbura in March 2021, she collects water hyacinth (an aquatic grass that threatens Lake Tanganyika) to transform it into art objects, a socio-economic but also ecological approach. It now runs four programs: restoration through the collection of water hyacinth from the lake and other solid waste; empowerment of women artisans and building of their capacities; accompaniment of the government or other national or global campaigns on the protection of the environment and transforming water hyacinth into works of art.

Baskets, trivets, coasters, grocery bags, trash cans, vases, storage boxes, Kathia Gretta Iradukunda reinvents everyday objects in color. One of its objectives is the protection of lakes, particularly Lake Tanganyika, as it is one of the most threatened lakes in Burundi.

“What would entrepreneurship be without peace? What would biodiversity be without peace? What is life without peace? People who live in conflict know this.”

Kathia Gretta Iradukunda