Born and raised in Takoradi, Ghana, Hilda Addah studied social and community work and adult education at the University of Cape Coast and University of Ghana.
In 2017, she was introduced to Dana Mosora, who is also profiled for Women Breaking the Mold. Mosora taught her about second-life solutions to plastic waste recycling and management, and together they founded the ASASE Foundation.
The nongovernmental organization ASASE Foundation offers seed money and business training to women entrepreneurs in Accra, Ghana, to build their own plastic waste reprocessing plant and manage it as a social enterprise. According to the foundation's website, by 2022, "all plastic packaging in Accra will be separately collected for recycling and communities will cash in the maximum value to invest for their sustainable future."
As co-founder and director of the foundation, Addah coordinates community engagement to drive plastic waste collection to the recycling plant, Cash It! Ltd., the foundation's first project.
"Waste plastic recycling is still a virgin territory in Ghana as the attitude of Ghanaians to waste is very negative. They consider waste as useless and think it has no place in the economy. … ASASE is one of the emerging entities that believe waste is wealth and [a] vital resource," according to her Women Breaking the Mold survey. "The challenge is that there must be change of the social consciousness towards the management of waste for ASASE to achieve maximum impact. Waste management is not a one-woman business but a collective effort."
With more than 14 years of experience in social and community development, sports administration and education, Addah is also the founder of Beyond the Goal Post, a nonprofit organization that uses sports and lifestyle coaches and sports teams to promote sustainable sanitation and hygiene practices.
Addah was nominated by Lianne Mason, head of project communications for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Addah: Recycling in sustainable applications and collection apps.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Addah: It does not matter your professional or educational background. Start learning.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Addah: Older people. As our world changes quickly, we must not lose the lessons that our history has to teach us.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?