Marie-Claire Nabila Kuja is a nurse turned social entrepreneur and the innovator of KujaEcoPads which is Cameroon’s first 100% biodegradable sanitary napkins made from banana stem fibers. KujaEcoPads has empowered more than 30000 girls in Cameroon to stay in school during their monthly period and created more than a hundred jobs for low-income women who are involved in the entire value chain.

Marie-Claire is a menstrual hygiene activist, a sanitary pad campaigner and a women and girls empowerment champion with a great passion for good health and wellness for all women and girls. Her vision for KujaEcoPads is to have the product as a household name not only in Cameroon and all over Africa and the rest of the world.

KujaEcoPads website


What does winning the Commonwealth Innovation Award mean to you/your organisation?

“It is fantastic to win one of the world’s most prestigious awards. I couldn’t believe it. I was proud to be on the shortlist but didn’t know I’ll win. It still feels like a dream. This is one of the highlights of my life. Winning this award has energized me to do more, to continue to reach for the stars, and to set my eyes on my next big goal while believing in my dreams always.”

How would you use being the recipient of this award to influence others and how would it impact your career?

“This award will boost the morale of my employees and improve motivation. When you receive a prestigious award, everyone on your team feels better. They appreciate being recognized for their hard work. This award will increase our visibility and help to boost the company profile. It will open pathways for partnerships at a global level and bring new connections and networking opportunities.”