We speak to admired businesswoman and Salford graduate Annie Kapapula-Landu this International Women's Day
As the world celebrates International Women's Day today (Wednesday 8 March), we are proud to celebrate the success of our female alumni.
Annie Kapapula-Landu M.B.E studied Msc Environmental Science at Salford from 1995 to 1997. She is a serving member in the Most Venerable Order of St John Hospital of Jerusalem in recognition of her outstanding community work.
Most recently in 2021, Annie was a United States African Development Foundation (USADF) grantee of US$25,000.00 with which she has built a cassava by-product factory at Mansa, Northern Zambia, for the production of Ethanol hand sanitizer. She supports cassava farmers with access to markets and building better farming methods, resulting in better yields and income. Annie also has a cassava crisps brand, of which 10% of proceeds go towards the agriculture welfare of cassava farmers.
Outside her professional field, Annie is passionate about enabling people to work together towards peace and justice.
Annie said: “My business is called Three Roofs Investment Limited, soon to be Yabulongo Investment Limited, and l make crisps and hand sanitizer from cassava tubers. I stand by the United Nations Development goal to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. We strive to make the best products and improve the challenges of unemployment and unequal distribution.”
PR and Digital Communications student Adebisi Adeyanju spoke to Annie ahead of International Women’s Day about her time at Salford, advice she has for students and why she’s celebrating women today.
How did you first hear about the University of Salford?
I first heard about the University of Salford from the then Centre for Environmental Education in Cheltenham where l was studying an Environmental Conservation foundation course. It was from there that l applied for a Masters course at Salford.
Can your share with us your memories of being a student at the University of Salford?
I have zillions of lovely memories from Salford but perhaps some of the most memorable ones were when we visited Salford Quays and saw how the Lowry was being transformed from a dockland into a modern museum. My other priceless memory was when my class visited the Bohemia region in Prague for land restoration project - the transformation of the old coal mines into housing estates, tennis courts and vineyards was such a marvel. The field visit to Sellafield was also unique.
Every 8th of March is International Women’s Day, why do you think it’s important to celebrate women in the world?
It is absolutely cardinal that women in the world should be celebrated because they are still marginalized in most countries, especially in Africa where l live. In Zambia only 15% of women are represented in Parliament instead of the required 30%. We have a deliberate policy in my business to employ 60% women and youth and we also place them in leadership positions too.
Can you share with us how the University of Salford has impacted you, both academically and socially, in building and finding your career path?
The University of Salford has definitely impacted me favorably both academically and socially. On my return to Zambia after my Masters course, l was able to get a much senior position with a much higher salary than l had before l took the course. My Salford experience was absolutely life-changing. I even won the Salford Alumni Life Achievement Award in 2015. After returning from Salford l found myself winning all manner of awards – perhaps the most prestigious was being recognised by the late Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for my involvement in the St John Ambulance Services. I am still in awe.
Keeping in mind your own career, can you share some advice for current students as we celebrate International Women’s Day?
My advice to current female students studying at Salford is to participate in the University programs as much as possible, like sports, field visits and networking events, as these will keep you abreast with current world trends. Do can also do internships or volunteer in women centres whenever opportunities arise.
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