“Become an expert in what you are doing, and [customers] will all be sent to you….It gives you the power to fight and the power to learn more, and deeper than others.”
Ghislaine Tessa Ketcha – Founder and CEO of Millenium Immobilier, Cameroon
2020 WE Empower Finalist, Sub-Saharan Africa
The continuation of climate change is expected to bring about detrimental effects across the world, but Ghislaine Tessa Ketcha is working to create smart green housing in Cameroon so that local communities will be resilient to the projected increases in the already sweltering average temperatures. As the owner of Millenium Immobilier, Tessa Ketcha’s vision of engineering a sustainable future to handle the challenges that are on the horizon is becoming a reality. WE Empower intern, Sidney McKee, interviewed Tessa Ketcha and reveals how the Millenium Immobilier is tackling emergent climate issues through innovative solutions and is leading to a more adaptable and prosperous Cameroon where local residents will not only be prepared for an uncertain future, but will thrive.
Building Climate Resilient and Equitable Communities
Tessa Ketcha’s Millenium Immobilier focuses on not only creating houses that are locally made and can comfortably withstand the environmental variation that climate change will bring, but also allows Cameroonian residents to own quality homes. As Tessa Ketcha explains regarding the importance of creating green homes, “Climate change is not just something that you can talk about. So the best way is to start building very clean so people can live in a comfortable way.” Through the creation of sustainable and affordable housing, green buildings, and planned eco-districts that allow residents to adapt to climate change, the Millenium Immobilier is supporting SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 13 Climate Action.
Empowering Local Women
Even coming from a background as a successful engineer, Tessa Ketcha is battling the inequities of gender equality in Cameroon. Simply because of being a woman, there are many roadblocks when it comes to women’s career opportunities, especially in male-dominated fields, such as engineering. Tessa Ketcha is proud to give women the chance to make a difference through the Millenium Immobilier. Tessa Ketcha highlighted, “This is why I also created the association Women in Construction”. This organization fosters SDG 5 Gender Equality by empowering women in engineering and construction fields.
Sustainable Building Materials and Local Jobs
Through utilizing low-carbon construction materials and methods, the Millenium Immobilier is a beacon of light that is inspiring other companies throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to develop homes sustainability. From utilizing “Earth-Blocks” that have excellent thermal properties and low production emissions to ensuring homes are energy-efficient, Tessa Ketcha is advancing SDG 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.
Ghislaine Tessa Ketcha is leading the way for the sustainable production of quality and affordable homes in Cameroon that will allow local residents to comfortably adjust and adapt to a region that is projected to be significantly impacted by climate change. As a successful female businesswoman and engineer, Tessa Ketcha knows that it is never an easy path. “Whoever you are, if you want to excel in your industry, you have to work harder than others because someone else is going to”.