African prince tours Sheffield steel giant

Prince Seeiso of Lesotho (second right) with (l-r) Chris Archer, Neil Maskrey and Peter Birtles, from Sheffield Forgemasters, and Ken Dunn, from Connecting Communities Worldwide.
Prince Seeiso of Lesotho (second right) with (l-r) Chris Archer, Neil Maskrey and Peter Birtles, from Sheffield Forgemasters, and Ken Dunn, from Connecting Communities Worldwide.
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An African prince, on a mission to learn how businesses and individuals can minimise their impact on the environment, has toured a Sheffield steel giant and a new enteprise, launched by three Sheffield Hallam University graduates.

Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, younger brother of Lesotho’s ruler, King Letsie, visited Sheffield Forgemasters and Geko Industries, which has developed an eco-friendly ethanol gel, that can be used in place of fuels that create pollution, including toxic gases.

The prince visited the city as part of his work with Connecting Communities Worldwide, the Sheffield-based social enterprise, launched by City School’s former assistant headteacher Ken Dunn, who accompanied him on his tour, with Forgemasters’ directors Peter Birtles and Neil Maskrey.

Following his visit, Prince Seeiso said: “I used to think this kind of operation was as simple as ABC, I didn’t quite realise the sophistication of the process. The sheer size of the machinery here is incredible.

“The experience today has been brilliant and I have learnt so much about what happens here. The investment that Forgemasters makes in its young apprentices is a very exciting element for me because it is so important, as is the consideration the company shows for the wider community and the environment.”

Prince Seeiso’s interest in Geko Industries was prompted by Africa’s problems with air pollution, which include pollution from cooking in poorly ventilated homes over stoves using fossil fuels. The company also donates a portion of its profits to charitable initiatives in Africa.