Asango Team


Profile of CONTIGO’s partner Asango


  • Wood items
  • Horn items

Nairobi to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)


Office: city district Kilimani, Nairobi, Kenya – distance to Europe: 6,400km

Production is located:

  • in Nairobi´s city districts: Kibera, Waithaka and Kilimani
  • in Makweni County: Makindu (ca. 200 km south east of Nairobi)

Founded in 1992


  • William Ongele works in his village as a talented craftsmen with wood and soapstone
  • Export organisation African Heritage hires William to work in their workshops in Nairobi
  • 1992: Founding of the family business Asango together with Williams wife Sophie
  • Specialisation in wood, metal, recycled bone and horn craftsmanship
  • 2005: CONTIGO meets Asango
  • 2009: Relocation of the company to new premises outside Nairobi
  • 2014: Restructuring of the company, relocation back to Nairobi (Kilimani city district), expansion of cooperation with other production sites: Asango supports the workshops with regard to production processes and fairtrade standards

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2005

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 10 employees (5 women and 5 men), can be employed all year round
  • Cooperation with 30 handicraft cooperatives in Nairobi and Makweni County

Organisation of workforce:

At the Asango office:

The founder William and Sophie Ongele

  • Tasks: distribution of orders to production groups, collection of finished production, quality control, labelling and packing, administration
  • Creative director: William
  • Application tie dye decoration: William
  • Office, administration and accounting: Sophie

At the external production workshops:

  • Workshops organise themselves completely independently (purchase of raw materials, complete production)
  • In case of need (or due to individual agreements) Asango makes advance payments
  • Since Asango is not able to employ them all year round, they also produce for other clients or sell their goods directly on local markets, e.g. to tourists
  • By piece payment, daily cash
  • Sawing and sandpapering: men
  • Carving and ironworks: men
  • Decorating and finishing touches: women
  • In case of high work load, tasks are diverted to external workshops


  • Home market (7%)
  • Exports (93%) to U.S.A., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Britain, France, Japan

Special features

Why does CONTIGO work with Asango: Asango is a very cooperative partner and complies with the Fairtrade criteria, Asango also works together with other CONTIGO partners in Kenya


Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade Approved


Fairtrade aspects


Asango complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Salary for comparable work/companies in Nairobi: KSH 15,000/month (KSK=Kenyan Shilling)
  • Fixed salaries at Asango: KSH 20,000-30,000/month
  • At the external workshops: by piece payment, daily cash out
  • Salary increases when working on the weekend
  • Bonus paid out for holidays/festive days (Christmas, Easter): KSH 5,000-8,000/holiday

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8 hours/day
  • Breaks: 1 hour and 45 minutes for tea breaks and lunch
  • 5 days/week

Social benefits:

  • Paid holidays (30 days)
  • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness or accident
  • Regular health check-ups
  • Treatment costs in clinics are partially paid
  • Employees are supplied with breakfast and lunch for free

Educational opportunities:

  • Thorough training of all new employees

Occupational health and safety:

  • Working gear and protective clothing are provided


  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO



  • Personal visit in Nairobi (2008)
  • Feedback interview during several visits in Germany


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Kenya



2008: visiting Asango in Kenia

Author: Janina Lange on 15. July 2019

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