The African Development Bank on Friday awarded $2 million to 20 African youth-led businesses, a press statement issued by the bank has said.
The initiative, which is in partnership with the Centre on Adaptation and Climate Investment Funds, is a reward for winners in the 2022 African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge (YouthADAPT) competition.
The winners of the competition are Flushh, Namibia; Green Impact Technologies, Malawi; AgriTech Analytics, Kenya; Baramoda, Egypt; Cassavita, Cameroon; Ecobarter, Nigeria; Farmer Lifeline Technologies, Kenya; Eurl Algerienne Des Industries Technologiques, Algeria; Lono, Côte d’Ivoire; West African Feeds, Ghana; Kisumeo Organics Limited, Kenya.
Others are Grocircular Agro Services, Nigeria; IRIBA Water Group Ltd, Rwanda; Mpatsa Engineering Company Limited (formerly Sustainable Water Irrigation and Farming Technologies), Malawi; Viva Organica, Botswana; Voltx for Engineering & Industries, Egypt; Agroexpert farming, SenegalPazelgreen Technologies, Nigeria; Akatale On Cloud, Uganda and Multi-Tech Sustainable Solutions (MTTS), Cameroon.
According to the statement which was jointly signed by the three awarding institutions, the participating businesses are scaling innovations in critical social and economic sectors affected by climate change including agriculture, waste management, water resources and sanitation, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
50 per cent of the winning teams are said to be female-led.
“The annual competition invites young entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Africa to submit innovative solutions and business ideas that can drive climate change adaptation and resilience,” the statement said.
Speaking at the awards ceremony which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing climate summit, COP27, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, reportedly said Africa’s needs cannot be ignored and that young people must be at the centre of all climate change efforts.
“No young person is too young to engage in climate dialogue. Our young people must be part of the solution. They are creative, dynamic, and engaging. They are futuristic and must be part of the solution for climate adaptation in Africa,” he said.
He added that AfDB would want the youth to speak for Africa and develop solutions for the continent.
Mr Adesina noted that the organisers of the competition hope to double the prize money to accommodate more initiatives.
While he observed that 80 per cent of the winners’ businesses are in agriculture, Mr Adesina said agriculture is the future of Africa.
“As you know, that has been my gospel for many decades. The lowest bar is for Africa to feed itself. The high bar is for Africa to feed the world. Agriculture is a business. I encourage our young people to do three things: Create, Adapt and Prosper. CAP for short.”
Meanwhile, Norway’s Minister of International Development, Anne Tvinnereim, commended the enthusiasm that the competition generated, adding that it is important to tailor climate solutions that could be scaled up for the various communities.
“Adaptation is good business. But it needs to be at scale. And that is exactly what the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) does. The AAAP is mobilising $25 billion over five years to scale up and accelerate climate adaptation actions across Africa. And one of its four pillars is the YouthADAPT flagship program,” CEO Global Center on Adaptation Patrick Verkooijen, said.