WESUSTAIN, a sustainability initiative program at the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) launched its university outreach campaign to sign up students to the platform for an opportunity to engage on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WESUSTAIN is a platform that promotessustainability and its practice among African youth. The main objective is to promote creativity and innovation by encouraging African youth to improve their participation on global issues, therefore developing ideas that would benefit our local communities and the African continent.
The campaign that was launched at Strathmore University, seeks to engage 10 universities in its first phase, mainly located in Nairobi and its environs and later engage students in other counties across the country. Future plans will involve youth from across the continent through conferences and global green competitions. The Universities selected for the first phase are Strathmore University, Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya, Catholic University, KCA Universityand United States International University- Africa.
The first youth ambassadors were selected through a social media photo contest. The competition that ended on 4thApril 2018, required participants to upload original photographs that showcase the current status their environment, either beautiful or degraded. The competition was run for three weeks with each winner having garnered the most votes per week. Three students, Yvonne Kagondu, studying Programming at the Moringa School, Annette Mbugua and Valary Ominde both Economic students at Kenyatta University, were selected as the overall winners each receiving a cash prize of KES. 10,000 each and an opportunity to be WESUSTAIN brand ambassadors.
In addition to conducting university outreach activities, WESUSTAIN is running two competitions, the ClimateLaunchpad2018 competition, Kenya and an Essay competition that invites the youth to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences that can propel Africa into a sustainable future.
The ClimateLaunchpad, is a global competition that invites entrepreneurs and innovators to share their green ideas and possibly win a grand prize of € 10,000. Kenya through KCIC participated in the 2017 chapter of the competition as the first participating African country. Boniface Jiveri, Bio Alkanol Gel won the grand prize.
Speaking on Wesustain, Edward Mungai, CEO KCIC said “We look forward to engaging with the youth on this platform. The youth are vital in advancing the SDG agenda, they are our future. Therefore, we must involve them to actively participate in promoting sustainable advancement in Africa.”
Over the past six years, KCIC has grown to be the go to climate innovation hub in Kenya. Being the first CIC in the world, it offers incubation, capacity building services and financing to Kenyan entrepreneurs and new ventures that are developing innovative solutions in energy, water and agribusiness to address climate change challenges.
By Michelle Mung’ata