The inaugural African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge (YouthADAPT Challenge) is climaxing today in a high- level award ceremony at the ongoing COP26 conference in Glasgow UK. The challenge, which is an initiative of African Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) in partnership with Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Centre for Adaptation (GCA) and is being implemented by KCIC Consulting, was launched on 6th September 2021. The event taking place in the Africa Pavilion starts at11:00hrs EAT.
Africa Pavilion was launched during COP17 in Durban, South Africa in order to provide a platform for airing Africa’s concerns and priorities during climate change delegations. Africa is now one of the most vulnerable continents on the impacts of climate change. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), effects of climate trends In the continent point to rising temperatures exceeding 2 degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels over the next ten years, coastal erosion and degradation, and now the impact of Covid 19. Africa’s Agenda 2063 has identified climate change as a menace for the continent’s development. The United Nations hasestimated a total of 100 million people being dragged into poverty by 2030 therefore significant investments are critical.
This is a continent in need and achieving a sustainable future becomes elusive every passing day if no one comes to its aid. In cognizant of the dire need of action the Africa Development Bank together with GCA developed AAAP with the aim of mobilizing $25 billion to scale up and accelerate climate adaptation and resilience actions in Africa and this gave birth to the YouthADAPT challenge which aims to award deserving youth owned/led enterprises and give them a chance to mitigate climate change by boosting their businesses and skills through sustainable innovations.
Today’s event will showcase AAAP’S agenda and aim to amplify the voices of African Youth by giving them the opportunity to create more jobs and innovation for a sustainable future. Twenty( 20) youth owned/led enterprises shortlisted from over 2000 applicants across 43 African countries will battle it out for the last 10 slots. The finalists were arrived at after a vigorous selection which focused on the businesses’ abilities to create social impact and create direct adaptation and climate change resilient jobs. They also underwent a one week bootcamp, and background checks before they were shortlisted. Today a high- level jury will screen the business plans and a 3-minute video they have submitted and come up with 10 finalists who will be announced and awarded in the event and awarded.
The prizes include;
The winners are set to receive a 12-week online training program to help them sharpen their skills and become more innovative through creating more jobs and opportunities.
There will be tailored support for the winners according to their project needs. The youth led/owned enterprises will receive business plan coaching and implementation during the incubation process.
The winners are set to receive grants of up to $100,000 to help them boost their businesses and create more job opportunities.
The winners will connect with relevant partners giving them the ability to collaborate and grow their businesses. This will also give them new ideas and access to new opportunities.
Presentation of the awards is set to be done by AfDB President Dr. Akwumi Adesina and GCA CEO Prof Dr. Patrick Verkooijen. Other high-level participants expected in today’s event include Heads of States and government of African Nations and regional partner governments, Head of major international and regional organizations supporting climate change adaptation action in Africa, special envoys on youth affairs and African Youth Entrepreneurs. The event is being moderated by Allan Kasuja.