lasgow, United Kingdom, 05 November 2021 – Winners of the 2021 Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge (YouthADAPT) were unveiled today at COP26 in a ceremony held at the Africa Pavilion in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The YouthADAPT Solutions Challenge, launched on 6th September 2021, is an annual competition jointly organized by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), as part of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). It aims to strengthen inclusive growth, and broaden investment and economic opportunities for youth and women in Africa by awarding winners business grants of up to $100,000 each and the opportunity to participate in a 12-month business accelerator program to help them scale up their businesses, deepen their impact and create decent jobs.
The winning enterprises provide climate adaptation and resilience solutions in critical social and economic sectors affected by climate change, including agriculture; waste management; water resources and sanitation; renewable energy and energy efficiency; waste management and ecosystem restoration.
The winners of Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge 2021 were:
Seven out of the ten winning businesses are women-led enterprises. The winning businesses will receive grants of up to $100,000 each and the opportunity to participate in a 12-month business accelerator program to help them scale up their businesses, deepen their impact and create decent jobs.
African Development Bank Group President Akiwumi. A. Adesina, and Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of Global Center on Adaptation announced the establishment of a new Africa Adaptation Youth Council which will provide advice and support to identify adaptation priorities and solutions to capitalize on the energy and entrepreneurialism of young people in Africa.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko said:
“Our Youth are not leaders for tomorrow. They are leaders for today, for now. They are saying the truth – that we have not inherited inherited this earth from our ancestors, that we have borrowed it. We, the leaders, we have messed up your future. You have taken up the mantle. Don’t wait for us to bequeath you. We shall hold your hand by giving you the necessary means, the mentoring, the tools, to take up leadership.”
Akinwumi. A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank said:
“The world is at its best when it taps into the innovation and creativity of the younger generation. Their ingenuity has always been at the forefront of every industrial revolution. They will not be deterred or defined by the limits or challenges they see – they break barriers and develop business models that transform lives.”
Patrick Verkooijen, Chief Executive Officer, Global Center on Adaptation, said:
“Africa’s young people are going to bear the brunt of climate change even though they have contributed so very little to its causes. We must involve them as we draw up solutions to help tackle the impacts of our climate emergency. That is why I’m so pleased to see the winners of our YouthAdapt competition playing a key role in helping create the solutions that are necessary for a sustainable and resilient world.”
The $8.5 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has partnered with the African Development Bank and Global Center on Adaptation on the YouthAdapt Flagship program to accelerate climate action by empowering transformations in clean technology, energy access, climate resilience, and sustainable forests in developing and middle income countries.
“Young entrepreneurs are powerful agents of change and we need their drive, boldness and creativity in the global effort to implement bold solutions to the climate crisis,” said Mafalda Duarte, Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Investment Funds speaking during the award ceremony. “The Climate Investment Funds is proud to collaborate with the GCA and AfDB YouthADAPT Solutions Challenge and help bring their ideas to life,” Mafalda added.
“Climate change has reduced productivity among small holder farmers who depend on open grazing; we therefore produce and promote the production of hydroponic fodders for smallholder farmers to feed their livestock. Through the grant, we will assist 1,250 smallholder farmers clustered in 25 cooperatives to produce hydroponic fodders to feed their livestock,” said Mpulu Kabani, one of the winners and a representative of Maima General Dealers based in Zambia.
“We are in the business of producing drought-resistant seedlings to promote agriculture for both subsistence and economic use. This business grant will enable us to reach more than 2,000,000 million smallholder farmers in East Africa and maintain agriculture as a backbone of development,” said another winner, Carolyne Mwangi of Kimplanter Seedlings and Nurseries.
The panel of judges comprised of:
The AAAP’s YouthADAPT Solutions Flagship Program aims to unlock $3 billion in financing for the youth; support 10,000 youth-led SMEs (50% women) in climate resilience; and build capacity for one million youth on climate adaptation for job creation.
The YouthADAPT Solutions Challenge is supported by funding from the African Development Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multidonor Trust Fund (YEI MDTF).
Notes to Editors
About Africa Acceleration Adaptation Program
As the global solutions broker on adaptation and resilience, the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) has joined forces with the African Development Bank to create the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) focusing on bringing four critical areas for adaptation action to scale in partnership with African countries and partners. The four critical areas of Climate Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security; African Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator; Empowering Youth for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Climate Adaptation and Resilience and Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa will help address the nexus of climate change, COVID-19, and the economy and will support African countries in designing and implementing transformational adaptation of their economies and post-COVID recovery development paths. AAAP aims to mobilize $25 billion to support Africa’s adaptation plans over five years ($5 billion per year). The AfDB has already committed half of the total, $12.5 billion by 2025. The program has been endorsed by President Tshisekedi, Chair of the African Union and President Ali Bongo of Gabon, the African Union Champion for Adaptation.
Head of Communications
Global Center on Adaptation
Communication and External Relations Department
African Development Bank
Scott Vincent Andrews
Climate Investment Funds