African youth stand a chance to access up to Ksh 145 billion ($1B) in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for their climate adaptation solutions and businesses.
The additional financing to the YouthAdapt which is a joint initiative between AfDB and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) was announced on the sidelines of the African Climate Summit 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, by the bank’s president Akinwumi Adesina.
“We have no option but to invest in our youths. Africa’s youth are the present. It is their views and perspectives that are going to change the continent. Failing to invest in the youth will hurt Africa, failure is not an option,” said Adesina.
Young entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium enterprises in Africa wishing to access the fund will be required to submit their innovative solutions and business ideas that have the potential to drive climate change adaptation and resilience across the continent, the bank said.
Since launch two years ago, YouthAdapt has provided more than $1.5 million to 33 young entrepreneurs across 19 African countries, a move that has seen some of the ventures raise their profits by 200pc.
“We know that if we provide you with the right tools, the right finance, and give voice to the voiceless, you will be unstoppable,” said Patrick Verkooijen CEO GCA.
Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports Ababu Namwamba lauded the funding as crucial in supporting the government’s climate adaptation agenda especially in boosting the country’s forest cover from 12pc to 30pc.
“We are recruiting a one million youth Green Army as Climate Action Warriors to support President William Ruto’s ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees in 10 years,” he said.
Kenya was the first country to ratify the Sports for Climate Action Initiative under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Under the initiative, sports organisations will be able to pursue climate action in a consistent and mutually supportive fashion through disseminating good practices, lessons learned and collaboration.