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COP28: Nigerian among 8 female winners of AfDB $800k YouthAdapt challenge

Stephanie Meltus of Green Eden Farms is the only Nigerian among the eight African women-led businesses who won the YouthAdapt challenge.

The African Development Bank (AfDB), alongside the Global Center on Adaptation, had launched the $1 billion climate adaptation initiative for African youths in September.

The initiative is an annual competition for young entrepreneurs leading micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa with innovative climate change solutions.

YouthAdapt, supported by the Africa Climate Change Fund, awarded $800,000 to eight businesses at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.

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The bank said each business will receive grant funding of up to $100,000 including mentorship and coaching as part of a 12-month accelerator program.

This year’s challenge focused on female-owned enterprises pioneering fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, virtual reality, and robotics.

Others are internet of things, quantum computing, additive manufacturing, blockchain, and fifth-generation wireless for climate adaptation.

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Meltus said Green Eden Farms “utilise Scaregrow technology to offer real-time insights, enhancing productivity and resilience in Nigerian agriculture”.

Speaking at the ceremony, Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president, said harnessing youth creativity is important for national prosperity.

“The Jobs for Youth in Africa and the Skills Employability initiatives at the bank stand as a testament to our commitment to create 25 million jobs for our youth,” he said.

“Ensuring that 250 million individuals find their path to the labour market. The YouthADAPT initiative is a pledge to invest in the youth and shape a thriving future.”

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Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, said there is a need to nurture Africa’s young talent.

Verkooijen said young people “hold the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential”.

“Through initiatives like the YouthADAPT awards, we provide opportunities for training and jobs to retain African talents at home,” he added.

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