In a bid to tackle climate change with technological innovations (technovation), Eko Innovation Centre (EIC) in partnership with Eko Carbon and Commodity Exchange and with support from Generation Unlimited 9ja, on Friday, July 8, launched Ekoclimathon 1.0
The maiden edition will also support five startups with $7,500 and laptops, up to $50,000 equity investment in EIC’s accelerator programme, and a chance to be mentored by industry experts for three months.
EIC is an innovation hub created to foster the growth and development of startups and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
It empowers startups from concept to commercialisation. It is behind initiatives such as the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon, and Art of Technology Lagos among other initiatives in partnership with the Lagos State government, and others.
Read also: SeamlessHR partners Special Olympics to include more youths in digital economy
Giving an overview of the initiative at the event, Victor Afolabi, CEO/founder of Eko Innovation Centre, said, Ekoclimathon is launched to use technovation to tackle climate issues affecting Nigeria and the world.
“This is just our own way of seeing how we can help be part of the solution to the mirage of issues that are affecting not just Nigeria but the world.”
“I think if we just do a bit,” he said. “We can pull the kind of change we want to see – inclusiveness, and a sustainable and livable society,” said Afolabi.
He further noted that Ekoclimathon 1.0 is aimed at providing sustainable solutions that will address the problems of climate change with a particular focus on agriculture, food, and waste, circular economy, transportation challenges, nature-based solutions challenge, and energy.
“The EIC is using technology through a Hackathon to contribute to solving the impact of climate change.”
Quoting data from PricewaterCooper (PwC), the founder said investment in climate technology innovation grew by $87.5 billion in the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.
“A development that represents a 210 percent increase from the $28.4 billion invested in the twelve months prior.”
According to Afolabi, Ekoclimathon 1.0 recorded 1034 entries across 11 countries, participants were grouped into various teams and expected to collaborate for a period of 3 weeks, brainstorming and ideating new concepts based on their focus areas.
Focusing on the startups that were registered, Celine Lafoucriere, chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria, and Lead, Generation Unlimited 9ja, said it is an honour to be part of this project, especially as it involves the youths.
“This looks extremely promising,” she said. “The involvement of youths will make them part of the solution rather than be part of the problem.”
She said: “Generation Unlimited 9ja is basically looking at three main areas of work with all our partners.
“We are looking at ensuring that the youths of Nigeria are connected to the internet.
“That they (youths) have access to workplace readiness and skills opportunities,” she said. “And that your voice is heard through youth’s engagements and challenges.”
Generation Unlimited 9ja is a branch of Generation Unlimited – a leading global public-private-youth partnership on a mission to skill and connect the world’s 1.8 billion young people to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and social impact.
It is slated to scale in 12 states across the six geo-political zones of the country and reach 20 million young people with skills training, employment, entrepreneurship, and social impact opportunities by 2030.
Meanwhile, Desmond Olumuyiwa Majekodunmi, chairman/founder, Lekki Urban Forest & Animal Shelter, said humans need to veer their actions as it is causing harm to nature.
“We call it “environment” but what it actually is, is our life system,” he said. “The oxygen, food, water, everything, comes from a healthy environment.”
“Humanity should not fight nature,” the environmentalist said. “As nature obeys fundamental laws – whatever you sow, you reap.”
Eko Carbon and Commodity Exchange is an independent climate finance and auditing firm born on the floors of COP 25.
It is an earth-responsible carbon and commodity exchange platform building on renowned legacies by driving sustainable initiatives to preserve the earth and achieving ‘net-zero’ in the mid-century.