Home Entertainment Three Kenyans win Sh36 million climate solutions challenge by AfDB and GCA

Three Kenyans win Sh36 million climate solutions challenge by AfDB and GCA

by kenya-tribune
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Three Kenyans are among 20 winners of the Youth Adaptation Solution Challenge (YouthADAPT) Awards at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Robin Ndungu, Esther Kimani and Maryanna Gichanga will each receive Sh12 million (US$100,000) and the opportunity to participate in a 12-month business accelerator program to help them scale up their businesses and create decent jobs.

Robin helps smallholder fish farmers use artificial intelligence to produce crawfish fries all year round while Maryanna analyses water deficit, unpredictable weather events, plant and soil diseases help farmers to prepare better.

Esther’s project also falls within the agricultural sector which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from synthetic fertilisers and farm chemicals by creating more environment friendly versions.

The challenge was organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation, as part of the joint Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.

“We want to use our Youth Entrepreneurship Fund to start an acceleration program that will continue to make these businesses grow,” AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said.

Dr Adesina promised to fund a business plan by Kenya’s youngest delegate at COP27, nine-year-old Karen Wanjiru who would like to start a business to make biodegradable bottles.

The challenge is an annual competition that invites young entrepreneurs between the age of 18 to 35 with micro, small, and medium enterprises in Africa to submit solutions and business ideas that can drive climate change adaptation and resilience. It aims to strengthen inclusive growth, broaden investment and economic opportunities for youth and women in Africa.

Eric Bosire, a 2021 YouthADAPT winner, was present at the event to share his success story. His company, Irri-hub, develops rainwater harvesting technology with solar-powered irrigation systems that help smallholder farmers increase agricultural productivity and build resilience toward climate change.

“We have been able to impact 3,000 smallholder farmers from 1,500 since we got the funding. Our revenue has also multiplied allowing us to hire five more people to our team,” he said.

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