Namibia: AfDB Calls Youth to Apply for Climate Grants

16 September 2021

THE Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have launched a call for applications for the first edition of the African Youth Adaptation Solutions (YouthAdapt) Challenge, with a win of up to N$1,4 million.

This call is meant to encourage young entrepreneurs, innovators from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and other youth-led and youth-owned enterprises in Africa, to implement solutions for building resilience and adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change.

With a strong focus on youth and gender, winners of the YouthAdapt Challenge will be awarded business grants of up to US$100 000 each and the opportunity to participate in a 12-month business accelerator programme to help them scale up their businesses, deepen their impact, and create decent jobs.

In addition, the winning youth-led enterprises will be provided with mentorship and support to expand partnerships, knowledge sharing and learning through a network of young entrepreneurs in climate adaptation.

The African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge is part of the 'Empowering Youth through Jobs and Entrepreneurship' pillar of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP), a strategic partnership between the GCA and the AfDB aimed at galvanising climate-resilient actions through a triple-win approach to address the impacts of Covid-19 and climate change on the economy.

The competition aims to leverage the resources, complementary expertise and networks of both organisations to support the 'missing middle' of mid-sized companies in the areas of funding, thereby promoting sustainable climate adaptation and resilience practices on the African continent.

Announcing the YouthAdapt Challenge to a group of global leaders at the High-Level Dialogue: The Adaptation Acceleration Imperative for COP26 held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday 6 September, Patrick Verkooijen, the chief executive officer of the Global Centre on Adaptation, said: "Our vision is to empower one million young people in Africa with the financing and skills they need to pursue jobs and careers in climate adaptation. With this new challenge we aim to unlock the business opportunities in adaptation action by innovative youth-owned enterprises, and prepare a new generation of African youth for the transition towards green and climate-resilient development."

"The YouthAdapt Challenge will unleash the entrepreneurial drive and capacities of African youths to grow their businesses, address the continent's pressing climate challenge, and create decent jobs, building a more climate-resilient Africa," said Akinwumi Adesina, the bank's president, affirming the Bank's commitment to invest in the youth.

A total of 20 youth-led enterprises will be shortlisted at the end of the application window on 6 October, and invited to submit videos for a jury panel review ahead of the finals, and an award ceremony at COP26 in Glasgow in November this year.

At this event, 10 winners will be selected, 50% of which will be women-led enterprises.

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