Experts have hailed the newly launched Eko Climathon 1.0, a bespoke initiative tailored towards ameliorating and finding lasting solutions to the problem of climatic change, using technology.
The launch which held at the Eko Innovation Centre, Nigeria’s top technology hub, recently, is tapping into Africa’s solutions for resolving problems related to climate change.
Business executives, mentors, innovators, and contributors were present at the launch in Lagos to discuss the mechanisms, issues with climate change, and how technology would act as a catalyst for solutions.
Speaking in their respective keynote addresses, Prof. Desmond Olumuyiwa Majekodunmi Chairman/Founder,Lekki Urban Forest & Animal Shelter and Mofifoluwa Olawumi, Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement, Reporting & Communications, Access Bank, both expressed optimism for the initiative while urging participants to give it their best shot at finding a technologically viable solution to the challenges of climate change.
Experts also spoke at a fireside chat that looked at the ‘Future of Climatech’. The session was moderated by Joannes Paulus, GenU/YoMA 9ja Lead, UNICEF, and had such speakers as Ayodeji Ademilua, Chief Executive Officer, A4&T Power Solutions and Annabelle Umoetuk, Sustainability and CSR Manager, the Heineken Company – Nigerian Breweries Plc
Victor Afolabi, the Founder of the Eko Innovation Center and curator of the Artwork of Technology Lagos, stated during a presentation that the goal of Ekoclimathon 1.0 is to provide sustainable solutions that can address the problems of climate change, with a focus on the issues of agriculture, food, and waste, the circular economy, transportation, nature-based solutions, and power.
According to Afolabi, Ekoclimathon 1.0 received 1034 entries from contributors in 11 different countries. The contributors were divided into different groups and required to work together for three weeks to come up with fresh ideas depending on their main areas.
According to him, each group will get a chance to present their ideas to a select jury for the climathon. The top 10 teams with the most workable ideas will compete for a chance at the $7,500 prize pool and an acceleration program to get their products ready for the market in the finals on August 5.
He said the Ekoclimathon 1.0 will bring together business organizations, government agencies, policymakers, associations, agricultural sectors, and innovation centres to build a different fast track that may get the globe closer to the net-zero goal.
Speaking further on the neecd for the initiative, he said in terms of technology that addresses the issue of climate change, there are five areas of digital options that are susceptible to hacking: foundational applied sciences, cloud applied sciences, decision-making applied sciences, sense and management applied sciences (Web of Issues), and blockchain applied sciences.
“The more hackathons and other activities that promote this, the better. The expanding range of digital solutions can help us decrease the impact of our decisions. Funding for weather technology surged by a factor of two during the last years of 2022 and 2021, going from $28.4 billion to $87 billion.
According to Afolabi, there may be significant money for weather expertise, and the investing communities are able to connect with organizations, policymakers, and engineers who are ready to participate in the effort to mitigate local climate change.
Celine Lafoucriere, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria, and Generation Unlimited Lead, commented on the launch that the Eko Innovation Centre’s idea appears to be very promising and that she will be keeping an eye on the hackathon’s growth.
Celine brought up Technology Limitless 9Ja is influencing Nigerian children between the ages of 10 and 30 to become active, productive citizens by ensuring that they are all enrolled in some kind of school, training, or employment by 2030.
“It is our responsibility to make sure that no one is left behind. Therefore, we are attempting on the very weakest population of young people under the age of 30, which is staggering,” he said.