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Climate-tech YALI cohort kicks off

Science Climate Tech

A total of fifty young climate tech innovators and leaders from 19 African countries have commenced a three-week intensive leadership and professional development training programme in Ghana.

The training is in fulfilment of the announcement made by Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris during her historic visit to Ghana in March 2023, that young leaders and entrepreneurs will be supported to develop social and business solutions to address climate challenges through innovative technology.

The climate tech innovators programme is being hosted by the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center West Africa.

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Virginia Palmer, speaking at the opening, said climate change was not theoretical anymore, but an unfolding event.

“Here in Ghana, we see changing rain patterns and crop yields. Climate change is climate reality,” she said.

Madam Palmer said it was not too late to act, urging all and sundry, especially youth innovators to utilise tools and knowledge to live with the crisis and build a sustainable future.

“While the challenges are great, so is the potential for tremendous positive change. As leaders in training, you have a unique opportunity to shape the future of your communities, your countries, and our planet,” she said.

The Ambassador noted that innovations in clean energy, sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation would not only benefit communities but resonate globally.

Dr Henry K, Kokofu, the Executive Director of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), in a statement delivered on his behalf, said climate technology was a major vehicle for achieving the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

He noted that technology know-how was a key vehicle for implementing the 47 measures Ghana had developed to deliver on her NDCs.

Dr Kokofu said the country had conducted Technology Needs Assessments (TNA) that flagged four priority areas, including rainwater collection from ground surfaces, post-construction support for community-managed water systems, integrated nutrient management and Community-Based Extension Agent.

He said the country had received support from the Green Climate Fund to develop an early warning drought and forecasting system through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Climate Technology Centre and Network.

Professor Samuel K. Bonsu, the Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Admiration, urged the participants to leverage the strengths of each other and forge partnerships to upscale their innovations.

He charged them to develop more innovations, be climate solution advocates and ensure sustainable consumption.

“There are no boundaries when it comes to climate change,” said Dr. Esi E. Sey, Project Director of YALI RLC Accra.

“Through the Climate Tech Innovators and Leaders Program, we wish to join hands with young people from across Africa to build a world where there are also no boundaries to climate tech.”
The new programme is a collaborative effort of three YALI Regional Leadership Centers (East Africa; Southern Africa; and West Africa) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The YALI Climate Tech Innovators and Leaders’ Programme is a unique opportunity for young African leaders to develop the skills and knowledge they need to make a difference in the fight against climate change.
The programme is also an opportunity to build relationships and networks with other young leaders from across the continent.

Since 2015, the YALI Regional Leadership Centers in Africa have trained more than 7,800 young leaders.

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