Ten Africa-based green start-ups were on yesterday, shortlisted for a prestigious award that recognises homegrown initiatives that have strengthened response to climate emergencies in the continent.
Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive Officer of Ashden, a British charity that promotes green innovations, hailed African social enterprises for coming up with low-cost innovations to help rural communities cope with climate change.
“Africa’s impressive culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is reflected in our longlist,” Lamb said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
“Africa is on the frontline of the climate crisis, with seven out of the top ten climate change affected countries in the continent.
“So it is crucial we promote energy solutions created and proven locally,” she added.
The African green start-ups that were shortlisted for the 2020 edition of Ashden Award have been on the frontline of promoting access to clean energy to rural communities at an affordable cost.
Likewise, these enterprises have initiated green energy projects that have provided new revenue streams to smallholder farmers while enhancing their climate resilience.
Lamb said that universal access to clean energy is yet to be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa where over-reliance on kerosene and firewood has worsened poverty, indoor pollution, respiratory infections and climatic shocks.
“The climate emergency is creating extreme weather, worsening conflict and making it harder for people to earn a living.
“Clean energy can be a huge part of the solution,’’ said Lamb.
She said that political goodwill coupled with regulatory incentives is key to boost investments in clean energy solutions across sub-Saharan Africa.
The ten African green start-ups that were shortlisted for this year’s edition of Ashden Awards broke new ground in electrifying rural villages, promoting sustainable urban transport and transforming livelihoods of refugees and farmers.
Lamb said the African enterprises that were named in the 2020 Ashden Awards longlist, have injected vitality in the continent’s sustainability agenda amid poverty, food insecurity and degradation of vital ecosystems.