The International Climate Initiative (IKI) of Germany, also known as the Internationale Klimaschutzinitiative, has announced the approval of two transformative youth-focused projects aimed at tackling climate change in Zambia and Namibia.
These projects represent a remarkable display of collaboration and dedication to empowering Africa’s future, with the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub offering valuable contributions to the project development process of both.
The first initiative, the Zambia Education Programme for Climate Action (ZEPCA) project, is led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The project aims to establish a climate education programme to empower and engage citizens’ support to achieve the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, are climate pledges under the Paris Agreement, which specifies what each country will do to meet the global goals to manage climate impacts. the project has been funded by an IKI Medium Grant of US$19,097,246.
Zambia’s education program for climate action aims to raise awareness and empower students to combat climate change. It integrates environmental topics into the curriculum, fosters sustainability projects, and encourages eco-conscious behaviours. The initiative seeks to equip Zambia’s youth with knowledge and skills to address climate challenges and build a greener future.
Commonwealth National Climate Finance Adviser (CNCFA) for Zambia, Dr Othniel Yila, provided significant contribution, from concept development to proposal submission, to the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment and in collaboration with FAO and other partners.
Zambia like many African nations, face the brunt of climate change. Increased temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events have disrupted livelihoods, agriculture, and ecosystems. The youth in these countries are particularly vulnerable, as they will bear the long-term consequences of climate change.
IKI’s commitment to supporting climate projects in Africa is a crucial step towards addressing these challenges. By engaging youth-focused initiatives, IKI not only acknowledges the importance of involving the younger generation in climate action but also recognizes their potential as change-makers and leaders in the fight against climate change.
One key aspect of IKI’s approach is capacity building among the youth. This includes providing training and education on climate change, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy technologies. Empowering young people with knowledge and skills equips them to adapt to climate impacts and develop innovative solutions.
The second project, named Locally Manufactured e-Bikes with Rental System for Peri-Urban Communities in Namibia, was valued at US$78,186. The funding was awarded to the social enterprise, Suncycles Electrics Namibia (EBIKES4AFRICA).
This IKI Small Grants project aims to introduce solar-powered e-bikes and e-cargo bikes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the transport sector. By training young people to set up the hubs and manufacture a total of 24 e-bikes, it will provide sustainable transport to underserved communities.
It is anticipated that the project will be a blueprint for the implementation of additional E-Hubs around Windhoek and the northern regions of Namibia.
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub currently has 12 Commonwealth National Climate Finance Advisers deployed in various countries. As at the end of June 2023, it has supported countries in mobilising US$276.21 million in climate finance, including US$2.9 million in co-financing for 73 projects.
The collaboration between Germany’s International Climate Initiative and African nations like Zambia and Namibia holds immense potential for empowering Africa’s future in the face of climate change. By focusing on youth-centred projects, capacity building, knowledge exchange, and technology transfer, these initiatives can foster sustainable development, mitigate the impact of climate change, and pave the way for a greener and more resilient future for Africa. Such collaborative efforts should be encouraged and expanded to other African nations to amplify their positive impact.