An NGO, Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI) Solution17 for Climate Action, has launched Solution17 Food-A-Thon in partnership with LG Electronics.
The launch was part of activities initiated ahead of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) billed for November 2023 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, and the Niger State Government are supporting the initiative.
Speaking at an event at Pan-Atlantic University to rally support for the initiative, Gov. Mohammed Bago of Niger said the state was ready to partner with Solution17 to boost agriculture development in the state.
Bago, who was represented by Alhaji Abubakar Usman, the Secretary to the State Government, said the administration would also support youth engagement, innovation and agroforestry in line with the state’s green economy agenda.
He reiterated support for Solution17 Food-A-Thon and the proposed innovation hub in Niger.
The forum had as theme: “Fostering Youth-Led Innovation to Drive AgriFood Systems Transformation and Climate Action.”
The governor also said Solution17 Food-A-Thon would utilise Education, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Youth Action and Climate Art to create sustainable solutions to boost agri-food.
This, he said, would be achieved by establishing startups and climate action enterprises to boost food security, aid poverty reduction as well as promote wealth creation, green economy and low carbon development.
”In line with our unwavering dedication to sustainability, I am thrilled to announce that Niger State will host a groundbreaking ‘National Green Summit’ later this year.
This summit will be a pivotal platform for unveiling the Niger State Blueprint on Green Economy.
“This comprehensive roadmap will guide our efforts in achieving a sustainable and prosperous Niger for all.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity to collectively chart a course toward a greener, more prosperous Niger State, setting a powerful example for others to follow.
“Niger State is an agrarian society, sitting on a vast land mass of approximately 8.6 million hectares, constituting about 9.3% of the country’s total land area with abundant vegetation, water bodies and mineral resources.
“Our vision, though ambitious, is to diversify its agrarian economy rapidly. This is attainable,” he said.
The CEO and Project Director of CYCDI-Solution17, Foluke Michael, said food security remained one of Nigeria’s critical challenges.
According to her, Solution17 Food-A-Thon seeks to build an inclusive, youth-led platform to drive local action, community engagement and radical change in the agri-food systems.
“We will implement sustainable projects to inspire youth and women in Nigeria with their unique and shared priorities and interests.
“The project is divided into Innovation and Startups and Art for Climate Change.
“The process begins with ideas and converges to art to raise global awareness and spur everyone to action through sustainable, project-based art and culture exhibitions to inspire and galvanise widespread discussion on Food Action, Climate Action and global net zero.
“The platform will engage youth across different universities, colleges and youth-based organisations.
“As a nation, we must move from complaining to value additions, problems to solutions, poverty to prosperity through wealth creation, and consumption to production,” Foluke added.
LG Electronics, as part of the launch activities, planted 50 trees which were digitally captured by Ecomatcher Tree Technology.
The digitalisation helps businesses integrate tree planting into their processes as well connect customers to their sustainability journey.
Mr Hari Elluru, Head of Corporate Marketing, LG Electronics West Africa, said tree planting is one of LG’s key initiatives.
“We recognise the critical role that forests play in mitigating climate change.
“They act as carbon sinks, support biodiversity, protect watersheds, and provide numerous benefits to local ecosystems.
“This is why we have committed to planting trees in collaboration with Solution17.
“By doing so, we are sequestering carbon, revitalising ecosystems, and safeguarding natural resources for future generations.
“We have implemented tree planting in different areas in Lagos State and duly recognised by the Lagos State Government,” he added.
In his address of welcome, Dr Peter Bamkole, Chief Operating Officer of Pan-Atlantic University, reiterated the university’s commitment to research, environmental sustainability and green economy.
He lauded CYCDI and LG for supporting the university’s drive to actualise the Sustainable Development Goals.
By Mufutau Ojo