By Joseph Abuje
The prestigious Ashden Awards, now in their 20th year, are making their final call for applications from Africa’s low carbon innovators.
The Ashden Awards highlight outstanding climate innovations, boosting bright ideas that can be scaled up or replicated around the world.
Businesses, charities and public sector bodies can enter. As well as a cash grant of up to £20,000, winning organisations receive development support, networking opportunities, and PR support (including a broadcast-quality film about their work).
Awards relevant to Africa with the imminent deadline for applications of 3 March 2021 include:
Ashden Award for humanitarian energy
Ashden Award for cooling in informal settlements
Ashden award for energy access innovation
Ashden Award for natural climate solutions (Congo basin, Amazon, and southeast Asian rainforest specifically
Two new awards with a deadline for applications of 17 March 2021 are:
Ashden Award for energy access skills
Ashden Award for regenerative agriculture
The organisers are particularly keen to receive applications for the categories of energy access skills, regenerative agriculture, and humanitarian energy.
CEO Harriet Lamb said of the new Award for skills in energy access: “While too many young people face unemployment or underemployment, new opportunities are opening for jobs in building the low carbon economy of the future. We know that renewable energy generates more jobs than fossil fuels. But we don’t have people being trained up with those skills to power the future economy. That’s why this Ashden Award is looking for exciting initiatives training people in green skills.”
Referring to the new Award for regenerative agriculture, she said: “Small scale farmers are the heart of the low carbon revolution. They grow our food and they often practice traditional techniques that help store carbon and protect the soil – in fact, the techniques of the future. We are looking for those examples that can inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”
Regenerative agriculture is sustainable farming that nourishes the soil, boosts biodiversity, and improves water management – it could bring enormous benefits to our climate, and to 500 million smallholder farmers around the world.
Winners will be announced at the international climate summit COP26 being held in Glasgow, Scotland in November.