Empowering Young Innovators Toward Sustainable Climate Solutions

At AL for Infrastructure, we believe in harnessing the potential of young leaders to drive impactful change in Africa’s infrastructure landscape. Our Design and Innovation Challenges (DIC), conducted in partnership with industry leaders, serve as incubators for groundbreaking solutions that address real-world challenges. In 2023, our collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Mitsubishi Corporation culminated in an 8-week DIC focused on natural climate solutions.

Out of the 16 brilliant minds who participated, a team from African Leadership Academy (ALA) emerged victorious with their innovative project, aptly named ‘The Irrigation Project.’ Comprised of Fabris Mulindi, Christine Kabiru, Tiekoura Ouattara, and Adem Ezzidini, this team demonstrated exceptional creativity and problem-solving skills.

But our journey didn’t end with the DIC. In alignment with our commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering meaningful partnerships, we organized an enriching trip for the winning team to visit Conservation International SA’s project site in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region. This conservation initiative, generously funded by Mitsubishi Corporation, provides a perfect opportunity for our students to witness firsthand the deployment of nature-based climate solutions.

During their visit, the students embarked on a transformative learning experience:

Day 1: Exploring Education for Sustainability

  • Afternoon Flight to Hoedspruit from JHB airport.
  • Morning Visit to Acorns to Oaks High School: Learning about the school’s history, sharing ALA’s story, and fostering cross-learning between educators and students.
  • Afternoon Exploration of the Acorns to Oaks Climate Learning Hub: Engaging with nature-positive innovations and understanding the role of technology in driving enterprise development.

Day 2: Immersion in Community Initiatives

  • Morning Field Visit to CSA Sites: Gaining insights into community-led initiatives in the rangelands and forests, with a focus on the Grassland Carbon Project and assisted natural regeneration.
  • Afternoon Presentation of ‘The Irrigation Project’ to CSA Team: Seeking valuable advice and feedback from conservation experts.

Day 3: Conservation Expedition

  • Morning Exploration of Kruger National Park or Manyeleti Game Reserve: Deepening understanding of the region’s ecological significance and conservation efforts.

Through this immersive experience, our young innovators will not only gain valuable insights into nature-based solutions but also forge meaningful connections with like-minded individuals and organizations. Moreover, the trip catalyzes potential collaborations between ALA and Acorns to Oaks High School, opening doors for future endeavors in sustainability education.

At AL for Infrastructure, we are committed to empowering the next generation of change-makers and driving sustainable development across Africa. Join us as we continue to inspire, innovate, and create a brighter future for generations to come.

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