YouthADAPT Competition Winners Outline Investment Plans

Mwale Mwale - pic by Jouhn Paul Kayuni

Two Malawian youth who recently won the 2022 African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge (YouthADAPT Challenge) competition have revealed plans on how they intend to utilize the USD100,000 about K102.7 million business grant.

Ulaya Mwale, 32, founder of Mpatsa Engineering Company Limited and 28-year-old Joyce Sikwese of Green Impact Technologies were among 20 young people from across Africa who were unveiled as winners of the competition at an event held on the sidelines of the global climate conference CoP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Thursday.

Each of the participants was awarded USD100,000 to support their business investments.

Mwale told Zodiak Online the money will help in the growth of Mpatsa Engineering Company Limited as they plan to provide potable water to people especially in rural areas.

Said Mwale; “this grant comes at a time we have been looking forward to move to the next steps in our quest to provide rural Malawians with clean and affordable water services. With the cholera outbreak in Malawi, there can never be a better time than this.

The business grant of USD100 million will help our company to accelerate its growth, as you know, financing MSMEs and start-ups is always a challenge on this side of the world.”

For Sikwese, the funds will be channeled towards upscaling their projects and scope of reach.

“The USD100,000 will be used for procurement of M'bwezera nthaka organic fertilizer processing machine and distribution of portable solar water pumps to smallholder farmers through agro-dealers, cooperatives and associations.” She said.

Sikwese won the Food and Agriculture segment after her entry emerged best, while Mwale emerged best in the Water Resources and Technologies category.

Besides the USD100,000 business grants, the two alongside other 18 winners will have an opportunity to participate in a 12-month business accelerator program to help them scale up their businesses and create decent jobs.

The other winners are from Namibia, Kenya (3), Egypt (2), Cameroon, Nigeria (3), Rwanda, Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Uganda and Cameroon.

During the event, in Sharm el-Sheikh, organizers announced a 100% increase to the business grant and that from next year, winners will be receiving USD200,000.

The YouthADAPT Challenge is an annual competition which was launched on 6 September 2021, with the aim to strengthen inclusive growth, and broaden investment and economic opportunities for youth and women in Africa.

Organized by the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation, as part of the joint Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, the challenge invites young entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium enterprises in Africa to submit solutions and business ideas that can drive climate change adaptation and resilience.

The challenge is organized by the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation, as part of the joint Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.

The YouthADAPT Solutions Challenge aims to strengthen inclusive growth, and broaden investment and economic opportunities for youth and women in Africa. It is supported by funding from the African Development Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multidonor Trust Fund.

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