Sub-Saharan Africa’s number one business brand, CNBC Africa, has announced the launch of Nazanin Alakija’s the Social Accelerator for a Green Economy (SAGE) Innovation Center to combat climate change and other environmental issues in Nigeria. The S.A.G.E Innovation Centre is a groundbreaking accelerator with a unique focus on developing SME ventures and entrepreneurs in developing countries ‘Green Economy.’ The center would help to build resilience to climate change by enacting programs that would implement best practices for a healthy environment, thereby empowering social entrepreneurs across Nigeria and Africa.
Nigeria is considered 58th most vulnerable and the 22nd least ready nation to adapt to the threats of climate change. Vulnerabilities include exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. An estimated 25% of Nigerians live in the exposed coastal region – a hub for economic activity and source of 90% of foreign income. Responding to climate threats requires collective action. Government must provide leadership by creating and championing a framework with clear goals, roles and responsibilities. Platforms for engagement are required to achieve climate readiness, improve decision making, develop strategies and ensure implementation.
Nazanin Alakija, founder, The S.A.G.E Innovation Centre, reveals that, “There is now a critical need for attention to be paid towards climate change especially in continents or regions plagued by poverty. I believe that climate change is the greatest threat and defining issue of our time which has led to hazard and degradation, thereby posing great threats to lives and property globally; so, S.A.G.E Innovation Centre is borne out of my vision to help combat the effects of climate change upon us and ensure we win the war against environmental pollution of all sorts,” she stated.
She further explained that Nigeria needs to transition into a ‘Green Economy’ and stakeholders in all sectors of the economy need to understand and start formulating ways to implement programs that would ensure the realization of such goals in the society. The center focuses primarily on Entrepreneurship and Innovation with a mission to create sustainable solutions for a better future by empowering SMEs with the right tools they need to achieve this goal in five key economic sectors: Energy efficiency and renewable energy; solar power; climate-smart agriculture; domestic waste management; water management and purification.
Nazanin Alakija is a UNICEF influencer and a fearless advocate for youths, safe environment and the planet. She strongly believes that by empowering innovative entrepreneurs through the S.A.G.E Innovation Centre Programs, the center can help build resilience to climate change by focusing more on the energy and economic system that’s resulted in an underwhelming response and unleash the innovations needed to stabilize and even draw down atmospheric CO2.