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AfDB’s incubation of innovations in renewable energy praised by participants, partners

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A group of young innovators, Africa Bio-Energy Team, being incubated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), undertook a field visit to Biogas Technologies Africa Ltd. in Accra, Ghana, from August 10 to 13, 2016. They were accompanied by members of the Bank’s African Development Institute (EADI).

The visit sought to empower the team about biogas production, as well as learn about the company’s operations. It also provided an opportunity to discuss a possible partnership with Biogas Technologies Africa Ltd.

The Africa Bio-Energy Team was one of the winners at an AfDB-organised Innovation Weekend in October 2015. This was the Bank’s first-ever tech innovation event in Abidjan. It sought to stimulate a culture of innovative thinking among AfDB staff, that will result in new products, programs, projects and processes; and promote entrepreneurship among young people, encouraging them to find technology-based solutions to problems they are facing, thereby enhancing job creation.  

The Africa Bio-Energy Team comprises six youth from Côte d’Ivoire. The aim of their project is to produce energy by converting waste to biogas energy for the Ivorian market.

While in Accra, the team was received by Biogas Technologies Africa Ltd. Chief Executive Officer, John Idan, whose firm specialises in the planning, designing and construction of anaerobic sewage and biodegradable organic waste recycling reuse technologies.

He lauded the Bank for its leadership on energy and agriculture issues in Africa. Idan also called on AfDB to facilitate the creation of an environment to build capacity and promote knowledge exchange in biogas technologies. 

Similarly, Africa Bio-Energy Team’s head, Andre Atcho, expressed gratitude to the AfDB for supporting young innovators in Africa. He stressed the importance of the visit, reiterating his team’s commitment and determination to succeed in implementing the biogas project not only in Côte d’Ivoire but across Africa. 

Foster Ofosu of the African Development Institute led the Bank’s delegation. He emphasised its commitment to supporting young innovators and entrepreneurs in order to help solve Africa’s skills and employment challenges among the youth.

The team also attended the 2nd Ghana Renewable Energy Fair, which included exhibitions and presentations by industry and government representatives. They visited Biogas Technologies Africa Ltd.project sites, including hospitals, universities, and communities.

EADI and the office of the AfDB’s Special Envoy on Gender are involved in coaching, mentoring and incubating innovations of young entrepreneurs. Four winning teams participated in an Innovation Boot Camp held in February 2016 in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire. 

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