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About YouthADAPT Challenge 2023

The African Development Bank Group and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) are jointly implementing a strategic partnership program, the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), aimed at mobilizing $25 billion to scale up and accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa.

One of the four flagships under this program is the YouthAdapt: Empowering Youth for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Climate Adaptation and Resilience. Under the YouthADAPT program, AAAP is scaling up youth innovations for climate action through the Africa Youth Adaptation #YouthADAPT Challenge

This cohort targets only female-owned enterprises working on Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies and innovations for climate adaptation action in Africa and addressing gender inequality in their solutions. Examples of 4IR technologies include artificial intelligence, big data analytics, virtual reality, robotics, the Internet of Things, quantum computing technologies, additive manufacturing blockchain, and Fifth-generation wireless. These should be solutions being implemented in real-life on-the-ground climate situations in Africa.  This call for applications is supported by funds from the Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF) hosted by the African Development Bank.

Call for applications

Selected female applicants stand to benefit from:

  • Grants of up to USD 100,000 per enterprise to support their business growth plans.
  • Participate in a 1-year accelerator program designed to empower the selected young entrepreneurs and their teams with tailored business development skills, mentorship, training and resources to scale-up climate adaptation innovations and boost the creation of green jobs.
  • Expanding partnership, knowledge sharing, exchange and learning through a network of youth entrepreneurs in Africa.
  • Tailored business development services to elevate your climate solutions and generate green jobs.
  • Join the YouthADAPT Alumni Network

The selected female youth-owned enterprises will be equipped with tailored business development skills, mentorship, training, and resources to scale up climate adaptation innovations and boost the creation of green jobs. 

This support will help the enterprises to build their institutional capacity, position themselves to effectively utilize grants offered and to also mobilize additional private capital, scale up climate adaptation action at the grassroots level and create employment opportunities across Africa. They will also access training workshops tailored to provide practical skills in entrepreneurship and climate adaptation mainstreaming.

Additional support will be provided to these youth entrepreneurs through professional mentorship to enable them to execute their business growth plans, create jobs, and support the Africa continental effort towards climate resilience.

Support tool to develop a strong climate rationale

The YouthADAPT call for applications is open to a wide range of innovative 4IR climate change adaptation solutions that can potentially qualify for participation in the program. However, it's crucial to understand that any innovative solution chosen must have a robust climate rationale.

To help applicants in this regard, a practical tool has been developed. This tool serves two essential purposes: first, it acknowledges the diversity of potential innovations, and second, it provides a structured framework for building a strong climate rationale. IAdditionally, it outlines a series of clear steps to guide applicants through the process of developing a compelling climate rationale.

By using this tool, you'll be able to effectively categorize your innovation and articulate how it aligns with the overarching goals of climate adaptation. This structured approach ensures that your application clearly conveys the robust reasons behind your solution's relevance and effectiveness in addressing climate change challenges within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


  1. Type 1/Projects or Activities that are adapted: In the first category, Type 1 innovations encompass innovations that are adapted in response to climate change. These innovations are designed to ensure that their intended objectives are achieved despite the challenges posed by climate-related risks. While adaptation is not the primary objective of these innovations, they include necessary adjustments or improvements to enhance their performance in the face of both observed and anticipated impacts of climate change. These measures are vital to safeguard the success of the innovation in a changing climate landscape. Type 1 innovations are characterized by their ability to effectively manage physical climate risks while pursuing their primary objectives. They recognize the need to adapt to the changing climate conditions and integrate strategies that mitigate risks, ensuring the project's or innovation's resilience. This type of innovation is crucial for maintaining continuity and effectiveness in various sectors, ranging from agriculture to infrastructure development.
  2. Type 2/Projects or Projects or Activities that have shared objectives of adaptation and development: Type 2 innovations represent a category where the primary objectives of the innovation include both adaptation and development. These innovations directly target the reduction of physical climate risks and aim to enhance the adaptive capacity of the system within which they operate. They are typically identified based on a thorough understanding of the physical climate risks faced by the system where the innovation is implemented. As a result, they are inherently designed to cope with both existing and anticipated impacts of climate change. Adaptation is a core goal in these innovations, and they work towards building resilience while simultaneously achieving development objectives. Type 2 innovations are instrumental in addressing climate change challenges while promoting sustainable development. They exemplify the integration of climate resilience into broader development initiatives and serve as essential tools for building a more climate-resilient future.
  3. Type 3/Projects or Activities that enable adaptation: Type 3 innovations are a distinct category focused on enabling adaptation. These innovations play a vital role in addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability to climate change at a systemic level. They go beyond immediate adaptation actions and work towards creating the necessary conditions for policy and regulatory developments, enhancing physical or natural assets, building capacity, advancing technology, and improving knowledge. Adaptation is the primary objective of Type 3 innovations, and they facilitate adaptation efforts beyond their immediate scope. By addressing systemic vulnerabilities and removing barriers to adaptation, Type 3 innovations contribute significantly to building a more resilient society. They work towards creating an environment that supports and enhances the effectiveness of adaptation strategies, ultimately promoting a sustainable and climate-resilient future.

In the first step, you need to create a solid foundation for your climate rationale. To qualify your innovation as an adaptation activity, you must support it with robust evidence and show the climate challenges that your innovation addresses. You can do this by referring to climate vulnerability data from existing studies or from your own research. These data should be based on reliable sources and should explain how your community, physical  assets, and ecosystems are affected by climate change. You might check recent climate patterns, including unusual weather changes and how they impact the community or region where you are applying your innovation. This will help you create a strong foundation for your climate adaptation innovation.

Once you've established the context of climate vulnerability, your application must explicitly express how your innovation addresses these vulnerabilities. This is a crucial step to show how your innovation addresses climate change impacts. The key is to ensure that your innovation doesn't worsen vulnerabilities beyond its scope and aligns with relevant adaptation strategies and plans such as national adaptation plans, nationally determined contributions, longterm strategies, or other relevant policy documents.

For each part of your project or innovation, show a direct link to the context of climate change vulnerability you identified in Step 1. If possible, break down your innovation into discrete activities. Each innovation activity should be assessed to determine if it's directly related to adaptation. This step ensures that your financial resources align with the innovation's adaptation objectives and its contribution to building climate resilience. When it's not feasible to separate your innovation into individual activities, consider how the innovation as a whole aligns with your climate adaptation objectives. This step will help your financial resources support your climate efforts effectively and illustrate the effectiveness of your adaptation innovation.