BASF, the world’s leading chemical company committed to economic success, environmental protection, and social responsibility, has entered into partnership with Junior Achievement Worldwide and Junior Achievement Nigeria to organise the second edition of the National Innovation Challenge to boost youth voices for a Sustainable Future.
The event, which took place recently, marked a significant step towards empowering students aged 15 to 20, with a special focus on the under-represented youths.
The initiative aimed at amplifying the voices of young individuals by addressing the local impacts of climate change and inspiring innovative solutions to combat climate-related issues within their communities.
The National Challenge, however, served as a platform for showcasing the efforts of JAN students, who had been exposed to the transformative Climate Change and Just Transition lessons offered by Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAWW).
After a meticulous selection process, nine outstanding student teams presented their groundbreaking ideas and solutions before an esteemed panel of independent judges.
Eco-Life Company, with their innovative products; Filtron, emerged as the winners of the challenge.
The company, through their initiative, developed a device fixed on drainages to stop wastes and plastics from blocking them, thereby preventing flooding, and Fishing Basket, a colourful and long-lasting fishing net made from plastics.
The group, through their outstanding performance earned the prestigious opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Virtual Global Exchange Program.
This international platform will facilitate collaboration and idea exchange among peers from around the world in their commitment to addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change and just transitioning.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, JA Nigeria, Foluso Gbadamosi, said: “Our partnership with Junior Achievement Worldwide and BASF has empowered the young generation, fostering ingenious solutions to pressing climate challenges within their communities.”
Gbadamosi, who extolled the student teams that emerged winner at the challenge added: “With passion and purpose, these remarkable student teams have showcased their brilliance and also ignited a beacon of hope for a more sustainable tomorrow.”
Also, speaking on behalf of BASF, the Country Cluster Head for BASF, Jean-Marc Ricca, said: “It was truly inspiring to see young students demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the challenges in their immediate communities and offer sustainable designs to solve these challenges. As a sponsor, we are proud of this crop of change makers and their innovations.”
A student of Eco-life Company, Government Secondary School Elekehia, River State, Onuka Osonwa, said: “We would like to thank Junior Achievement and BASF for enabling us to take part in this year’s innovative challenge.
“We are happy that we won the National competition, and we urge schools that enter the National competition next year to work passionately for the environment, she added.”
Present at the event were BASF representatives: Dr. Akintayo Adisa, Senior Projects Sustainability Manager, West Africa; Babatunde Aribido, Communications and Advocacy Manager, West Africa; Boluwatito Aiyepola, Circular Economy Specialist, West Africa; and Muhammadulfatiu Adepeju, Digital Communications & Marketing Analyst, West Africa.
More representatives from Junior Achievement Nigeria included Lucy Bolaji, Senior Human Resources and Administrative Manager; Olaolu Akogun, Programs Manager; Oluwatobi Ogunlesi, Manager Marketing and communications; and Fumbi Akinmusuti, Deputy Manager, Business & Development.