Two Nigerians win $500,000 worth of tech prize towards carbon emission reduction
- Two Nigerians, Dr Samuel Adekunle and Johnson Jayeola, have won the See Through Carbon competition worth $500,000 worth of tech on a project that seeks to reduce carbon emissions
- It was not just a proud moment for Nigerians, it also brought happiness to the faces of many who considered it a turning point in the fight against carbon emissions
- The victory, in all its forms, is a stepping stone to healthier lives, as they said it would benefit millions of Nigerians
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Samuel Adekunle and Johnson Jayeola, two brilliant Nigerians, have been announced winners of the tech-worth $500,000 See Through Carbon competition, alongside UK-based Italian tech entrepreneur Laura Degiovanni.
The See Through Carbon Competition is a unique pilot project to bring cutting-edge technology to promote carbon drawdown in the Global South.
The winners are to work with people through the projects to bring lasting positive change to the environment and improve living conditions.
Johnson Jayeola, the director of environment & sustainability and a managing partner at Fring Integrated, is a chemist, industrial researcher and ‘climate actioneer’.
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His professional background includes health, safety and environmental compliance, clean energy research and development, quality control and quality assurance in the energy sector.
The researcher's work will bring zero-carbon cookstoves to poor rural villagers and improve the health of rural Nigerians.
"My project is substituting the usage of firewood for cooking with Powerstove (a zero carbon biofuel cooking system driven by pellet fuel) and the data gathering procedure will involve sensitization of locals about carbon and its effects.
"The former explicitly speeds up carbon drawdown while the latter expressly makes the inactive become active.
"This prize will aid my project in preserving the trees, reducing carbon footprints, sensitising and enhancing the health of Nigerians in rural communities," Jayeola said after being declared winner.
Adekunle, on the other hand, is a researcher in construction and the built environment at the University of Johannesburg.
The project is focused on common people
In a conversation with Legit.ng, Jayeola co-winner Adekunle said the project is tailored to make them active participants in reducing carbon emissions.
"My project is focused on the common people; the central theme is to make the common people active stakeholders in the fight against carbon emissions. It is tailored to make them active participants in achieving carbon emissions and its impacts in Africa."
"The common people will be more informed and intentional in their daily activities as it affects carbon emissions. I have a passion for conducting impact-driven research with measurable outcomes on society," he said.
Carbon reduction brings better health
As a researcher focused on helping the global south achieve SDGs, he emphasised that carbon reduction is a key to better health and environmental conditions.
In his words:
"The effect of these emissions has far-reaching impacts that affect every human irrespective of social status; hence it is an important area requiring attention."
Adekunle, an alumnus of the University of Lagos who also bagged his PhD from the University of Johannesburg, said his interest in climate change began when the flooding in Lagos continued to take a nosedive.
"Growing up in a community with flooding challenges yearly during the rainy season and the attendant problems has always been a motivation to research more into the cause and change the narrative if possible.
"With climate change, the flooding and its impacts worsened, and I started researching more into the cause and how it can be mitigated. That was the beginning of my journey into climate change and related research areas, he added."
Standing out among many
In a press release from the competition's management, the two projects stood out among the numerous applications received.
Robert Stern, who chaired the panel of judges, said:
‘The fact that these two projects are so different, and different again from Samuel’s application, is very exciting for us. None of us knew what to expect when we threw this Competition together at short notice to make best use of Yellow Dog’s extraordinary, and unexpected, donation.
"It’s hugely encouraging to learn not only that projects like this exist, but that we can access them, and, we hope, transformatively help them."
See Through Carbon Competition's goal is to seek projects that speed up carbon drawdown by helping the "inactive become active.''
As a genuine ‘climate actioneer’ driven by a positive purpose, he said his project, which will substitute firewood with power stoves, will achieve the overall goal of the prize.
"My project is substituting the usage of firewood for cooking with Powerstove (a zero carbon biofuel cooking system driven by pellet fuel), and the data gathering procedure will involve sensitization of locals about carbon and its effects. The former explicitly speeds up carbon drawdown while the latter expressly makes the inactive become active."
The award winner wants the younger Nigerians to come on board to help fight disastrous emissions.
Brilliant Nigerian man wins N220 million academic prize
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a Nigerian scholar, Saheed Aderinto, has been awarded the Dan David Prize for History.
Aderinto, a Florida International University lecturer, shared the cheering news on his Facebook wall.
The Dan David Prize for History was instituted in 2000 and is awarded yearly to exceptional scholars who have distinguished themselves in the field.