After two successful and impactful events in Lagos and Abuja, the European Union took its message of green energy and sustainable development to the Centre of Commerce, Kano State, on September 25th.
The event, themed ‘Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future’, took place at the Dangote Business School, Bayero University and was well attended by foreign dignitaries, academics, industry experts, political leaders and students.
Like the preceding editions in Lagos and Abuja, the Kano event sought to bring to the forefront of national discourse, key climate change issues while advocating renewable energy as a viable solution.
Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, in his speech, underlined the effects of climate change in Nigeria and the contribution of the European Union towards combating it. He canvassed for closer partnership between Nigeria and the European Union to ensure the adoption of clean, affordable energy.
It is noteworthy that the EU and the Kano State government successfully completed and launched the Galinja Small Town Water Scheme, providing 9,000 locals access to clean water, sanitation & hygiene.
The event included an insightful panel session on ‘Climate Change and the Conflicts arising from Climate Change.’. The panelists were: Dr. Murtala Badamasi (Representative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, BUK), Dr. Muhammadu Buhari (Lecturer, BUK), Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, and Guillaume Audren de Kerdrel, Deputy Head of the French Mission in Nigeria. Fanen Acho, a renewable energy consultant, moderated the session.
During the discussion, the speakers underscored the palpable evidence of climate change on our environment; from the change in the pattern of rainfalls to the increase in temperature and much more. They also emphasized the need for the governments to acquaint themselves with the larger impacts of climate change and make use of available resources. It was a truly enlightening discussion, as the speakers shared their wealth of knowledge with the audience.
Ambassador Ketil Karlson engaging the students at the panel session with fellow speakers
Alhaji Kabiru Shehu, the Kano State Head of Service, who represented the state government, acknowledged the efforts of the EU in combating climate change and making renewable energy accessible. He also voiced the state’s support to the important causes.
A major highlight of the event was the Climate Innovation Challenge, aimed at sparking up the climate change discourse amongst the students of Bayero University. This challenge encouraged students to share their innovative ideas to tackle the effects of climate change and promote environmental sustainability. Twenty-six students sent in their entries and two winners emerged- Jato Fanan Joseph and Muheeb Ridwan.
Winners of the Climate Innovation Challenge receiving their prizes.
Another highlight of the event was a gripping dance-drama that touched on the importance of education and its role in fighting climate change by discouraging harmful activities like bush burning and the infiltration of waste affecting our biosystem.
Dance drama presented by the theatre group.
In a bid to encourage the students to harness their talents, the students of the University were given the opportunity to bring their vibrant energy on-stage with musical performances and spoken word.
Also taking the stage was legendary singer/ songwriter, Sound Sultan who made a guest appearance, performing a string of his biggest hits to the thrill and delight of the audience.
The European Union has promised to stay committed to its fight against climate change and its promotion of sustainable development in Nigeria. This has led to a number of projects and events, aimed at ensuring that its goals are achieved. Renewable energy has been advocated as a viable solution to Nigeria’s climate change issues, as well as issues in the energy and power sectors.
It is therefore imperative that Nigeria prioritizes these issues, to curb the growing menace, in a bid to create a better future for Nigeria.