NGO launches initiative to curb environmental impact of tech ecosystem

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By Jessica Dogo

Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) has launched a multilayered initiative to mitigate the impact of Nigeria’s burgeoning technology ecosystem on the environment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AREAi, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), launched the SCALE initiative on Tuesday in Abuja.

The initiative is funded by the Digital Access Programme (DAP) of the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The Project Manager, Gideon Olanrewaju, said the initiative would improve eco-consciousness and drive responsible digital behaviours in the use and maintenance of digital tools and internet devices.

Olanrewaju said the organisation would leverage its expertise and extensive capacity in digital transformation and sustainability to achieve the project’s objectives.

“The initiative will champion series of activities that range from evidence generation, knowledge management and mobilisation, incentivised capacity development, media-driven public awareness, and high-level policy advocacy activities.

“This move aims at aligning producers, consumers and stakeholders of the technology sector with eco-consciousness, ensuring a greener, more sustainable future for Nigeria’s digital landscape.

“This initiative, under the theme “Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) for Net Zero” program will directly engage information and communications technology companies, digital start-ups, innovation hubs.

“Other key stakeholders in the tech ecosystem will be engaged to facilitate their understanding about technology’s high negative environmental cost, then mobilise them to collectively commit and act towards reducing their contributions to digital carbon footprint.”

He explained that the initiative would drive citizens’ engagement strategy on a large scale, by providing empowerment to key technology hubs in Abia, Rivers, Lagos, Kaduna and Adamawa states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

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The project manager added that the organisation would work in collaboration with research institutions, tech startups, government agencies and civil society organisations.

”To mobilise high level stakeholders engagement in fulfilment of the policy regulatory requirements of the initiative, we will be exploring key partnerships with National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.

“Others are, E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation Nigeria, National Information Technology Development Agency, the Department of Climate Change of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the National Council on Climate Change.

“The Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change and the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan Office”.

Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, Idongesit Udoh said that the intervention was a novel effort to leverage evidence-based and citizens-led approaches to promote digital sustainability awareness and progressive use of technology.

Udoh said the progressive use of technology should be environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable.

“Hence, the UK Government is once again demonstrating timely support, not only for Nigeria’s inclusive economic development but also in building eco-friendliness within its technology ecosystem through energy-efficient technology business operations.

“Our DAP programme will continue to initiate significant partnerships with local organisations to drive the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognising the tech ecosystem’ role in net zero transition and sustainable development.” (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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