The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in partnership with EbonyLife Acadamy has trained no fewer than 119 youths in filmmaking in the state. Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Lagos. Speaking at the graduation ceremony for the filmmakers, Akinbile-Yusuf, congratulated EbonyLife for doing Lagos proud and appreciated it for making good use of available funds for the training of the students. Akinbile-Yusuf was represented by Ms Toyin Ogunlana, Director Administration and Human Resource Department of the ministry. She assured the EbonyLife team of the state government’s continuous support, partnership and collaboration to give hope to the youth and engage them in such a laudable skills acquisition programmes. “Lagos State, in partnership with EbonyLife, had trained six sets of intakes who graduated and were deploying the acquired skills to excel in their chosen areas of expertise within the film industry,” she said. She said this was made possible through the Lagos Creative Initiative (LACI) to fill the skill gaps of professionals in the creative industry in the state.
The USC Schwarzenegger Institute (https://www.USC.edu) hosted 20 Eisenhower Fellows from Africa who are working to address the challenges of pollution and global warming.
Members of the Eisenhower Fellowships Africa Program visited the University of Southern California (USC) in the midst of a six-week tour of the US to meet with experts and exchange knowledge related to sustainability, green investment and solutions. innovative ways to combat air pollution. and climate change.
The participants came from seven African countries and from various fields, such as agriculture, housing, public security, water quality, finance, food security and environmental protection.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who helped boost California's reputation as a leader in the fight against climate change during his time as the state's 38th governor from 2003 to 2011, was pleased that the Institute was able to welcome the fellows.
“I am delighted that the USC Schwarzenegger Institute can host such a distinguished group of Eisenhower Scholars poised to make a real difference to climate change on the African continent,” said Schwarzenegger. "To meet the challenges of pollution and global warming, we need action heroes like these who make an impact around the world."
At USC, Eisenhower Fellows had the opportunity to learn from and interact with Fran Pavley, Director of Environmental Policy at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute; Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator President and CEO Matt Petersen; Jake Levine, Climate Director, US International Development Finance Corporation; and the Associate Rector of Global Commitment of the USC, Paulo Rodrigues.
“It's a privilege to have such a fantastic group of fresh, innovative thinkers, leaders and entrepreneurs visit the University of Southern California campus,” Rodrigues told the fellows. “We are proud of many things here at USC but, as one might suspect, what I am most proud of is our global footprint.”
Rodrigues went on to talk about the USC Africa Hub established in 2020, which aims to establish equitable partnerships for collaborative African and global health research.
He also spoke about USC President Carol Folt's commitment to sustainability coupled with applied research to achieve tangible global impact. This was highlighted in April when USC announced sustainability goals and green initiatives during Earth Week.
Pavley, author of the landmark climate policies championed by Governor Schwarzenegger during her time in the state Senate, said the world has changed dramatically since then.
"When we started all of this more than 20 years ago, we thought the impacts of climate change would maybe start more like 2050," Pavley said. "This is much faster than we thought, and we are feeling it here in California."
In response, he said state departments are aggressively trying to move from mitigation strategies to full adaptation.
An example is the restoration of watersheds and wetlands, which is good for both carbon sequestration and adaptation to floods and sea level rise.
Speaking to the group remotely from Washington, DC, Levine explained the approach of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the newest federal agency that uses a number of financial tools to invest in development in around the world, with a focus and middle-income countries.
Levine leads the climate team that seeks to diversify and scale climate investments, with a particular focus on increasing adaptation.
DFC's equity financing tool made its first African investment in Daystar Power, a Nigeria-based solar energy company.
“When you look at overall climate finance flows, it's typically more than 90 percent on the mitigation side, and that doesn't compare to the needs and the impacts that are unfolding around the world where climate change is here and the communities are dealing with the impacts. Levin said.
Petersen, who was chief architect of the Los Angeles Sustainable City Plan during his time as Los Angeles Chief Sustainability Officer under Mayor Eric Garcetti, explained the mission of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).
LACI unlocks innovation by empowering startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies; summons alliances in transport, energy and sustainable cities; and improves the community through workforce development, pilots, and programs.
The Eisenhower Fellows asked Petersen how new technologies could be adapted in Africa and how to approach workforce training in rural African neighborhoods.
“Clearly, entrepreneurs on the African continent can better tell us how technologies should be adapted to be more useful in local economies,” said Petersen. “I think electric bikes and electric motorcycles are a good place to start. And then how to get the car manufacturers to say that we export the electric vehicles that are also appropriate for Africa.”
Delmwa Deshi-Kura from Nigeria explained the value of the Eisenhower Fellowship and how the tour of the US and visit to USC will help her in her efforts to produce television and film content for African social impact projects.
"The Eisenhower Fellowship attracts leaders from across Africa with the goal of taking what we're doing, bringing it into an environmental arena and teaching us some of the best practices that apply globally and, more importantly, building networks." Deshi Kura said. “A lot of times, it's not the money that's holding us back, it's not being aware of new innovations that might relate to the work you're doing because you're just not in certain circles. So Fellowship has been a great leap in connecting us with the right people with the right information to help drive our solutions forward, like Matt and Fran. We've read a lot about Fran, and the work Matt has done with startups is a lot we can take home with us."
Evodius Riutta, an Eisenhower Fellow from Tanzania, started an agricultural innovation lab, MAVUNOLAB, to work with agribusiness start-ups to find solutions for post-harvest food loss due to spoilage. His project focuses on expanding African farmers' access to solar-powered cold storage facilities to extend the shelf life of fresh produce.
As someone who works with start-ups, he is excited to connect with Petersen. And he wants to explore working with the USC Africa Hub in Nairobi.
“I think for us who come from Africa, the opportunity to connect with academic institutions in the US, especially those that have a presence in Africa, opens doors for partnership and collaboration,” Riutta said. “What I liked about today is that you had a diverse group of speakers, one who works with a federal agency in Washington, DC, who talked about adaptation finance, another who talked about how startups in the US They are trying to develop smart solutions. , and one who talked about a USC Africa Hub in Nairobi that is very close to me to work directly with USC. Many thanks to USC and the Schwarzenegger Institute for inviting us."