Egypt has unveiled a global ClimaTech Run competition for start-ups and digital artists to address the most pressing climate challenges on the road to Cop27 and beyond.
Its partners include the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Export-Import Bank, the World Food Programme, Google, the UN Population Fund, General Motors, Egyptian multinational conglomerate Mansour Group, the UN Industrial Development Organization, the UNDP Accelerator Lab and Microsoft, as well as others from the entrepreneurial community.
The initiative is led by the Ministry of International Co-operation, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Environment, as the Egyptian government ramps up preparations to host the UN climate change conference in Sharm El Sheikh in November.
Further, Start-up finalists will have the chance to pitch their ideas at Cop27 and win monetary prizes of up to $100,000 on offer. They will also participate in a mentorship and capacity-building programme.
The winning digital artists will win up to $5,000 and have their work showcased at Cop27.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat at the ClimaTech Run launch event in Cairo on Monday said, “This event sends a powerful message that through innovation and start-ups, we can better our environment and our lives for ourselves and for the future generations as well. This ecosystem that we are trying to forge that is conducive to intellect and innovation — the new way of thinking out of the box — is definitely the way forward”.
However, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and other government figures have emphasized in recent months that Cop27 would be the “Cop for action”, moving from commitments to implementation. They have also stressed the importance of engaging youths.
Also, Minister of International Co-operation, Rania Al Mashat said, “There has been so much interest in partnering to see a Cop which is different. That is why we wanted to make sure that the youth from all over the world are able to actually connect.”
Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said it was the “power of youth” that would materialize ambitions and result in action on the ground.
“It is the start-ups and the entrepreneurs that can bring climate innovation and technology to the forefront”.
Nicole Shampaine, charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Cairo, echoed the importance of supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
But the US government has provided more than $30 billion in assistance to Egypt and, over the past decade, has supported more than 10,000 Egyptian start-ups through USAID.