18th January, 2024
For Immediate Release
A group of civil society and youth-driven organisations led by Policy Alert have launched a national campaign to mainstream young people and their priorities in Nigeria’s energy transition.
Presenting the platform tagged #YouthVoices2060 during a virtual launch event yesterday, Edidiong Dickson, Policy Alert’s Programme Officer for Energy, Extractives, and Climate Justice, described it as “a loose network of young people and youth-focused organizations contributing skills, energy, and innovations towards Nigeria’s fossil fuel phase out and the transition to a clean energy future”, adding that “Youth Voices 2060 is launched as an organic marketplace of ideas for and by young people.”
An outcome statement released at the end of the event stated: “With over 70 percent of its population below the age of 30, Nigeria has the world’s biggest youth cohort relative to its population size. The country also has one of the largest energy deficits globally.
“In the context of the global energy transition, this contradiction offers a demographic opportunity to transform the country’s energy system in clean and sustainable ways that can benefit both young people and society in general.”
The statement noted that some domestic policy frameworks on de-carbonisation, including the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) launched in August 2022, neither involved youths in their formulation nor did they contain any explicit references to youth priorities. The youths further urged Nigeria’s government to review the ETP and mainstream youth perspectives in its implementation as the country approaches 2060, its target year to attain carbon neutrality.
Speakers at the launch event included Olumide Olaniyan, Executive Director of International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), Chizoba Nzeakor, a climate and clean energy professional with Zoba Advisory, and Emmanuel Anene, a doctoral researcher in clean energy. Others included Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah, Deputy Director, communications and stakeholder’s Management at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), David Arinze, Programme Officer at Diamond Development Initiatives, Lauritta Boniface, Co-founder of Ecocykle, and Richard Umar, Founder of Youth Voyage of Nigeria.
The launch was organised in partnership with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and BudgIT Foundation.