Partnerships for the planet: PachiPanda

26 April 2024

Africa’s rising temperatures and resource scarcity pose a significant challenge but also an under-explored strategic opportunity. Young Africans, particularly vulnerable and innovative, are key to a ‘just transition’ – one that tackles climate change while fostering socioeconomic development. By supporting youth-led climate ventures, we can secure a resilient future for Africa, establish ourselves as a sustainability leader, and unlock new markets driven by innovative solutions.

MTN is supporting and encouraging young climate entrepreneurs through our Africa PachiPanda Challenge. This initiative encourages SMEs and youth to create new ideas that tackle current environmental challenges and promote sustainability using digital innovations. We are replicating and scaling the PachiPanda Challenge in 2022 held by MTN Zambia which was delivered through a partnership between MTN Zambia and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). The Group is scaling a similar programme across the continent for MTN markets to engage, as part of our climate entrepreneurship mandate and in line with the Group-wide sustainability strategy. The first round will include South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda and Zambia, followed by an African final.

Africa’s climate entrepreneurship scene presents a compelling strategic opportunity. These innovative ventures are at the forefront of tackling the continent’s environmental challenges, developing cutting‑edge solutions with the potential to transform Africa’s sustainability landscape. Through strategic partnerships or investments in these ventures, we can support emerging technologies specific to local market needs and contribute to a more resilient and sustainable Africa that reinforces our commitment to responsible business practices.

Top honours in the PachiPanda Challenge 2023 went to Isaac Mwanza, a visionary student at Mulungushi University and founder of EcoBuild. His initiative converts copper slag to stronger and cheaper cement. The second prize was awarded to New Tech, a venture promoting community recyclable material collection, while the third prize recognised generating renewable electricity and byproducts from waste.

Ultimately, by supporting African climate entrepreneurs, we not only contribute to a better future for the continent, but also solidify our market position as a leader in sustainable solutions.