UAE's global sustainability award opens for submission of entries

08 Feb 2019, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


Winners in each category will receive $600,000 in prize funds to develop and enhance their existing sustainability solutions.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed, with winners of 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize

The Zayed Sustainability Prize – a global award inspired by the sustainability vision and legacy of former President of the United Arab Emirates, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – is now open for submission of entries for its 2020 edition. The submission process, which opened on January 30, will close on May 30.

Organisations and schools are invited to submit their entries in any of the five categories of the award: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. The submission process opened a couple of weeks following the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2019 award ceremony in January when three innovations making impacts in Africa were recognised for their innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions.

“Building on the Prize’s 11-year track record of awarding exceptional innovations, we hope to attract and reward the world’s foremost sustainability pioneers while encouraging an agenda that supports an integrated approach to resolving global sustainability challenges,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE’s Minister of State.

According to a statement by the UAE initiative, the five categories are designed to closely align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reward global organisations that empower and enhance disadvantaged communities. It is also aimed at encouraging schools to nurture the next generation of sustainability leaders.

Examples of winning solutions and school projects are those that facilitate access to healthcare technologies in rural regions, improve food security and encourage sustainable agriculture, deliver greater access to energy for off-grid communities, offer affordable clean drinking water and sanitation solutions, as well as enhance education, training and advocacy.

Established in 2008 as Zayed Future Energy Prize and renamed in 2018 to focus on global sustainability priorities, the Prize winners have delivered direct and indirect positive impact to more than 318 million people around the world.

According to the organisation, winners in each category will receive $600,000 in prize funds to develop and enhance their existing sustainability solutions. In the global high school category, six schools from the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Europe and Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia and Pacific will receive up to $100,000 each to create or enhance a school or local community project.

Over the past decade and for the 2019 edition of the Prize, Africa has received more entries than any other world region. This reflects the continent’s rapidly-growing innovation ecosystem. African innovators who won in the last edition were Tanzania's Sanku and South Africa-based African Leadership Academy.

Sanku reportedly won for its ability to reach out to communities that are vulnerable to malnutrition by equipping and incentivising small-scale, local millers to fortify their flour with nutrients that are scientifically proven to improve health. The African Leadership Academy created a water treatment machine, called "The Living Machine," which treats greywater. The school is also looking to implement solar power that will cut electricity costs and increase savings to fund additional renewable energy projects, across the continent.

“To build on this, more innovators from the continent that create positive and sustainable solutions for people in the region are encouraged to enter for the 2020 edition of the Prize,” said Ahmed Al Jaber, who is also the Director-General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize.