The International Financial Corporation (IFC) in partnership with African e-logistics start-up, Kobo360 has announced a call for innovators all over the world to bring climate-smart, Temperature-Controlled Logistics (TCL) cooling solutions to Nigeria to help the country address food waste challenges, support its health sector, and reduce its energy consumption. According to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), Nigeria loses about $8.9 billion annually to post-harvest losses.
The IFC initiative, TechEmerge is part of its strategy to support entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging markets and leverage the private sector to bring cutting-edge technologies to tackle some of the world’s most critical development challenges. The initiative is being implemented by IFC in partnership with the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Kobo360 and IFC clients.
Announced on Tuesday, 8 December 2020, the initiative aims to help Nigeria address numerous challenges across its agriculture and health sectors. It also emphasizes the significance of TCL for economic development. Thus, the project would help to deliver perishable goods to shops and shipping ports and keeps medicines and vaccines from spoiling as they are transported to clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals.
According to a statement by William Sonneborn, the IFC’s Senior Director of Disruptive Technologies and Funds, “sustainable cooling technologies represent a fast-growing business opportunity with particular importance to emerging markets.” He added that the IFC was excited to support cutting-edge entrepreneurs to pilot and scale their temperature-controlled logistics solutions in Nigeria, and Africa more broadly.
Also Ike Abiakam, Kobo360’s Founding Partner and Head of KoboCare mentioned that Africa’s cold chain capacity faces a lack of investment in equipment for maintaining a specific temperature range throughout the supply chain. “Temperature-controlled shipping is constantly evolving and our partnership with the IFC is a key step towards discovering the best innovations that will enable the efficient transport of chilled goods,” he added
Furthermore, the TechEmerge Temperature-Controlled Logistics Nigeria program aims to offer market access and a pool of up to $1 million in funding to top innovators. The winners would be matched with leading Nigerian companies to jointly pilot sustainable solutions that reduce losses in cold chains, strengthen access to TCL-dependent products and markets, and build commercial partnerships. Application for the program is open until January 31, 2021.
TechEmerge is an award-winning IFC program that helps entrepreneurs from around the world bring cutting-edge technologies to emerging markets to tackle some of the world’s most critical development challenges that bring progressive technologies to where they are needed. The program has a strong track record of success in the healthcare sectors in India and Brazil. Earlier in 2020, TechEmerge launched a new program to support the growth of affordable, efficient, climate-smart cooling in emerging markets, with its first phase focusing on Latin American Cities.
Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. Developing an all-in-one logistics ecosystem, Kobo360 leverages data and technology to reduce logistics frictions. Its mission is to build the Global Logistics Operating System that will power trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets. With operations in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, Kobo360 is one of the fastest-growing tech start-ups out of Africa.