By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Merck Foundation, KGaA Germany in partnership with African First Ladies awarded media experts in the just concluded Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021.

The awards were announced by Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother together with West African Countries in partnership with the First Ladies including Dr. Aisha Buhari, Nigeria, Fatoumata Bah-Barrow, Gambia, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Ghana, Clar Marie Weah, Liberia who are also the Ambassadors of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’.

With the theme, ‘Raising awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility Stigma, and Empowering Girls and Women through Education’, celebrated the winners for their resilience.

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Her words: “Merck Foundation received a great response from African journalists in the form of several excellent entries. The ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother’ Awards Committee introduced second and third positions in order to select more than one winner for different categories.

“I am looking forward to the entries from the Media Fraternity across Africa this year to write meaningful and influencing stories and reports to raise awareness and sensitize our communities about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility Stigma, and Empowering Girls and Women through Education. We shall soon share details on these awards for the Year, 2022.”

“The awards committee also announced Special Awards, to acknowledge the high quality of work received in more than one category by the same applicant and this to encourage their passion and dedication towards this noble cause.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the African First Ladies for their consistent support as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

“I appreciate all the efforts put in by the African media fraternity who became the voice of the voiceless to raise awareness about sensitive social and cultural issues such as Infertility stigma and girl education action, in the past year. “I have always emphasized the prominent role of media as I strongly believe that both media and art have the capacity and ability to create a culture shift in our communities in a cost-effective way.

NXT Grid raises $1.4million, up skills capacity

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Following the intervention of the AllOn in the renewable energy industry, NXT Grid, an innovative one-stop-shop for solar mini-grids, has raised $1.4 million to up-skill its capacity in the renewable energy sector.

Speaking on the development, the CEO/Co-Founder of NXT Grid, Fabio De Pascale, disclosed that, NXT Grid’s innovative integrated platform makes it easy and affordable to install and operate a solar mini-grid.

“The company couples AI-based software with rented solar equipment, to enable business customers to run their own town-sized utility companies. The upfront costs are reduced by 80% and make mini-grids a financially and environmentally sustainable alternative to diesel generators.

“The investment builds on an initial investment by All On in 2020, which made it possible to deploy the company’s first mini-grids in Nigeria. The additional funding enables the company to further its growth in the country, with 30 grids planned for construction by 2023. “We are excited about the growth path that the investment enables and about the strategic value and experience our investors bring to the table.

Nina Heir, CEO Katapult Climate and Partner at Katapult, a leading Norwegian climate-focused fund and accelerator, said, “For the first Katapult cohort focusing solely on climate tech, we evaluated more than 1,000 impressive companies from across the globe. NXT Grid’s offering of providing easily deployable solar mini-grids not only aligns with our investment criteria but speaks to the core of our vision of building a thriving world for all.”

In his reaction, Senior Investment Associate, All On  Goziem Okubor, , “We are thrilled about our follow-on investment in NXT Grid, which comes after the company proved its model in the Niger Delta region with its first grids in 2021. NXT Grid’s model has the potential to disrupt the clean mini-grids industry in Nigeria and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to the unique ability to empower and enable local companies and local investors to sustainably build and operate solar mini-grids with no prior experience.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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