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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 17 May 2021—UNFPA East and Southern Africa, under the auspices of the Safeguard Young People programme, today launched the ‘Climate HackLab’ project, which aims to empower young people and offer them the opportunity to be game changers and drivers of a sustainable green future.

Through the UNFPA Climate HackLab project, young people will create smart innovations that will help build resilience during adverse climate events in their communities.

From young people aged 14 to 35 years, the project will solicit creative and smart innovations or ideas that have the potential to be scaled up in East and Southern Africa.  

“The project is targeting young people because 60 per cent of Africa’s 1.25 billion people are under the age of 25, and there has never been a more creative and innovative generation as today’s young people,” said Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, Regional Director for UNFPA East and Southern Africa.

Across Africa, communities hard hit by the impact of climate change, such as Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and the Sahel region, have had to deal with the havoc wreaked by cyclones and severe droughts. The destruction of households and livelihoods, and the loss of livestock and crops, are a reality for many people in these communities and they disproportionately affect adolescents and young people.

As climate-related hazards are on the rise, UNFPA acknowledges that the impact of climate change will also undermine its transformative goals of ending preventable maternal death, ending unmet need for family planning, and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices – and in East and Southern Africa, we also strive to end the sexual transmission of HIV – by 2030.Through smart innovation, a positive impact on people’s wellbeing and livelihoods can be achieved, allowing millions of women, adolescents and young people to live dignified lives in which their full potential can be fulfilled.

For more details about the UNFPA HackLab project and how to register, click here.

For more information, or to request interviews, contact:

Daisy Leoncio,, WhatsApp: +1 347 491 9154

Lindsay Barnes,, WhatsApp: +27 83 277 3257



UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.