Press Statement: Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) for Net Zero program

Press Statement: Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) for Net Zero program.

Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) has received funding from the United Kingdom government through the Digital Access Program (DAP) of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to implement a multilayered initiative to mitigate the environmental impact of Nigeria’s burgeoning technology ecosystem. This will be championed through a series of activities that range from evidence generation, knowledge management and mobilisation, incentivized capacity development, media-driven public awareness, and high-level policy advocacy activities. The intervention seeks to align the technology sector’s producers, consumers and stakeholders with eco-consciousness, ensuring a greener, more sustainable future for Nigeria’s digital landscape.

This nationwide initiative, under the theme “Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) for Net Zero” program, will directly engage information and communications technology (ICT) companies, digital start-ups, innovation hubs and other key stakeholders in the tech. Ecosystem to facilitate their understanding of technology’s high negative environmental cost and then mobilise them to collectively commit and act towards reducing their contributions to digital carbon footprint. Through this intervention, AREAi will drive a large-scale citizenry engagement strategy by providing empowerment to key technology hubs located across Abia, Rivers, Lagos, Kaduna, and Adamawa states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory. As part of the implementation, the organisation will also be working in collaboration with research institutions, tech startups, government agencies and civil society organisations. More significantly, to mobilize high-level stakeholders’ engagement in the fulfilment of the policy regulatory requirements of the initiative, we will be exploring key partnerships with the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, E-waste Producer Responsibility Organization Nigeria, National Information Technology Development Agency, the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), the Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change (ICCC) and the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan Office. 

Speaking at the media briefing, Gideon Olanrewaju, the Chief Executive Officer of AREAi who also doubles as the Project Manager, buttressed that the SCALE initiative will improve ecoconsciousness and drive responsible digital behaviours in the usage and maintenance of digital tools and internet devices. In his address during the briefing, he echoed the commitment of his organisation in leveraging her expansive organizational expertise and extensive capacity in leading digital transformation and sustainability initiatives through research, policy advocacy and practice to the actualisation of the entire project’s objectives. 

In the same vein, Idongesit Udoh, Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, said, “This intervention undoubtedly represents a novel pioneering effort to leverage evidence-based, citizens-led approaches to catalyze unprecedented progress in digital sustainability awareness and supporting the progressive use of technology in a way that is environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable. Hence, the UK Government is again demonstrating timely support for Nigeria’s inclusive economic development and for building eco-friendliness within its technology ecosystem through energy-efficient technology business operations. Our DAP program will continue to initiate significant partnerships with local organisations to drive the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognizing the tech ecosystem’s role in net zero transition and sustainable development.


Prince Gideon Olanrewaju,

Chief Executive Officer, AREAi

About the UK FCDO Digital Access Programme (DAP)

The DAP is the UK’s cross-government partnership catalyzing digital development in five countries (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia). It is a flagship intervention that integrates digital inclusion, responsibility, and transformation elements across its three pillars.

Pillar 1: Connectivity models, digital skills, content, and services for underserved communities

Pillar 2: Cybersecurity capacity building

Pillar 3: Local digital ecosystems, tech entrepreneurship

About AREAi: 

Founded in 2014 and registered in 2017, the Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) is a for-purpose grassroots initiative that works with and in under-resourced schools, marginalized communities and refugee camps, providing technical and infrastructural support to scale learning outcomes, drive tangible academic achievement for vulnerable children, and provide access to essential skills development for youth from low-income families. 

Leveraging innovation, collaboration and technology and with thematic focus on transition from school to work, digital equity, girls’ education and foundational learning, AREAi promotes the development of functional digital, technical and vocational skills that transform at-risk youth, vulnerable children and marginalized girls into active and productive members of their communities.