IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 to announce an open call for innovators from around 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.
IFC, which is an investor in Kobo360, will implement the TechEmerge Temperature-Controlled Logistics Nigeria programme in partnership with the logistics company and the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
It aims to offer market access and a pool of up to US$1 million in funding to top innovators 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.
Temperature-controlled logistics is essential for economic development, human health, and food security. It delivers perishable goods to shops and shipping ports and keeps medicines and vaccines from spoiling as they are transported to clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals.
“Sustainable cooling technologies represent a fast-growing business opportunity with particular importance to emerging markets. We are excited to support cutting-edge entrepreneurs to pilot and scale their temperature-controlled logistics solutions in Nigeria, and Africa more broadly,” said IFC’s senior director of disruptive technologies and funds William Sonneborn.
Kobo360 founding partner Ike Abiakam said Africa’s cold chain capacity faced a lack of investment in equipment for maintaining a specific temperature range throughout the supply chain.
“We’ve seen a gap in the market for shipping solutions, specifically concerning moving deep-frozen, cold and ambient goods in a safe and temperature-controlled environment. 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 said.
Applications are open here until January 31, 2021.