As a first-of-its-kind event in Nigeria, the Climate Risk Research Challenge – Nigeria 2023 offers, participating Individuals and teams of students at Nigeria’s leading Universities, a chance to win a portion of $10,000 USD in Prize Money.  Participants will have access to data, tools, models, cloud-compute infrastructure, training, technical support and in-kind funding needed to assess agriculture-based climate risks facing Africa and identify potential solutions needed to win the Challenge. 

Additional University Challenges will launch in Kenya and across Africa in 2024.


The Sustainable Africa Initiative grapples with a fundamental question:  How can African nations transition into a low carbon economy, enhance the quality of life for their growing population, and guarantee food security for the region? We believe that the solution lies in the data, but uncovering the answer requires smart, passionate, climate scientist with the tools, ability and willingness to identify climate-related physical and transition risks that will impact Africa, and to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies that can build resilience for Africa – and this constitutes THE CHALLENGE.

The primary objective of the Climate Risk Research Challenge is to advance climate-risk related analytics, education, outreach, and capacity-building within leading African Universities and across several industries that are significantly vulnerable to climate change.

The initiative aims to encourage collaboration, enhance awareness of the potential climate-related risks in Africa, and create an open-source platform offering Africans access to physical and transition risk data, cloud-based infrastructure resources, analytical tools, and self-service training. 

This platform will enable the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies that reduce the impact of physical climate change and a shift towards a low-carbon world.

The Climate Risk Research Challenge – Nigeria 2023 offers three winning teams a portion of $10,000 USD in prize money. The challenge is open to a wide range of participants, including African university climate scientists, and students in Agriculture and Environmental Studies programs at 10 Nigerian Universities. Participants will be provided with the necessary resources and training to gain a better understanding of the impacts of climate change and to develop strategies to mitigate potential climate-related risks, including Policy, Economic, Social and Physical Climate, under different IPCC transition scenarios.

The goal of the Challenge is to create a set of scientifically-based climate-risk models and long-term adaptation plans, which will be developed by Nigerian University Students, data scientists, sustainability advocates, and environmental scientists in collaboration with Consortium members of the Sustainable Africa Initiative.

The initiative aims to establish a grassroots movement that is led by local community stakeholders, allowing Africans to take ownership of, improve, develop, and expand a growing repository of models, data, analytical capabilities and training materials.


Agriculture plays a vital role in Nigeria’s economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, the sector faces numerous physical risks, including droughts and floods, which can have severe consequences on crop yields, food security, and livelihoods.

The Climate Risk Research Challenge – Nigeria 2023 is a Project focuses on Nigeria’s Agriculture sector and specific food crops that may effect food security for the country.

The thematic areas are:

  • Develop physical risk & resilience models for Nigeria’s agriculture sector using open-source tools and data.
  • Identify and evaluate drought and flood hazards that could impact agriculture in Nigeria.
  • Identify and assess the vulnerability of different crops to drought and flood hazards.
  • Develop recommendations for building resilience to drought and flood hazards in Nigeria’s agriculture sector.


Participants of THE CHALLENGE will collaborate to develop climate-related physical risk models focused on the possible future impacts on the agriculture sector and specifically on Maize and Rice crops in selected Nigerian communities where a participants University is situated.

Teams must complete the following activities:

  • Developing physical risk and resilience models for agriculture;
  • Identifying and assessing drought & flood in Nigeria’s agriculture sector;
  • Evaluating the vulnerability of different crops to drought & flood, and,
  • Building resilience to drought and flood in Nigeria’s agriculture sector.


Consortium Members started on May 1st working on the University Outreach and Recruitment Phase of The Challenge with a goal of getting ten universities and more than 150 participants. The Challenge will start in August when teams are provided with access to cloud-compute resources and the data, models and tools needed to complete the Challenge. In the first two weeks of the Challenge a team of global experts will provide training, mentorship and guidance on how to leverage the data and tools.

Participants of the Challenge will have until October 31st to deliver their Project Submissions. This should include model output, risk assessments and proposed mitigation strategies. 

The Judging Period will take place between November 1st and November 25th. The Awards will be made to the three winning teams on November 30, 2023 at COP28 in Dubai, UAE. 

$10,000 (USD) IN PRIZES

The Climate Risk Research Challenge offers three winning teams a portion of $10,000 USD in prize money:  $5,000 for 1st Prize, $3,500 for 2nd Prize and $1,500 for 3rd Prize. 

The award will be made on November 30, 2023 at COP28 in Dubai, UAE and will be judged by individuals from UN PRI, London Stock Exchange Group, BNP Paribas, OS-Climate, Scientific Technologies, and the Climate Risk Research Foundation.

Climate Risk Research Foundation 

(Lead Organization)

c/o Brendan Reilly

8 Myrtle Ave, 3rd Floor

Westport, CT 06880 USA

Tel: +1 203-722-1209

Sustainable Solutions for Green Growth (Nigeria)

c/o Azeez Abubakar

S7, Irepodun Street, Mandate 3 Housing Estate, New Yidi Road, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

Tel: +2348130039772

Green Energy Mission Africa (Nigeria)

c/o Abubakar Shuaibu

785 Herbert Macaulay Way, Central Business District FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Tel: +2347047196262 

The Linux Foundation’s OS-Climate

c/o Heather Ackenhusen  

548 Market Street, PMB54-5401

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