The Heinrich Böll Foundation in Nigeria
hbs Nigeria works with civil society and government partners, policy shapers and gender activists, to name only a few of the groups and persons with whom the foundation engages to inspire public debate on the development options before Nigeria. The foundation supports initiatives that are environmentally and politically green in the search for low-carbon, gender sensitive and equitable growth models. To quote its patron, the German civil rights activist and author Heinrich Böll, “Meddling is the only way to stay relevant”: the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Nigeria Office aims to provide platforms for innovative, fresh and inspiring dialogues that can make a difference, at a time where climate change, rising inequality and insecurity challenge pre-conceived notions of what development means to people.
2016 programme of HBS Nigeria
- Nigeria’s Energy Future: Given the shortage of power in Nigeria, the government’s desire to get electricity at any cost and the lack of public information on issues on the energy mix in the country, HBS is working with energy experts, civil society and government to develop economically viable and sustainable energy options for Nigeria, which will address gender democracy, climate change and social equity. This project hopes to inspire debates as to what the energy mix in Nigeria should look like. HBS works closely with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Lagos Business School on this Alliance for Nigeria’s Energy Future.
- Decentralised Renewables: Building on the progress made last year from advocating for renewable energy for small businesses through the Pay-As-You-Go Solar solution, HBS is going further to facilitate engagement between the private sector and government policy makers in order to provide millions of SMEs, women agricultural cooperatives and other low income groups with power.
- Coal in Kogi: HBS Nigeria is supporting Global Rights Nigeria to facilitate a more factual and inclusive debate about coal as an energy source in Nigeria using case studies from Okobo community - a small coal mining host community in Kogi State. Through publications, media presentations and study tours, Global Rights will advocate for responsible governance of coal mining operations and the expansion of renewable energy options.
- Great Green Wall: With the Great Green Wall project underway, Connected Development (CODE) with support from HBS Nigeria, is working with civil society organizations in 8 states in northern Nigeria to track the project’s funds. The objective of this initiative with CODE is to monitor transparency and accountability in the execution of the Great Green Wall project.
Inclusive Megacity Lagos
- Affordable Housing: Many Nigerians cannot afford to buy their own homes and most people do not even have access to mortgages. This is why HBS is working with architects, town planners and mortgage institutions to help develop a fair and equitable mortgage and tenancy system for low income groups within Lagos.
- Makoko Hotspot Cooperative: In 2015 the first Neighborhood Hotspot was built in Makoko. In order for the hotspot to function properly, HBS is supporting experts to establish a 12 member cooperative, including community women, who are usually left out of the community’s decision making and taking processes. The experts will also prepare business plans for small scale economic opportunities based on renewable technology like solar, biogas and bio-degradable toilets. Under this project HBS is funding environmental training course for 30 carefully selected women from the Makoko community. The training course will cover subjects of water, waste and energy access.
- Land Tenure Security: 70% of the population in metropolitan Lagos lives in slums with poor or no infrastructure. As the demand for land for urban development increases, the slum dwellers are faced with constant eviction threats. These eviction threats have also raised debates about the complications of formalizations such as land titles and land tenure papers. HBS Nigeria is working with stakeholders from civil society and government to identify ways of securing land tenure for poor income groups through formalisation to cushion the effects of resettling slum dwellers as a result of urban developments.
- Open City Lagos: Lagos is a city of diverse ethnic and religious groups from different parts of Nigeria. These different groups have found a way to live together and support each other. Lagos has a large population and yet, till date, the city manages to accommodate and absorb the influx of thousands of new residents. HBS Nigeria, in partnership with Nsibidi Institute, are organising multidisciplinary debates on the identification of existing and lost opportunities for spatial and social integration and its challenges and opportunities for the urban growth, to encourage social and economic inclusiveness in a city with an ever expanding population.
- Open and Public Spaces for climate resilience: Open spaces do also play a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change. There is need to protect the shorelines, waterways and biodiversity spots to increase climate resilience. HBS’ partner organisation Community Conservation Development Initiatives (CCDI) is facilitating discussions in a particular local government to bring together local and state government representatives, civil society, and concerned citizens, to identify and possibly implement more public spaces within the local government to increase its climate resilience.