The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector
ADDIS ABABA: Top African leaders including Heads of States, Ministers, CEOs as well as representatives from the African Union and United Nations will converge at the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) (www.AfricaBusinessHealthForum.com) taking place in Ethiopia on 12th February 2019 on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit.
The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.
The inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking center stage in many African countries, and business is being pushed to exploring how to maximize shareholder value as a complex interplay between financial, human, social and environmental return.
African business entrepreneurs are waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative, with studies showing that by 2030, business opportunities in the health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices.
Investing in African health systems is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, contribute to saving millions of lives, prevent life-long disabilities, and move countries closer to achieving SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
“From a business standpoint, we are beginning to see the opportunities that could be created by focusing on improving and investing in health,” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a renowned financier and Co- Chair, GBCHealth. “There is a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a healthcare standpoint and we must look to develop a universal plan that shifts the needle as far as healthcare in Africa is concerned. Health must cease being a source of pain, and become a source of prosperity instead.”
The AB:HF is the vision of GBCHealth, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.
The Forum will culminate in the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a coalition that will mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.
ABCHealth will serve as the regional platform to unlock synergies that will contribute more directly to a healthy and prosperous Africa, enabled by collaboration and business partnerships.
Reiterating the need for business leaders to key into this vision, Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to step up in health care and take bold action. We must work together, across industries and with governments and communities, to foster innovation and drive more strategic investments that benefit us collectively. The time is now for a new era of cooperation in Africa that will position its people, communities and businesses for success, now and in the future.” Good health is not only an outcome of, but also a foundation for, development
Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UNECA said: “The Commission will play a role in the design and implementation of policy frameworks around the financing of healthcare through Public Private Partnerships and the private sector. Building on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), this will also encourage regional transboundary health investments especially in the pharmaceutical sector.”
Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) (www.AfricaBusinessHealthForum.com) is a platform instituted by GBCHealth, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Aliko Dangote Foundation to broker private sector commitments to health across Africa.
GBCHealth (www.GBCHealth.org) is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 organizations globally to drive partnerships and collective action in areas of greatest need.
Mr Aig-Imoukhuede has served on the GBCHealth Board since 2011 and is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur, business leader and proponent of corporate social responsibility in the African business community.
About the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA):
Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, UNECA’s (www.UNECA.org) mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. UNECA also provides technical advisory services to African governments, intergovernmental organizations and institutions. In addition, it formulates and promotes development assistance programs and acts as the executing agency for relevant operational projects.
Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, UNECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the continent’s developmental challenges.
UNECA is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with offices in Rabat, Lusaka, Kigali, Niamey, Yaoundé and Dakar.
About the Aliko Dangote Foundation:
The Aliko Dangote Foundation (www.Dangote.com/foundation) is the philanthropic foundation of Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group, established with a mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities. The foundation was incorporated in 1994 as a charity in Lagos, Nigeria and has since become the largest private foundation in sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor. The foundation has contributed over $250 million in charitable funds to several causes in Nigeria and Africa over the past four years.
SOURCE: (APO) Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF)
Kudoti, South African Recycling Platform recognised as one of the global winners of the Nestlé’s 2021 Creating Shared Value Prize
Kudoti, South African recycling company, was announced in the top five winners of Nestlé 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, for their innovative recycling impact through technology.
The CSV Prize has been running for over 10 years and has identified multiple initiatives for some of today’s most critical environmental and social issues around the world. This year’s competition, conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization, Ashoka, was entitled ‘How do we create a waste-free future?’, It aimed to identify and award innovative solutions with a system-change approach and a strong growth potential, or a replicable model for other social, cultural or geographical settings.
Kudoti (meaning trash in Zulu) is changing business perspectives of waste into recovered materials through supply chain solutions. The company’s digital approach helps track recyclable waste in real-time and matching it to demand. The use of technology improves market conditions for waste materials, which drives up recycling behaviour.
Matthieu de Gaudemar, one of the founders of Johannesburg-based Kudoti, expressed gratitude to Nestlé and Ashoka for this CSV initiative. “Businesses and individuals have a concept of waste as waste, when we should have a concept of waste as a resource. With new business models, we can change the way that waste is viewed.”
De Gaudemar adds that their platform’s success was collective team effort. “It truly takes everyone to address systemic environmental issues. Through this financial investment and technical resources, we will amplify our impact by scaling up our solution in South Africa.”
“When people speak of the future, a world of hover crafts or holograSaint-Francis Tohlangms may come to mind. But at Nestlé, we are seeking a more environmentally futuristic landscape. Through these Awards, we are on a mission to identify and empower market disruptors in the hope of accelerating a waste-free future”, says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).
As one of the winners, Kudoti will receive a cash prize of $40 000 and will benefit from Ashoka’s online resources and workshops to explore potential collaboration with Nestlé and a mentoring programme.
“Innovations such as Kudoti not only help reduce waste but also drive consumer behaviour change which is key to achieving a waste free future and takes us closer to a circular economy”, concluded Tohlang.
By Weber Shandwick
Doing Good Work in Africa Marks Its First Anniversary of Supporting Students and Impacting Future Growth in Africa
Doing Good Work in Africa (DOWA), a non-profit initiative designed to connect students in the United States to African-based entities focused on providing scalable solutions to commonplace challenges, celebrated its first anniversary in April. Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, friends Ola Erogbogbo and Emiola Abass, co-founded a program that generated 400 applications and placed ten students at three partner companies within two months. In just one year, DOWA placed 27 students and conducted seven educational webinars with over 400 attendees from over 17 countries.
“DOWA seeks to provide a path to ‘brain gain’ by attracting US students (African and non-African) to the continent through internships. The premise is that the solution to Africa’s problems must come from within, supported by human and capital investments across the globe.” said Erogbogbo.
DOWA connects students with internship opportunities allowing them to work on socio-economic projects and experience the African culture and corporate environment. Students can take advantage of this unique experience through grants and scholarships funded by some universities. Matching the students with partner companies is accomplished through a rigorous application process, provided at no cost to the students. DOWA’s partner companies and organizations address challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture and champion growth initiatives in technology, artificial intelligence, and power generation in Africa.
“We are proud of our partnership with DOWA – we had two interns work on geospatial AI-powered education technology in low resourced environments. These engaged students’ contributions will help further our goal to raise one million AI talents” said Bayo Adekanmbi, Founder at Data Science Nigeria.
Liam Casey, a Venture Capital Fellow at Funema, said, “My experience has helped narrow down career goals and interests in impact investment and venture capital for emerging markets.”
DOWA is intentional in partnering with organizations that have a shared mission to work on initiatives that further the advancement of Africa. Erogbogbo further said, “DOWA believes that the challenges we face on the continent present opportunities, and thus, connecting students to companies working to address these challenges can result in more effective solutions.”
DOWA was launched with the help of founding supporters that include Scholars in Our Society and Africa (SOSA) at Cornell University and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM). With over 300% participation growth and thanks to its growing network of partner companies, DOWA for the 2021/2022 internship cycles is projected to provide internship opportunities to 70 students from over 20 schools, including five Ivy League colleges.
GSMA Report Reveals The Gender Gap In Mobile Internet Use Is Shrinking, Despite The COVID-19 Pandemic
GSMA Report: An estimated 112 million more women started using mobile internet last year across low- and middle-income countries, despite the onset of COVID-19, according to the fourth annual GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report published today.
Nevertheless, 234 million fewer women than men access mobile internet. Moreover, the underlying gender gap in mobile ownership persists and is proving difficult to close.
Affordability, lack of literacy and digital skills, and lower awareness of mobile internet are critical and common barriers for women. Structural inequalities in society and discriminative social norms also remain a challenge. Even when women have the same levels of education, income, literacy, and employment as men, they are still less likely to own a mobile phone or use mobile internet.
The report further revealed that a record number of women in South Asia now use mobile internet services, helping shrink the gender gap to 15% from 19% last year in low- and middle-income countries.
The gains in South Asia, which had the most significant gender gap in 2019 with women 50% less likely than men to use mobile internet, masked the stagnation in other regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Women in both regions now face a similar gender gap in mobile internet use – 37% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 36% in South Asia.
Women were more likely than men to access the internet exclusively via mobile in almost all markets surveyed. In Kenya, for example, 63% of male internet users said they only used the internet via a mobile device compared to 79% of females. This reliance by women on mobile demonstrates the disproportionate benefit of increasing their access.
“If women are to become equal citizens in a more digital, post-COVID world, closing the mobile gender gap has never been more critical,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, of the GSMA. “I urge policymakers, the private sector and the international community to take note of the important findings laid out in the Mobile Gender Gap Report because only concerted action and collaboration will enable women and their families to reap the full benefits of connectivity.”
The GSMA introduced the Connected Women Commitment Initiative in 2016 to catalyse action to close the mobile gender gap. Mobile operators continued to make commitments during 2020, with 40 mobile operators across Africa, Asia and Latin America making formal commitments to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women since 2016. These operators have already reached more than 40 million additional women with mobile internet or mobile money services.
The GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report 2021 is available at: https://www.gsma.com/r/gender-gap/
Further information on the Connected Women Commitment Initiative can be found at: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/connected-women/the-commitment/
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