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Christmas: Sahara Group Promotes Clean Shopping

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Lagos, December 2019- Gifts, concerts, traveling, time with family and friends, a break from work/school and mouth watering delicacies are usually what people look forward to at Christmas.

One activity people can’t seem to avoid this period is shopping. Whether it’s for new clothes or gifts for loved ones, Christmas shopping can be both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time, not only for us, but for the environment as well.

In line with its commitment to spearheading climate protection across the globe, Sahara Group is using this exciting period to encourage everyone to shop smarter and cleaner, not only during this season, but to make it a lifestyle.

Before making any buying decisions, ask these two important questions:

1. Is it necessary?
Temptations abound during the holiday season and they come in all forms, from alluring adverts to eye-popping shopping deals. If you don’t slow down to ask yourself if you really need an item before purchasing, you could end up hurting your wallet and the environment.

To avoid this, take stock of what you already have and more importantly what you haven’t used in the last year especially with things like clothes, shoes and toys for example. It is best to plan to give out items that can be re-used and make a mental note of the things you don’t need to avoid unnecessary consumption and expenditure.

Next, have a holiday spending action plan/budget consisting of the following steps:

Also Read: Meet The First Female Military Pilot In Botswana Advancing Girls In STEM And Entrepreneurship

i. Decide on how much you can safely spend in total.
ii. Make a list of the different items you intend to purchase and put them into categories like groceries, clothing, gifts for family and friends, etc. Make sure your list is prioritized.
iii. Decide on how much you intend to spend on each category based on your total budget.
iv. Divide the amount in (iii) by the total number of items for each category.
v. Accept this amount as the maximum you can spend on each item.

Now, take this plan with you wherever you go to help you stay on track of your holiday spending. There are lots of free spending apps that can be downloaded to help you stay on top of your expenditure on the go. Try as much as possible to stay within your budget and you’ll find yourself making smarter and easier shopping decisions.

2. Is it kind to the environment?
Christmas is a season of excesses – excess buying, eating, decorating, and even partying. Just as everything else is in excess during the holiday season, so is waste. From the excessive plastic shopping bags associated with increased shopping during this period, the duplicitous gifts, to the copious gift packaging and wraps, the environment surely feels the impact of the season. While these activities can’t completely be avoided, we can make them more sustainable by reducing plastic waste.

Jute bags are an excellent alternative to plastic bags. Unlike plastic, jute is biodegradable and does not pollute the environment. It is firm and durable, and can be washed and reused as many times as possible.

The Green-Life Initiative, which was launched by Sahara Group with one of its objectives being to promote sustainable living and reduce the harmful impact of human activities on the environment and to help combat climate change, has introduced recyclable jute bags as one of its ‘weapons’ in this fight as a means to educate and raise awareness on the simple “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” mantra.

By simply switching from plastic to recyclable jute bags when shopping this season, you are creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment by reducing the Green House Gases (GHG) emissions and contributing your quota towards combating climate change.

Christmas is a season of giving, so now is the perfect time to give back to the earth by reducing plastic waste by taking on biodegradable alternatives like jute bags.

It is very possible to have a memorable Christmas without breaking the bank and depleting the environment. Follow the tips above and let it be your special little gift to yourself and our planet!

Have a joyous Green Christmas!

Sahara Group

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NGOs - SDGs

Epson Egypt puts sustainability goals into action following COP-27

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Epson has highlighted that the company is committed to becoming carbon negative and underground resource-free by 2050, as outlined in Epson’s Environmental Vision 2050.  Globally, Epson is investing more than €770 million in sustainable innovation and developing new technology to reduce environmental impact.

With the principle that innovation enriches lives and helps create a better world, Epson has partnered with five educational institutions in Egypt including Face for Children in Need, Nahdet el Mansouria, Educate Me Foundation, Man Ahyaha, and Alwan Wa Awtar, providing them with a range of 100 eco-friendly ink tank printers in total. This initiative enables teachers to create tailored lesson plans and worksheets, allows children to take home a range of learning printed material, and reduces energy consumption through Epson’s Heat-Free technology.  During COP-27, Epson finalised an additional donation of printers to Misr Elkheir Foundation to support further learning opportunities for students in need.

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The education donations are in line with Epson’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically number four – quality education – which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Epson recently conducted research amongst decision-makers in Egypt which found that 50% of survey respondents anticipate their printing needs will increase in 2023 and 62% stating that printing will become more important in the new year. Specifically in the education sector, 94% of participants said that it is essential for teachers to have access to a printer, making Epson’s recent donations to schools in Egypt even more timely.

Demonstrating the growing importance of sustainability for organisations in Egypt, 63% of survey respondents said that sustainability is a key part of their investment in new technology. More than half of respondents want to invest in energy efficient technology, while 71% believe that controlling the energy consumption of technology will become a key issue in the next 12 months. 

Commenting on the survey findings following COP-27, Neil Colquhoun, Epson’s Vice President, CISMETA, said, “Epson’s participation at COP-27 underscored the progress that Egypt is making toward sustainability and its importance to the nation and region.  This trend was highlighted in Epson’s research, which shows a growing appetite for energy efficient, cost effective and easy-to-use technology solutions.  As part of our mission to improve lives in communities we serve, a number of educational institutions across Egypt and their students have enhanced access to learning materials through Epson’s donation of EcoTank catridge free printers – an initiative that will continue to expand.”

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NGOs - SDGs

Musonda Chikwanda: Driving the Girl Up-United Nations Foundation in Africa

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Musonda Chikwanda Regional Manager, Africa – Girl Up-United Nations Foundation

Girl Up is a girl-centered leadership development initiative, focusing on equity for girls and women in spaces where they are unheard or underrepresented. It believes when girls and women are in positions of influence, they work to create a more just and equitable world for everyone. Girl Up operates a global network of regional affiliates reaching 150,000 girls in 130 countries. The initiative delivers evidence-based leadership development training through its girl-led Clubs, programs, and events. 

As members of a global movement, girls are a force for social good connected to a Community of their peers who are advocating for policy change and advancing gender justice. Founded in 2010 and hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up welcomes girls and youth of all gender identities to start a Club and join its movement to advance gender justice worldwide. Together, they are expanding girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities to lead, and changing the face of leadership for generations to come. 

Musonda Chikwanda serves as Regional Manager for Africa with the United Nation Foundation under the Girl Up initiative. As Regional Manager for Africa, she coordinates and organizes adolescent girls’ programs in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM), advocacy and gender equality lead by adolescents’ girls to help bridge the gap in access to education and stimulate/engage girls to take up careers in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Musonda also mentors and provides training on leadership to youths from different African countries. 

Leadership Development 

Girl Up guides members along their journey from leader to changemaker with specialized programming in organizing, advocacy, fundraising, and communications. Its evidence-based Leadership Course includes interactive modules centered on a three-pronged leadership framework. That is, Leader of Self, Leader of Peers, and Leaders of Change. They’re motivating a generation of leaders to raise their voices in their schools and communities. Advocate to local and national decision-makers, and work together to advance gender equality for girls and women.

The Girl Up Team

An Authentic Platform 

Girl Up is committed to hearing and amplifying the voices of girls across our channels and platforms. Its online Community is both a place for members to share their perspectives and a place for them to connect to a wider global community of peers. Both in person and online, Girl Up fosters a positive community that bridges cultural divides to advance important dialogues on social issues happening around the world. 

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Issues in Focus

Girl Up is committed to advancing gender justice across issue areas that intersect with gender equality. All of which share a focus of giving girls and women equal rights, access, agency, and opportunities. 

  • Gender Equality.
  • Sports for a Purpose.
  • STEM for Social Good.
  • Girls’ Education.
  • Gender-Based Violence.
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice.

Girl Up works to build and maintain a constituency dedicated to improving the lives of all girls around the world. Girl Up envisions an empowered and powerful generation of young women leaders who promote and defend gender equality in their own communities and around the world.

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NGOs - SDGs

Crtve DEVELOPMENT launches WE!ARE to promote climate change awareness in Africa

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Crtve DEVELOPMENT CEO, Dr. Okito Wedi (Photo: Supplied).

In addition to making profits, it has become a necessity for businesses and organisations to embrace a consistent, policy-driven culture of giving back to the community where they do business. The reason is that a policy-driven socially responsible endeavour is a sustainable and socially responsible endeavour. Businesses that have this corporate mindset are the ones that eventually provide solutions that truly meet the needs of the community they serve, even when they are profit-driven.

As a platform that showcases African businesses, innovations, and entrepreneurs, Business Africa Online (BAO) is excited to witness yet another novel and beneficial platform where businesses, NGOs, funders, and organisations are standing side by side with talents and creatives in the arts and entertainment to ensure they find expression and use those expressions to deliver the needed solution to pressing issues that affect communities in Africa, and in this case, climate change. 

The Crtve Development (CD) WE!ARE climate justice campaign is an initiative that is long overdue because the solutions that have been proposed for climate change have mainly taken into account people living in places like Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and we need local solutions to local climate change problems.

Dr. Okito Wedi, Founder and CEO of Crtve DEVELOPMENT, stated: “Through the WE!ARE campaign, we want to harness the power of art and creativity to change the narrative on climate change and development in Africa and bridge the gap between communities who will most be affected and policymakers who will determine our climate future.”

CD, together with other trusted partners, has rolled out the WE!ARE campaign to socialise the disproportionate effects of climate change on vulnerable communities on the African continent. Using creativity, the campaign will discover and amplify young people’s unique experiences and demands to surmount the challenges of climate change through climate justice.

Climate justice emphasizes the fact that Africa contributes the least to global warming, yet Africans are the most affected by climate change. As a result, those with the least capacity to cope and adapt to the impacts of climate change face the biggest threat. Climate justice aims to redress this inequality by fairly sharing the problem of climate change as well as the responsibility of dealing with it equitably, with all countries around the world. As a result, the launch of the WE!ARE campaign allows for a conversation about structure, system, and policy to take centre stage between African creatives and the corporate world about how they approach the challenge of climate change.

Collaboration between African creatives and the business community is no longer born from just mere excitement or the need to latch on to trends, but a deliberate and long-term agenda of every business and organization in Africa. This is a major win that BAO is excited about and we celebrate CD for leading the ingenious path that will benefit all because climate change affects everyone in the ecosystem.

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In the coming days, weeks, and months, BAO looks forward to more businesses, organizations, and funders partnering with CD on this project to amplify the great work that is being done. It is a fact that one of the most effective ways of driving sustainable change through creativity is for the corporate world to provide the frameworks, systems, policies, assets, and seed funding needed to sustain the process.

Another big win for the WE!ARE movement is that it will help to improve the proper valuation in corporate policies for the growing social and economic value of creativity and innovation in Africa. Creatives will truly be regarded as using their talents to campaign for real solutions to challenges in Africa, and not just for leisurely endeavours. 

From our vantage point, we wholeheartedly celebrate the immense work and achievements of Crtve Development (CD) and its strategic partners, including the Climate Emergency Collaboration Group, Danish Government, Ford Foundation and the World Resources Institute (WRI) on this worthy cause they have embarked on. We hope that as a result of this work, the subject of climate change will no longer be treated as secondary or alien, but as an issue that all hands must be on deck to address with the collaboration of the corporate world, NGOs, funders, and the creative communities in Africa.

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