The National Company of the Year (NCOY) competition is Junior Achievement Nigeria’s flagship event and the culminating point for the implementation of the JA Company Program and accompanying regional competitions across Nigeria. It occurs in early October and brings together outstanding student business teams across Nigeria to compete for the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Africa Company of the Year competition.
The goal of the NCOY is to create a signature showcase for Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) and the students who benefit from the impact of the JA Company Program®, which is a school-based entrepreneurship education curriculum for senior secondary school students. This annual celebration of success allows young people to demonstrate their business acumen and spirit of entrepreneurship in a competitive environment, which will engage business, education and policy leaders as well as the media.
This year, the competition held in Terra Kulture, Lagos on Thursday, the 4th of October, 2018 with 9 student companies participating in the competition. The student companies who competed are listed below:
- The Elite Achievers, a student company from Government Secondary School, Tudun Wada, who produced bio gas made from cow dung and a fruits dryer powered by solar energy.
- The Brain Max, a student company from Government Girls Secondary School, Abaji, Abuja. They created an online market where they sold farm produce from local farmers directly to customers. They also developed an app which is currently live on the Google Play Store –The Real Farmers Market (RFM)
- Brave Girls Company,a student company from Rosary College, Nise, who designed a local water ring boiler that consumes less power to boil water.
- Stecomms, a student company from Stella Maris College, Port-Harcourt, who developed a community-based radio transmitter.
- Inventive Explorers, a student company from Caro Favored Schools, Ajegunle, who produced a rechargeable handheld LED traffic light for road wardens
- Voltage JAC, a student company from Day Waterman College, who produced a flash drive + lighting phone charger.
- EBSUTECH POWER LTD, a student company from Ebonyi State University (EBSU) Staff School Abakiliki, who produced an equipment that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy (manual phone charger).
- The Elite Enterprise, a student company from Osogbo Government High School who produced bio gas made from cow dung.
- Sharon Glory Ventures, the student company of Sharon Rose College, Saki who designed a water level indicator.
The student companies were judged by Olutosin Oni, Principal at EchoVC Partners; Ijeoma Agboti-Obatoyinbo, MD/CEO of FBNQuest Funds; Akintunde Oyebode, CEO, Lagos State Employment Trust Funds; Fatima Aliko- Dangote, Executive Director, Commercial, NASCON Allied Industries; Paul Okeugo, CO-Founder & COO, Chocolate City Group; and Moyosore Olisa, Head, Alumni Engagement, Tony Elumelu Foundation. In addition to the highly esteemed judges, also in attendance were Patrick Iyamabo, the Chief Financial Officer of FirstBank Nigeria who gave the keynote address, as well as Nneotaobase Egbe of Channels TV who compered the event.
(L-R : Simi Nwogugu, ED Junior Achievement Nigeria, Paul Okeugo, Olutosin Oni, Fatima Aliko-Dangote, Moyosore Olisa, Akintunde Oyebode, & Ijeoma Agboti-Obatoyinbo)
Each student company presented their products and services to the judges and audience following a time for the product demos. Each student company had a booth where they displayed their products and judges had the opportunity to go round and see up-close, how each product/service worked. At the end of the day, three student companies copped all prizes.
Coming in third place, was Sharon Glory Ventures, a student company from Sharon Rose College Saki, Oyo who produced a water level indicator to enable home owners determine the level of water in their tanks. They also received the award for the Most Innovative Product.
(Sharon Glory College receiving award for the third place & Most Innovative Product)
(Student Company executives at the Booth for Product Inspection)
In Second place were the girls of Brain Max Student Company from Government Girls Secondary School, Abaji, Abuja who designed a website and software application for connecting local produce farmers directly to their customers; they also won the award for the best Corporate Social Responsibility project. For their CSR project, they visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps,assigned members of the camp into various economic cooperative groups based on skill sets and then provided entrepreneurship/financial literacy training to each group. They also placed approved cooperatives with viable plans on the “Displaced Finance Platform” for crowd funding and they secured start-up funds for them, provided the much needed mentoring to their businesses in the areas of access to market, book keeping and marketing. Through this, they were able to raise the household monthly income of over 260 IDPs in Durumi IDP Camp from zero to N30, 000. They also used 10% of their profit to provide food stuff and sanitary materials for the IDPs.
(Government Girls Secondary School students receiving award for Second position & Best CSR Project)
(The Student Company executives at their booth for service inspection)
And #NCOY2018grand winners, were the Inventive Explorers, a student company from Caro Favored College, Ajegunle, who produced rechargeable hand-held LED Traffic Lights to ease congestion in their locality and also eliminate the use of hands or red flags by traffic wardens. They will go on to represent Nigeria in the JA Africa Company of the Year competition taking place in Ghana this December.
(Caro Favored College receiving the award for First place in the NCOY 2018 competition)
(The student company executives at their booth for product inspection)
We thank all our guests for making time out to be a part of the event; our esteemed judges, for judging each student company objectively; our media partners (Bellanaija, PulseNG, Businessday and ChannelsTV), and #NCOY2018 in-kind sponsors (Wilson’s Juice Co) for contributing to the success of #NCOY2018.
We also recognize and thank Citi Foundation for sponsoring the JA Company Program in Lagos and Abuja thereby giving both the first and second place winners an opportunity to compete (and win). To ACT Foundation, for sponsoring the JA Company Program and regional competitions in Osun and Oyo States, we say a big THANK YOU!We’re sure the students of Sharon Rose College, Saki did you proud by coming in third place.
About Junior Achievement Nigeria
Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) is part of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAWW), the world’s largest and fastest growing non-profit economic education organization with a 120-country network. Since inception in 1999, JAN has reached over 850,000 students in over 20,000 classrooms in over 29 locations across the country through over 2000 volunteers. As part of a global network, JAN is able to leverage resources and expertise to deliver localized cutting edge experiential programs built on JAWW’s three pillars of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, to in- and out-of-school youth ages 5-27 free of charge. You can follow us on our social media pages; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn. For more information about us, please visit our website www.ja-nigeria.org
More Photos of the event can be seen below:
(Stecomms Student Company with the local radio transmitter)
(The Elite Achievers Student Company with their product, A bio gas made from Cow Dung)
(The Brave Girls Student Company with their local Water Ring Boiler)
(Voltage JAC Student Company with their product, a 3 in 1 Portable Flash Drive)
(EBSUTECH Student Company pose with manual charger as judge inspects product)
(Some of our guests at the event)
(FirstBank CFO, Mr. Patrick Iyamabo giving a Keynote Speech during the event)
(Mr. Nneotaobase Egbe of Channels TV addressing guests during event)
(JAN ED, Simi Nwogugu, addressing guests before the presentation of awards to outstanding student companies)
Credit: Chinonso Ndimantang (Junior Achievement Nigeria)
Nestlé launches RE Pilot Project to empower informal waste reclaimers in Tembisa, Gauteng
In celebration of National Recycling Week and Let’s Do It World Clean-up Day 2021, Nestlé East & Southern Africa Region joined forces with Kudoti, a waste tech start-up, to launch its ‘RE-Imagine Tomorrow’ pilot project in Tembisa to demonstrate how the circular economy is a viable solution for tackling the waste problem.
By working with Kudoti and Destination Green, the implementation partner and buy back centre, Nestlé will enable 100 waste reclaimers to use technology to track the amount of waste collected and find buyers through Kudoti’s technology platform and network. The waste collectors will be empowered and trained on how to make an income and will receive a monthly stipend through a subsidy by Nestlé. Training will include business and finance education to equip the waste reclaimers to further boost their incomes along with the provision of physical resources such as protective gear. One of the other elements contributed by Nestlé will be the purchase of a forklift to further assist the operation in the long run.
The ‘RE-Imagine Tomorrow’ pilot project will be a phased intervention for the community of Mqantsa, Tembisa. The beginning of the phase is about awakening a focused increase of waste collection through the informal waste reclaimers. Engage will include educating the community on rethinking their relationship with waste and reducing their own waste footprint. Finally, the sustain phase will bring to life repurposing by creating beauty out of waste for the benefit of the community through public furniture created from the waste collected. The circular economy model aims to use waste streams as secondary resources and recover waste for reuse and recycling. This approach is expected to achieve efficient economic growth while minimising negative environmental impact.
Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR),adds . “Informal waste reclaimers play an important role in the management of waste. It is important that we appreciate their role as heroes and find ways in which we can empower them further as we strive for a waste free future. This pilot project is part of our broader RE sustainability initiative which focuses on the pillars of rethink reduce and repurpose. Through working with a tech start-up, waste collectors, recyclers and the community, we believe we are engaging key stakeholders in the waste management cycle to be able to RE-imagine tomorrow. We hope that through this pilot project our partners and the community of Tembisa will see that there are opportunities that can be found in what we see as waste.”
The RE initiative encourages society to RETHINK, REDUCE and REPURPOSE. The RETHINK pillar is about encouraging broader society to rethink its relationship with the environment. Nestlé will educate the public about ways to change their behaviour to serve the environment through responsible practices such as recycling. The REDUCE pillar highlights Nestlé’s commitment towards reducing its environmental impact to zero carbon emissions by 2030. Lastly, the REPURPOSE pillar focuses on upcycling and reusing materials which are crucial to driving a circular economy.
“Through this initiative, we hope to drive a paradigm shift by formulating and implementing solutions that will safeguard the environment. We hope that initiatives such as RE will encourage people not only in Tembisa, but across the country, to play their part and RETHINK, REDUCE and REPURPOSE,” concluded Tohlang.
Members of the community and over 20 waste reclaimers, along with Nestlé, Kudoti, Destination Green and members of the media took part in a clean-up in Mqantsa, Tembisa on the day to strengthen its collective contribution to a waste-free future for the community.
Innovative partnerships needed to tackle climate related disasters
Drought Image (Supplied)
The devastating crisis in Madagascar sounds a stark warning of the need to take urgent action for Africa according to Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, Director General of the African Risk Capacity Group.
“Drought may well be the next pandemic after COVID-19 and there’s no vaccine to cure it.” If the words of Mami Mizutori, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction don’t compel us to take immediate action, Africa will continue to bear the scars of barren wastelands caused by climate change-induced drought. Southern Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa and now Madagascar are just the start. The short-term solution to building resilience requires a multi-faceted approach involving both private and public sectors, says Diong.
“Our affiliate, ARC Ltd, which recently received a BBB+ Insurer Financial Strength rating from Fitch, works with governments, NGOs and funders to provide customised parametric insurance. This empowers African governments and NGOs to respond swiftly to natural disasters on the continent, but there’s a lot of work that needs to go into building distribution networks to ensure that we can reach as many people as possible. We need to build a coalition of the private and public sector,” Diong adds.
While governments are key in dealing with resilience to climate change, it’s the ability of the private sector to take action that will make all the difference, he says.
“Partnerships should extend beyond governments. The private sector is an essential partner for leveraging funding and experience demonstrates that private-sector entities are capable of rapidly taking up opportunities when and if these make sense from a business angle.”
There are several examples where a collaborative approach is already working well. Diong cites ARC Group’s partnerships with organisations such as the Start Network and World Food Programme (WFP), and funders such as the German Development Bank, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and African Development Bank which are working to provide that resilience for African countries.
Shifting the disaster risk architecture
Emily Jones, as Climate and Disaster Risk Financing Advisor for WFP, highlights the challenges of convincing authorities to be more proactive than reactive when preventing human suffering and hardship when events like drought occur.
“Unfortunately, no one person or organisation can make the necessary shift alone. Change starts with building resilience and insurance plays a significant role in that, particularly in climate change,” says Jones.
Governments pay a premium every year and receive their agreed-upon pay-out if and when a predicted disaster occurs. “This money can then be used to help those people affected, with the remainder of the pay-out going towards covering other consequences that might not have been expected, such as conflict or a loss of progress in terms of important local development projects,” she says.
“Humanitarians are working on highlighting the need to predict crises and act before they manifest in an effort to avoid human suffering. After all, why wait if you don’t have to?”
Jones speaks about how most authorities in African countries perceive insurance as a gamble when it should rather be seen as a risk management tool. Unfortunately, many simply don’t have the necessary tools available to plan, which is where ARC comes in.
“It’s amazing that ARC Limited is offering this type of insurance. However, insurance is really only cost-effective for catastrophic events that happen infrequently – perhaps once every 10 years – and if the governments that they’re selling the insurance to don’t have other solutions, they’re going to be taking out insurance that’s less than optimal,” Jones explains.
“So, something that WFP, ARC, and the African Development Bank wants to work on in the coming years is a risk-layering approach. This would involve introducing other tools for coping with those medium-scale events so that we can optimise ARC and hopefully offer better products, as well as ensure improved buy-in, a greater understanding of the products’ importance, and a track record of success,” she adds.
Responding swiftly to natural disasters
Since ARC Limited was established in 2014, the company has paid out $65-million in drought-relief efforts to seven different countries.
“In particular, the collaboration between the African Development Bank and ARC shows how coming together makes a major difference. In 2020, the ARC drought-relief pay-outs to Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Côte d’Ivoire totalled $6-million,” says Diong.
Madagascar received a payment of over $2,1-million, which was allocated to food assistance for 15,000 households, nutritional support to 2,000 children and 1,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women, and water supplies to over 84,000 households.
Reaching the most vulnerable, however, is difficult, adds Malvern Chirume, Chief Underwriting Officer ARC Limited. “One of the big challenges is access to the final customer, bearing in mind that most of our beneficiaries of the programmes are small- to medium-scale farmers and therefore it’s not cost-effective to access them one at a time.”
With climate change, we can expect extreme weather events to hit harder and more frequently in coming years. In a 1.5 degree warmer world, there is no doubt that drought will be a more regular event.
The GAR Special Report on Drought 2021 launched earlier this year is a call to action: we must act now if we are to meet the goals of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and create a safer, more resilient, risk-proofed future for all.
“Drought is not something that hits us suddenly, nor something that we can quarantine our way out of. Drought manifests over months, years, sometimes decades, and the results are felt just as long. Drought exhibits and exacerbates the social and economic inequalities that are deep-rooted within our systems and hits the most vulnerable the hardest,” says Chirume.
“While we may not be able to prevent it, we can certainly be prepared to deal with its impact by building resilience and providing swift support to those who are left vulnerable.”
Shifting Africa’s climate change disaster risk architecture before COP26 and beyond
All eyes are on the existential crisis posed by climate change as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26) approaches, with many warning that lessons for dealing with climate change threats must be learned from how Africa has handled the current COVID crisis.
Resilience in Africa to these climate change impacts can only be built with the assistance of developed countries and these have a vested long-term interest in providing this support, says Ange Chitate, COO African Risk Capacity Limited.
“Beyond COVID, the most critical risk to Africa is the availability of water, which is directly linked to climate change. The continent is extremely vulnerable to and bears the brunt of drought, flooding, cyclones and other climate change-led weather events, even though it has actually had very little impact on carbon emission,” says Chitate.
This is particularly serious for a continent like Africa which depends so heavily on agriculture for its economy and employment.
“When one considers that agriculture sustains two thirds of Africa’s employment and that more than 80% of agriculture in Africa is conducted by small- to medium-scale farmers who are at the mercy of climate change events completely out of their control, COP26 talks have to deliver practical and meaningful support from developed countries to help ensure a high level of preparedness in the developing world for what is being touted as the next pandemic,” Chitate adds.
It is a view shared by South Africa Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy, who says if COP26 is to be successful, developing countries need support from developed countries in the form of finance, technology and capacity building.
South Africa’s suggested global goal on adaptation sees focus being placed on “the most vulnerable people and communities; their health and well-being; food and water security; infrastructure and the built environment; and ecosystems and ecosystem services, particularly in Africa, Small Island states and Least Developed Countries”.
Minister Creecy also calls on developed countries to ensure access to long-term, predictable and affordable finance for developing communities.
Building Africa climate change resilience through natural disaster insurance relief
“There’s a responsibility for G7 countries to support Africa in managing the impact of climate change by, for example, providing sovereigns with parametric insurance premium finance to help them respond swiftly and decisively to crises fueled by climate change on the continent,” says Delphine Traoré, ARC Limited Non-Executive Director.
Established in 2014, ARC Limited provides natural disaster insurance relief to African countries which have joined the sovereign risk pool.
Along with its partners, which provide premium support, the insurer has already paid over US$65m to seven countries to provide drought relief and address the economic concerns these countries’ most vulnerable citizens face.
Governments then make payments to the most vulnerable households in drought-stricken or other climate-affected areas so the most vulnerable communities can supplement their food budgets if reduced harvest tends to push up food prices.
“Our role is explaining to African governments the importance of having this type of insurance and accounting for food security and disaster risk in their budgetary work process.
“There’s been a lot of work done by ARC Limited with the support of the African Development Bank and other financial institutions to see how we can support these countries with a super replica programme. We need to do more still to find a sustainable way to do premium financing for countries that are not able to afford it but that are quite impacted by climate change impacts,” says Traoré.
Most recently, ARC Limited paid out US$2.1m to the Madagascar Government to meet the food security needs of over 600,000 people affected by the devastating drought.
ARC Limited’s role as a parametric insurer is critically important in building resilience and ensuring a country is able to bounce back swiftly after a natural disaster. “We monitor the rainfall of countries in the risk pool and sovereign insurance pay outs are triggered when the system reveals that there hasn’t been enough rain, before droughts get to a crisis stage, farmers are left with nothing and people are starving,” explains Chitate.
The programme further helps countries build capacity to manage climate-related risks. In this way it attempts to shift the disaster risk management architecture to be proactive, not reactive, says Chitate.
“We see a tangential benefit of this type of programme being the increasing sophistication of countries to better understand risk. The current COVID pandemic is a good example of this.
“When dealing with risk mitigation and management, one needs to examine the reason why governments don’t act. On the insurance side, one of the issues to address is around premium affordability because it’s quite expensive to insure against natural disasters and payment of premium competes against other national priorities,” explains Chitate.
Sovereigns which participate in the ARC programme must also develop a contingency plan which sets out at a very high level how the government would spend any insurance pay out they receive from ARC.
“Through this plan, we ensure the funds get to the intended beneficiaries. Having a plan increases dramatically the speed of execution because at a point the government received the funding, it already has a plan on how to disburse this,” she says.
With US$100 million in its kitty, ARC says it probably has the largest balance sheet dedicated to climate risks in Africa.