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Junior Achievement Nigeria Is Going Digital!



Junior Achievement Nigeria Executive Director, Simi Nwogugu


Dear Friends,

November has been such a rollercoaster month! We were so thrilled to find out on November 5 that we had been selected as one of twelve finalists for the Google Impact Challenge — out of 5,000 applications!!! We spent the majority of the month canvassing for votes and it really brought home to us how wide our network is — from the alumni who kept sharing on their social media platforms to our teachers, volunteers, Board Members and partners who kept circulating the link on WhatsApp! In fact, I walked into a potential donor’s office ready to introduce JAN only for her to tell me she had received WhatsApp messages from at least six sources (none of whom were connected) telling her to vote for JAN! WOW!!!

Thank you so much for your votes, shares, prayers, and encouragement! Though we did not win the People’s Choice Award, we walked away with $125,000 that will go a LONG way towards expanding our Company Program to more people through digital channels.  THANK YOU!!! And thank you so much for dedicating two million dollars ($2,000,000!!!) to enabling 12 non-profits in Nigeria to improve their communities!

As the year draws to a close, our participation in the Google Challenge enabled us to recognize some things: we are really blessed with an awesome network of friends and I’m really blessed with a dedicated team of soldiers! The staff at JAN in every location worked hard to make this grant a reality and the fact that we scaled through many hoops to get to finalist is a testament to the validity of the work we do in Nigeria.  Thank you to every member of the JAN team from senior managers to the newest interns who all worked together to show the world how important our work is.  Thanks to them (and you!), we can now make our digital transformation strategy a reality!

Speaking of digital transformation, part of the anxiety around doing more programs on digital platforms has been the risk of exposing our young students to the dangers of the Internet, so when Facebook approached us about partnering with them to conduct an online safety training for our students, we jumped at the chance!!! SafeOnline, a series of classroom sessions on online safety conducted in partnership with Facebook and CCHub, kicked off this month in Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan with plans to expand to all our cities in January.  We believe in partnerships and this was another special one because (again!) it involves a JAN alum at CCHub partnering with us to coordinate the project.

And speaking of special projects, a VERY special project drew to a close with a VERY special graduation ceremony! When our Board Members decided it was time for JAN to contribute towards efforts to rehabilitate internally displaced persons (IDP) in the Northeast, we weren’t really sure what that would mean but we took on the challenge.  Now over a year later, thanks to a $150,000 grant from Citi Foundation, we are so proud of the 240 youth in the Bakassi IDP Camp who participated in our ITS TYME entrepreneurial training program because they not only attended all sessions but through their businesses (varying widely from fashion design to leather goods making to farming) have demonstrated true understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Our judges were so impressed by the businesses exhibited at the ITS TYME business plan competition that took place in Maiduguri this week that they felt compelled to give more than the top three businesses prize money and ended up sharing prize money among another seven teams beyond the top three to arrive at a top 10!!!! We are confident that with these brand new entrepreneurs, Borno is on its way to being restored to its former glory as a prime trading area for Nigeria and its Northeastern neighbors. I’m very grateful to NEEM Foundation for partnering with us to make this project a roaring success!

As I said, it has been a rollercoaster month, but we have enjoyed every minute of the ride and look forward to partnering with you to do more for our youth!

JA Nigeria


Kudoti, South African Recycling Platform recognised as one of the global winners of the Nestlé’s 2021 Creating Shared Value Prize



Kudoti Co-Founder, Matthieu de Gaudemar (Image: Medium)

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



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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.


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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: 

Further information on the Connected Women Commitment Initiative can be found at:



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