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Sahara Group Highlights ‘Collaboration For Global Impact’ In 2018 Sustainability Report

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Sahara Group has released its 2018 Sustainability Report which provides details on the economic, environmental, social, governance and risk impact of the energy conglomerate’s businesses globally.

Themed “Collaborating for Global Impact”, the report details Sahara Group’s activities and projects in 2018 which traverse partnerships and collaborations, investments, expansion into further international markets and outreach linking Sahara’s employees with the global landscape.

“Our people have been pivotal to the growth and global impact of our organization by effectively establishing, managing and sustaining these international collaborations. It is critical to our sustainability that we attract and retain the right talent to achieve this feat,” said Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Governance and Sustainability while presenting the report to the media.

Uzokwe said Sahara expanded its talent pool from 3,281 employees in 2017 to 3,630 in 2018, noting that the Group enhanced the recruitment and selection processes of pre-existing programmes to cultivate a workforce capable of growing and sustaining the business impact.

She said Sahara had since reviewed its safety mechanism for greater efficiency, with the overarching target being a zero-fatality rate across the Group’s plants and workplaces. “We will continually channel our resources towards embedding a culture of safety and compliance,” she added.

According to Uzokwe, Sahara lent its voice to the rule of law in 2018 with the participation of Oluseyi Ojurongbe, (Manager, Sahara Foundation) at the conference on “The Role of the Private Sector in Fostering Justice, Peace and Sustainable Institutions” at the Bingham Centre for Rule of Law in the Hague. She said Sahara also seconded Babatomiwa Adesida to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UNSDG-F) to strengthen private sector participation and collaboration in the attainment of the SDGs.

UNDP and Sahara Group join forces following the signing of Memorandum of Understanding to promote sustainable energy and SDGs in Africa.
UNDP and Sahara Group join forces following the signing of Memorandum of Understanding to promote sustainable energy and SDGs in Africa.

“Since our partnership with the UN through Babatomiwa’s secondment, we have remained a committed partner to the UN and provided support to the development and implementation of the SDG Fund’s private sector and philanthropy engagement in Africa,” she noted.

She said Sahara Group in the period under review promoted awareness of the activities of the SDG Fund by attending Private Sector related events in Canada, South Africa, India, Nigeria and Rwanda and developing a toolkit on the contribution of sports to the achievement of the SDGs.

“In line with our global thought leadership role in the energy sector, we joined world leaders and other stakeholders to underpin the importance of collaboration in safeguarding the future of Oil at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) 7th International Seminar in June 2018 in Vienna. Speaking as a panellist in one of the sessions, Executive Director, Tope Shonubi reinforced the need for cooperation towards achieving transparency, market balance, safety and environmental protection.”

Uzokwe said Sahara Group increased investment in communities and countries where it operates by over 40% from N250 million in 2017 to N350 million in 2018. This consisted of regional projects with global collaborations. In a similar vein, Sahara commenced partnership discussions with the UNDP geared towards the attainment of the UN’s SDG 7 (provision of access to clean and affordable energy) in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire. This will be finalized in 2019.

She stated that in 2018 Sahara acquired and expanded its operations in the infrastructure and downstream value chain in Zambia and Tanzania thereby increasing the Group’s international outlook and operation in the Eastern African region with a key focus on introducing greater efficiency and improving intra-African trade.

Also Read Interview With Oyetola Oduyemi On The END Fund, Impact Philanthropy And Sustainability in Africa

“We believe in the power of partnerships and collaboration for greater leverage and impact and remain committed to actively seeking out alternative and innovative means to achieve our goals and the global goals,” she concluded.

To read the full report please click here.

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NGOs - SDGs

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

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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

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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

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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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