Connect with us

Corporate Citizenship

Sahara Group Unveils “Look To The Book Initiative” To Boost Reading Culture

Published

on

In commemoration of the World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019, Sahara Group is set to introduce the “Look to the Book” initiative to boost the reading culture amongst youths across Africa. In a world dominated by various smart devices and a fast declining appetite for reading, Sahara Group seeks to make books appealing through sundry collaborations with Sahara Foundation and its partners.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS), about 617 million children and adolescents globally are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. This signals “a learning crisis” according to the UIS, which could threaten progress towards achieving the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the single largest number of 202 million children and adolescents who are not learning these fundamental subjects.  According to the data – two thirds of the kids who are not learning are in school. The data suggests the new numbers are rooted in three common problems. First, lack of access, with children who are out of school having little or no chance to reach a minimum level of proficiency. Second, a failure to retain every child in school and keep them on track, and third, the issue of the quality of education being delivered in the classroom.

Over the years, Sahara Group has invested in the building and renovation of libraries across Africa while organizing school reading programmes anchored by volunteer staff as well as regional and global organisations. Speaking on the initiative, Manager of Sahara Foundation, Mr. Oluseyi Ojurongbe said “The World Book Day is marked in more than 100 countries and it is a UNESCO initiative that aims to celebrate the value of books and reading, especially among young people today. We will be driving the “Look to the Book” initiative by encouraging Sahara staff to volunteer towards book reading activities across our host communities and donate towards ensuring more access to books for less privileged children. The initiative will also seek to connect such communities with established publishers and charities with focus of enhancing access to books. This will help reduce the book penetration gap across Africa.’’

Library at Pugu Secondary School, Tanzania upgraded by Sahara Foundation
Library at Pugu Secondary School, Tanzania upgraded by Sahara Foundation

Sahara Group’s Head of Corporate Communications Bethel Obioma said: “At Sahara Group we believe that books have the potential to shape and transform lives and ultimately, empower the minds that will be making crucial decisions across the globe. We are confident the initiative will inspire a new wave of innovation and inspiration among African youths.”

Some of the library projects recently implemented by Sahara Foundation include: Pugu Secondary school Library Tanzania and UMC Primary school Library Ibadan- Nigeria.

Sahara staff volunteers at the Read to Me Project
Sahara staff volunteers at the Read to Me Project

This year Sahara Foundation will be renovating libraries in some of our host communities and providing reading materials to children in communities where books are scarce. The goal of this intervention is to encourage children and adults to look to the book as a source of inspiration and the wings they need to soar into the future they desire.

Corporate Citizenship

GTBank Builds Nigeria’s First Digital Play Centre for Children

Published

on

By

Lagos, Nigeria – March 22nd, 2019: Banks only build branches, or so the story goes. Except for Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; the foremost African financial institution, which has been at the forefront of several innovative products and services, recently completed and opened the first digital playground for children in Nigeria.

Located in Lekki, Lagos State, the GTBank Play Centre is equipped with a wide range of interactive games that will give kids a fun and immersive digital experience whilst aiding their mental and intellectual development. Open from 10am to 3pm on Weekdays, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays, some of the features of the Play Centre include the Sketch Town, where kids can design cars, launch rockets, and bring all their sketches to life. At the playground, children can also use the wide range of bricks available to build whatever excites their curiosity and also express themselves creatively by scribbling, writing and drawing on a digital chalkboard.

GTBank is renowned for designing innovative and personalized products and services that are tailored to customers’ unique needs and which fit seamlessly with their lifestyles. Recently, the Bank launched Habari, a digital platform that gives customers unlimited access to local and international music, and at the same time, allows them to shop online, split bills with friends and take care of their everyday needs, in one place. Habari, like the GTBank Play Centre, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, reflecting the Bank’s digital drive as well as its focus on creating unique experiences for all segments of its customer base.

Commenting on the launch of the Play Centre, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje said; “How and where children play contributes significantly to their cognitive and intellectual development, helping them build better communication and problem-solving skills. Our new Play Centre will give children a tension-free space to build these critical developmental skills, expose them to new and emerging digital technologies, and, most importantly, give them a wonderful time out.”

He further stated that “At GTBank we are passionate about building the bank of the future, and for us, this means constantly leveraging the best of technology to create amazing digital experiences for all of our customers, in a way that adds real value to their lives.”

Guaranty Trust Bank is one of the best run African financial institutions and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank is also renowned for driving youth empowerment initiatives alongside its business, as seen with the GTCrea8 Account package, which doubles up as a platform for empowering young undergraduates with the resources and networking that they need to develop their skills and talents and build capacity in their careers of choice.

Continue Reading

Corporate Citizenship

Sahara Group Reaffirms Commitment To ‘Water For All’ Campaign

Published

on

By

Lagos, Nigeria, March 22, 2019 – According to a 2017 joint report by WHO and UNICEF, 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at home, more than twice as many lack safe sanitation. Some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.

The implication of this is that these people are at risk of various water related diseases, many of which are fatal.  At the moment, only 61% of the people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to have access to clean water sources. Similarly, over 40% of all people globally that lack access to drinking water are in sub-Saharan Africa. In these areas, the burden of carrying water falls primarily on women and young girls who are forced to walk several miles in search of water.

The inadequacy of clean water sources have accounted for poor sanitation in the affected areas with rural areas topping the list. A vast majority of rural people still practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities. The consequences of such practices are very devastating for human health and the environment. Even in more developed areas where household toilets are readily available, a large number of the toilets are either connected to septic tanks that are not safely emptied or use other means that discharge sewage into open drains.

In line with its commitment to promote clean water sources and encourage good sanitation, Sahara Foundation is committed to the donation of boreholes in areas of need. The donation of these boreholes have contributed to the eradication of Guinea-worm disease in Nigeria and Ghana, an achievement which has fueled our desire to do more. We have also promoted good sanitation through the donation of public toilets in rural areas and provided training on how to maintain the facilities.

In alignment with the theme for this year’s World Water Day commemoration, Leaving No One Behind, Sahara Group adds her voice and support to the call for making safe water available for all. We support the human right of all to safe water. We remain committed to efforts geared towards making clean and safe water available to all including the marginalized and poor.

Happy World Water Day.

-SAHARA GROUP

Continue Reading

Corporate Citizenship

Sahara Group Upgrades Computer Center To Promote I.C.T Literacy, Entrepreneurship In South Sudan

Published

on

By

Juba, South Sudan: March 20, 2019 –Leading energy conglomerate, Sahara Group has reaffirmed its commitment to inspiring and empowering future technology entrepreneurs to lead the drive towards sustainable development and economic prosperity in South Sudan.

Working through the Sahara Foundation, Sahara Group has renovated and upgraded the University of Juba Computer Center in South Sudan, a facility that plays a critical role in Information Communication Technology training in South Sudan, the world’s youngest democracy.

Following the intervention, the center now boasts a better learning ambience, brand new computers, central UPS and server, air conditioners, roof mounted projector and furniture.

“The facility will help the 10,000 undergraduates of the institution in designing solutions that will accelerate the growth of their nation and their own careers. We also believe the facility will provide an avenue for young people both within and outside the university community to acquire technology based skills in a country where access to information communication technology is below 30 percent of the population,” said Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications at Sahara Group.

Sahara Foundation Upgrades ICT Center at University of Juba
Commissioning of the Computer Laboratory at University of Juba, South Sudan

According to Obioma, the success of the Computer Center project would serve as a template for driving other development agenda that Sahara Group is exploring to foster accelerated economic empowerment an growth in South Sudan. “Sahara Group has implemented upgrades in various academic institutions in different nations and we believe the youths in South Sudan can now begin to aspire to become successful entrepreneurs that will compete for laurels globally.”

Founded in 1975, the University of Juba is the oldest university in South Sudan and has a vision to become a dynamic regional and world-class center of excellence in teaching, research, innovation, and service to community by 2030.

University of Juba ICT Center
University of Juba Computer Laboratory

Oluseyi Ojurongbe, Manager, Sahara Foundation, said there are ongoing stakeholder engagements to explore other interventions in line with Sahara Group’s commitment to spearheading the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa by 2030.

Ojurongbe noted that Sahara had made remarkable progress in its contribution to the SDGs, including goals 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 17.

He said: “We are delighted at the opportunity to serve in South Sudan and to be part of a growing movement geared towards transforming the nation and empowering her people. The Sahara Foundation will continue to work with all local and global stakeholders to give wings to the aspirations of South Sudan.”

Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented projects in the areas of health, education, environment and sustainable community development across Africa, Europe and Asia. More than two million people have directly benefited from the projects, with an estimated 75% of them located across the African continent. These interventions include food preservation/security projects, high school leadership/entrepreneurship projects, skills acquisition/career counseling programmes, upgrade of school libraries and sanitary facilities, scholarships for indigent students, free medical outreaches/surgeries, donation of mobile cancer unit and collaboration with several stakeholders to promote the SDGs.

– SAHARA GROUP

Continue Reading

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,714 other subscribers

Ads

Download BAO Brochure

Click on the Image below to download our recently published Magazine

Most Viewed