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South African Green Schools Programme launches



The inaugural South African Green Schools Programme (SAGSP) was launched in Polokwane on 25 April 2017 as a pilot project between the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET).

Awards to environmentally conscious schools

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson, the Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Seaparo Sekoati and the MEC for Education, Ishmael Kgatjepe officially launched the pilot project and awarded prizes to schools with winning environmental projects.

Learners from 105 schools in and around Limpopo province displayed their projects that focus on environmental conservation. Schools with outstanding projects were awarded prizes ranging from R35,000 to R100,000. These funds will be channelled towards small-scale projects that support meaningful learners’ action on environmental issues in their respective schools. The winning schools are as follows:

Name of School Name of Award and amount
Intermediate Phase (Grade 6)
Mosasane Baloyi Primary School Rhino Award – R100,000
Rethusitswe Primary School Renewable Energy Award – R 75,000
Ramaahlo Primary School Blue-Crane Award – R50,000
Sudzulusani Primary School Baobab Award – R40,000
Dikgabje Primary School Lake Fundudzi Award – R35,000
Senior Phase (Grade 9)
Mopane Intermediate School Rhino Award – R100,000
Pax College Renewable Energy Award – R 75,000
Phutikwe Combined School Blue-Crane Award – R50,000
Lepono High School Baobab Award – R40,000
Sekoba Secondary School Lake Fundudzi Award – R35,000

Six themes

The pilot project aims to raise awareness to learners to the problem of environmental degradation which can be reversed through educating the nation and adopting sustainable measures of harvesting environmental resources with a view to create a legacy the future generations can inherit.

The SAGSP initiative is comprised of six thematic areas:

  1. Waste management – to promote waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse and recycle) and waste management projects;
  2. Energy efficiency & conservation – to promote energy awareness, audits and energy saving strategy;
  3. Water management and conservation – to promote planning and optimum utilisation of water resources eg rainwater harvesting, water usage audits, irrigation methods;
  4. Landscaping, tree planting and beautification – to contribute to carbon offsetting and beauty of the school;
  5. Public participation and community empowerment – to instil sense of environmental responsibility in communities (knowledge and skills);
  6. Leadership and institutional arrangements – to develop school environmental policy, vision, mission, strategies and plans to achieve greening projects and awareness

    Today’s children are tomorrow’s decision makers and they need to be equipped with the knowledge of intricacies of the workings of the environment, which gives all biological beings their livelihood. Unfortunately, many children have few opportunities to experience nature. Excitement about nature and caring for environment should be modelled to children to instil enthusiasm.

Environmental education based on life experiences should begin during the very earliest years of life. Beginning this process in the early years, when attitudes toward the world around them are forming, is essential. Such experiences play a critical role in shaping lifelong attitudes, values and patterns of behavior toward natural environments. Children’s attitudes toward living things develop at a young age and they will imitate the attitudes and actions toward caring for the environment that is modelled for them.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister Thomson encouraged the school leaners to become ambassadors for the environment for the sake of the current and future generations. “The care for and protection of our environment has to start at a young age and I would like to express my thanks to everyone involved in taking this proactive step to nurture in our younger generation an appreciation of the importance of environmental care and protection.”


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IWD 2021: Temi Marcella Awogboro Choosing To Challenge Gender Bias and Inequality



Temi Marcella Awogboro, Investor, Board Director & Founding Executive Director, Evercare (Source: Temi Marcella Awogboro)

IWD 2021: As an investor in the healthcare industry, I have witnessed first hand how women have stood at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators and as some of the most exemplary and effective leaders in combating the pandemic. It is no coincidence that the countries most successful in stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to its health and broader socio-economic impacts, have been led by women.

However, the COVID-19 crisis has sadly highlighted both the centrality of the contributions of women, as well as the disproportionate burdens that they carry and the inadequate representation of women at the highest levels of decision making. Furthermore, in addition to persistent pre-existing social and systemic barriers to women’s participation and leadership, new barriers have emerged in the form of increased domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty.

I strongly believe the unique experiences and perspectives of women are critical in the formulation of decisions, policies and laws that work  for all. In light of this, I choose to continue to challenge inequality, subvert the status quo, be courageous in calling out bias,and questioning stereotypes, and to mobilize capital to forge an inclusive world. IWD 2021 #ChooseToChallenge



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IWD 2021: Oyetola Oduyemi Choosing To Challenge Gender Bias and Inequality



Oyetola Oduyemi, Director, Public Affairs (Africa Region) The END Fund (Source: Oyetola Oduyemi)

IWD 2021: I am glad to lend my voice to this celebration of women everywhere, on this auspicious occasion of the annual International Women’s Day commemoration, 2021. I celebrate both women winning, and women struggling but pushing through. I identify with women that have borne the brunt of the ongoing pandemic – combining tough work deadlines with home-schooling children and family members. I empathize with women living in an inequitable world, and dealing with bias and exclusion, in different forms and with various nuances. We will keep hope alive and continue to work on co-creating a future full of promise for all, regardless of gender, circumstances of birth, colour of skin, or any other division.

As we commemorate this day IWD 2021 also, please remember that women are disproportionately affected by neglected tropical diseases – physically, socially, and economically. Women are biologically vulnerable, physically impacted and socially subjugated as a result of these neglected diseases; and nowhere is this truer than in Africa. I urge us all to apply gender equity lens, even as we join hands to tackle these neglected diseases.

Sustainable Development Goal 3.3 is underpinned by the principle of leaving no one behind; and SDG 5 calls for not only an end to discrimination against women everywhere, but also empowerment of all women, regardless of their socio-economic status. Together, we can and indeed should collaborate, to bring these goals to life. As we work to build back better in a post-COVID world, strengthening universal health systems, renewing commitments and galvanizing action to promote healthy lives and wellbeing for all, let us also work to end neglected tropical diseases as public health concerns. Specifically, let’s #choosetochallenge the status quo of women’s inordinate vulnerability to these diseases, and choose instead to protect women’s rights to freedom from neglected tropical diseases, and need to enjoy good health.

I choose to raise my hand and voice in this call to action for protecting women from the suffering caused by neglected diseases. I choose to raise my hand to help forge an inclusive world, free of neglected tropical diseases. As it is said, ‘from challenge comes change. So, let’s all #choosetochallenge.



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Sahara Group Leverages Transformative Innovation For Sustainable Performance



Sahara Group Team (Source: Sahara Group)

Sahara Group, an Energy Conglomerate has released its 2019 Sustainability Report which reflects its commitment to achieving its corporate goals and creating shared value for stakeholders through economic development, protection of the environment and building a sustainable society.

Tagged ‘Transformative Innovation’, the report highlights how Sahara continues to leverage innovation and technology in achieving its corporate goals and sustainability ambitions across its businesses in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, Pearl Uzokwe, said the Group had continued to foster partnerships and initiatives that have co-created a desirable future through innovation.

Uzokwe said: “We have aligned our business operations within our entities with the demands and expectations of our changing world – digitization – which in turn increases our competitive advantage for sustainable growth. Beyond measuring our performance in numbers and outcome, we have raised our lever of sustainability excellence by committing to more strategic partnerships and setting targets to achieve sustainable development from the micro to global scale.”

She said Sahara had aligned its operations and processes in furtherance of the urgent global transition to cleaner energy and low-carbon solutions. *Sahara entered an MoU with the United Nations Development Programme in 2019 to provide access to affordable and sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa. This is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 7. During the year, we were pivotal to the success of the United Nations Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) and joined hands with other stakeholders in  advancing the mission of the African Influencers for Development (AI4Dev), World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and other institutions in providing a better quality of life to the world.”

According to Uzokwe, Sahara launched its Green Life Initiative in 2019 in line with its commitment to fostering sustainable environments via the protection of the environment, promotion of a circular economy and recycling of waste within and outside our business. “Among other activities, we established a Recycling Exchange Hub in the Ijora Oloye community and executed upcycling vocational training for the conversion of tyres to usable products. In delivering more environmentally friendly fuels, we committed to complying with the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARA) standards – the only pan-African organization for the African downstream oil sector – in 2019, as we expanded our investment in the supply of cleaner energy in the form of gas, particularly LPG’” she added.

Sahara is a foremost provider of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Africa through West Africa Gas Limited, a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). WAGL operates two 38,000 cbm LPG vessels, MT Africa Gas and Sahara Gas that are driving LPG access, security, and stability in Africa. Both vessels have supplied approximately 500,000 MT of LPG across regional markets since their acquisition in 2017. Sahara Group’s 2019 Sustainability Report reflects our economic, social, and environmental activities from January 1 to December 31, 2019. The report is our fifth sustainability report, and our fourth report written in line with the GRI standard. The 2019 Sustainability Report has been organized and presented in accordance with the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The guidelines seek to achieve consistency amongst corporations reporting on their sustainability activities.

Please click here to access the sustainability report.

Sahara Group


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