Sterling One Foundation announced that over 2000 people have registered to participate in the premier edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit, slated to be held on July 13 and 14, 2022 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The hybrid event which was officially announced by the Foundation and its partners at a press conference held on July 5, 2022 is expected to have participants from over 50 countries.
The Africa Social Impact Summit is a 2-day event that collaboratively brings together players in the African civil society space, the private sector and the public sector to share ideas, learnings, plans and practical solutions to ensure the holistic achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. With a focus on climate action, education, health, agriculture, circular economy and women empowerment, the summit aims to provide opportunities for impact investors to collaboratively scale market-led solutions which have the potential for long-term impact.
Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank stressed the need for a new approach to reducing poverty which he says is the real goal of the Summit. He opined that while commitments were good, action was crucial, “and this Summit presents a good opportunity for Sterling Bank and other partners to start intensifying efforts.”
Also speaking to the need for the Summit, Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO of the Sterling One Foundation, explained that the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an urgent framework for Africa to recover some of the progress it made on the Sustainable Development Goals and further accelerate growth.
“Over the last two years, we have lost a lot of ground on the progress being made regarding the SDGs especially in Africa, with reports showing that 37 million more people will go below the poverty line just because of the recent pandemic. Therefore, we decided that it was necessary to bring key stakeholders to discuss how we can collaborate better, as government, corporate and civil society to drive impact investments into critical areas of the economy in a bid to recover and meet the SDG targets over the next 8 years”, she said.
The Summit is expected to feature panel sessions with the likes of Bankole Oloruntoba, CEO, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, Daniel Ikuenobe, Country Director, Tony Blair Institute, Malawi and Olayinka Makinwa from Delegation of German Industry and Commerce, Nigeria, keynote addresses from Matthias Schmale, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria and Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications, Sustainability – Africa, The Coca-Cola Company, and a deal room session hosted in partnership with the Impact Investors Foundation, where investors will listen to vetted sustainable solutions from social entrepreneurs working in different African communities, with a view of helping them scale to more communities on the continent through impact investments.
While explaining why they joined as partners for the Summit, Soromidayo George, Board Chair of the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, expressed delight at the opportunity this convening provides to further help make sustainable impact commonplace in how companies operate across Africa, moving beyond one-off projects to a framework that empowers the continent.
Echoing her remarks, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria stressed that the goal from the Summit is to collaborate in a way that helps empower more people.
In her words; “Coca-Cola has been able to empower over two million women across Africa in the last few years, and this Summit presents an opportunity to do much more than that, because we are now coming together with other like-minded organisations to achieve one goal.”
Some of the countries to be represented at the Summit include South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Rwanda, Morocco, Cameroon, Namibia, Central African Republic, Malaysia, Madagascar, and the United Kingdom. Others who wish to join can still register on the event website – https://theimpactsummit.org/