The Sterling One Foundation and the United Nations Nigeria, co-conveners of the Africa Social Impact Summit 2023, have officially unveiled partners for the second edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS).
This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, in Lagos.
Ibekwe said that the ASIS 2023 would be held on Aug. 10 and 11 at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos.
The theme of the 2023 edition of the summit is: “Global Vision, Local Action: Repositioning the African Development Ecosystem for Sustainable Outcomes”.
According to her, the summit seeks to reshape Africa’s development landscape by fostering collaboration, innovative thinking, and impactful investment into critical areas such as climate solutions, circular economy, agriculture, renewable energy, education, health, and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).
She said that the summit would accelerate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and the African Union 2063 Agenda.
The ASIS, now in its second year, is a transformative summit that brings together thought leaders, impact investors, and stakeholders from diverse sectors to address pressing challenges and design market-led solutions for sustainable outcomes in Africa.
Ibekwe expressed admiration for each of the collaborating organisations, stating that they have taken a bold step toward redefining Africa’s future.
“The African continent needs every impact resource and every player focused on how we can move from just potential and that is what each of us here has committed to.
“I can’t express just how excited I am to see the number of partners we have brought to the table from what we had last year; this shows that the message of sustainable development is resonating,” Ibekwe said.
She listed the partners who had reaffirmed their commitment to driving sustainable development in Africa as: the Coca-Cola Company, the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, Sterling Bank, the British Council, MTN Foundation, SBG Insurance, and the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance.
Others are: UNIDO Investment Technology Promotion Office, the United Nations Development Programme, Microsoft, SCALE Palladium, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Impact Investors Foundation, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, the Nigeria INGO Forum and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, among others.
Ibekwe said that private sector executives, non-profit leaders, impact investors, heads of government parastatals, and every development leader who wishes to be a part of the Summit are welcome to register via the website – www.theimpactsummit.org.
She added that the summit would feature a deal room for impact-focused entrepreneurs seeking funding from investors.
Ibekwe quoted the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale, as expressing excitement about partnering on the Summit.
Schmale stressed the UN’s dedication to working with the private sector and government to implement a cooperation framework for sustainable development.
He also stressed the need for the private sector to move beyond Corporate Social Responsibility and integrate sustainability into their business models.
“We want to see all stakeholders, especially the private sector, use the Africa Social Impact Summit as an opportunity to join hands to formulate a rescue plan for the SDGs,” Schmale said.
Ibekwe also quoted Mr Abubakar Suleiman, member, Board of Trustees of the foundation and Managing Director of Sterling Bank Ltd., as expressing his excitement at the growth the summit had witnessed within a year of its launch.
Suleiman emphasised the foundation and Sterling Bank’s dedication to fostering collaboration among organisations and connecting like-minded entities to achieve common goals.
“I am always pleased to see organisations prioritising social impact in the way they operate and not as an afterthought because this means that we then have strong commitments and a solid chance at actually pulling people out of poverty,” Suleiman said.
He also expressed his desire to see “available capital and resources being channeled into meaningful and sustainable impact.”
By Fabian Ekeruche