Sterling One Foundation to hold summit on driving devt for Africa

Sterling One

Sterling One Foundation has announced plans to host the third edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit between July 25 and 26 this year in driving development for the African continent.

This was disclosed at a dinner organised to appreciate the Foundation’s corporate and development partners who have contributed to the success of previous editions of the Summit and other social impact initiatives.

The chief executive officer of Sterling One Foundation, Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, expressed profound gratitude to the partners, stating that, their multi-faceted partnership and moral support have been instrumental to the success achieved over the years.

“Last year, we planned to convene about 1,000 physical delegates in Lagos but eventually had over 1,500 participants join us for the two-day summit. Post-event, we have also realised that over 30 percent of the social impact players that joined us got financial and non-financial support just because they were part of the summit.

“This is a testament to the immense value the convening offers the ecosystem and why I would like to sincerely appreciate all these esteemed organisations dedicated to fostering sustainable change in Nigeria and across the African continent,” she said.

Among the recognised partners were: co-convener United Nations Nigeria, Coca-Cola Company, the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Afreximbank, the British Council, Microsoft, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the MTN Foundation.

Ibekwe also appreciated deal room and technical partners such as the UNIDO Investment Technology and Promotion Officer (ITPO), African Venture Philanthropy Alliance, Oando Foundation, Palladium SCALE Project, Nigeria Climate Innovation Center, Woodhall Capital Foundation, the Impact Investors Foundation, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, TRACE, Proshare, Ventures Africa, as well as other partners and exhibitors.

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A member of the Foundation’s board, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman added that, one of the reasons the Sterling One Foundation exists is to address issues rooted in poor collaboration in Nigeria, which has birthed increased costs for the various foundations attempting to resolve the country’s and continent’s problems.

“We wanted to ensure we didn’t repeat the same mistake, so our objective was to bring people together and help them see what they might not have seen before. To that extent, I think the Summit has done very well,” he said.

He continued that, “the summit taught us that, while it is wonderful to spend time together in between summits, we have not done enough to ensure the partnership continues. So as we approach this year’s summit, we will continue to hold these conversations, but we will also hold each partner accountable for commitments made during the summit towards action.”

Country director of British Council Nigeria, Lucy Pearson reaffirmed her organisation’s position, stating that, “we want to do more with partners who have like minds, people, and organisations with whom we share the same values and vision, and we hope to continue this partnership.”

Meanwhile, Ibekwe mentioned that the summit plans to host more sector-specific workshops and sessions this year. Additionally, the summit, he said, will fund innovators building solutions in smaller cities and rural areas through regional deal rooms.

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