The Responsible Citizen - December 2023

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DECEMBER 2023 | ISSUE 10

PIONEERING UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE WITH NIGERIA’S THE SOCIETY FOR FAMILY HEALTH (SFH) TRANSFORMING CORPORATE GOVERNANCE FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE IN BOTSWANA

NANCY BARISOA ANDRIAMIARIMBOLA ON THE ECOSHE PROJECT’S ADVOCACY TOWARDS BEING PLANET POSITIVE


The Responsible Citizen Magazine is a leading digital Pan-African publication that outlines and promotes sustainability and ESG through positive change and advocacy. Founded in Botswana and seeking to bring together critical societal stakeholders including commercial entities, government institutions and people in society, through the integration of social, environmental and governance issues.

To feature your sustainability mission and advertise your business with us, contact: Tel: +267 3116813 / 73 329 959 Email: advertising@theresponsiblecitizen.co.bw | marketing@theresponsiblecitizen.co.bw


Contents

LEADING IN THE BUSINESS OF SUSTAINABILITY

06 | Founder’s Welcome 07 | Editor’s Note

the Boardrooms: Transforming Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future

20 | Rising Together: The West Africa

COVER STORY

Carbon Market Hub’s Impact on Regional Sustainability

24 | Beyond Tourism: Kenyan Industry 08 | The EcoShe Project’s Andriamiarimbola Barisoa Nancy on Being Planet Positive

12 | Christopher Maara on Kiri Bikes’ Journey in Shaping Sustainable Urban Commuting

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16 | From Insight to Action and Beyond

Leaders Unite for Sustainable Tomorrow at Eco Warrior Awards

28 | Pioneering Universal Health Coverage and Social Justice with The Society for Family Health (SFH) in Nigeria

32 | GLF Nairobi 2023: Crafting a Sustainable Symphony for Our Planet and Navigating a Path to a Fairer, Greener Tomorrow

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DECEMBER 2023 • ISSUE 10

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS

IMPACT FOR TOMORROW’S GENERATIONS

36 | The Almajiri Child Rights Initiative:

54 | WAVE Foundation’s Transformative

Breaking Chains, Building Futures

Quest for Gender Equality and Empowerment in Nigeria

40 | Mncedi Madolo: Bridging Art and Sustainability, One Collage at a Time

58 | Injini’s Quest to incorporate

44 | Green Churches, Bright Futures:

technology in solving South Africa’s education needs

How Mwangaza Light Empowers Women and Ignites Climate Action Across Africa

48 | A Pan-African Alliance for Community Conservation

62 | Amplifying Voices: Audio Girl Africa’s Quest to Empower Women in Music

66 | The Space BW: Crafting an Ideal Space for Nurturing Creativity

51 | Liv & Light: A Journey from Nature’s Embrace to Ethical Fashion

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DECEMBER 2023 • ISSUE 10

EDITORIAL

Founder and Editor Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile

Managing Director of Wise Leadership (Pty) Ltd

mkgosietsile@wiseleadership.co.bw Editor Yvonne C Mtengwa Narratives PR FZ-LLC Dubai, UAE yvonne@yournarratives.com

CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS Lorraine Kinnear Bem Abubaker Zimkhita Kweza Peter Kinuthia Murimi Busiswa Lutshaba

MARKETING & ADVERTISING

advertising@theresponsiblecitizen.co.bw marketing@theresponsiblecitizen.co.bw

@trcbotswana @TRCMagazine @theresponsiblecitizen @theresponsiblecitizenmagazine

Published by Narratives PR LLC – FZ Registered at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) United Arab Emirates

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Founder’s Welcome

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023 has been a fruitful year for The Responsible Citizen Magazine, where we have seen tremendous growth on the brand, activations and driving the intended message for our publication. We have remained steadfast in promoting sustainability as we focused on stories that made an impact across Africa. As we refined our message on sustainability, we made concerted efforts to partner with the proponents of sustainability on different platforms. In April 2023, we became the media sponsor for the MN Capital ESG Conference which brought together key players and investors to discuss ESG and its impact on businesses in Botswana. Wise Leadership (the parent company to the publication), hosted a Corporate Governance Conference in October 2023, where sustainability and ESG were magnified as key principles of corporate governance. Clearly, Sustainability is a key factor for every business and organisation and a critical factor for a better future. Youth and community remain a key feature for the future, which is based on the development of People (the Social in ESG). People play a critical part in defining a sustainable future, hence the need to empower them so that they recognise their contribution and impact. In this issue, we are delighted to showcase some compelling stories across the continent that serve well in positioning the youth and greater community as key players in the sustainability agenda. After all, our mandate remains to place value on the future of our people. Sincerely,

Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile 6|

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Editor’s Note

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rends in Sustainability: A Burning Issue in 2023 This year, The Responsible Citizen Magazine has enjoyed the opportunity to spotlight some of the most compelling initiatives towards the pursuit of sustainable practices, with individuals, businesses, and governments alike recognizing the need for immediate action. This shift in perspective stems from a confluence of factors including, the increasing severity of climate change across Africa, growing public awareness, corporate commitment to sustainability and ESG focused initiatives, growing government initiatives and stricter regulations and incentivizing sustainable practices as well as technological advancements in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to electric vehicles and smart grids. The confluence of these factors has created a perfect storm, propelling sustainability, climate change mitigation and ESG to the forefront of global discussions. This year’s trends are not mere fads, but rather a fundamental shift in our understanding of the planet and the need for a more sustainable future. As we look ahead, the subject of sustainability will continue to be a defining issue in the years to come. We must seize this opportunity to work together, across individuals, businesses, and governments, to build a future that is both prosperous and environmentally responsible. Yours truly,

wa g n e t .M

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SECTION

The EcoShe Project’s Andriamiarimbola Barisoa Nancy on Being Planet Positive By Lorraine Kinnear

The urgency of climate change has thrust young voices and the advocacy of women to the forefront of global climate justice initiatives. In this context, initiatives like the EcoShe Project, led by Andriamiarimbola Barisoa Nancy, drive inspired action in the space of climate action. The EcoShe Project embodies a fusion of environmental activism, women’s empowerment and is driven by Nancy’s passion for climate justice and gender equality.

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ancy's fervour was ignited during her attendance at the 20th anniversary of the Maputo Protocol in Tanzania, where her commitment to addressing the specific impact of climate change on women solidified. She delineates the Project's multifaceted approach - from organising workshops encompassing climate justice and gender equality to leveraging the Tanora Revolution Podcast to disseminate the message globally. The emphasis lies not only on education and raising awareness but also on tangible action through initiatives like providing sustainable pads and targeting marginalised communities in Madagascar, pro-

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COVER STORY • ECOSHE

moting inclusivity within the climate dialogue. Here is what she had to share about the EcoShe Project: TRC: What motivated you to initiate the EcoShe Project? NB: I started the EcoShe Project, which received the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)'s Climate Justice Award, driven by my passion as a women's rights defender and climate justice advocate. Attending the 20th anniversary of the Maputo Protocol in Tanzania for African women's rights strengthened my commitment. I deeply care about climate change and its specific impact on women. The EcoShe Project plans to organise enjoyable, engaging, and supportive workshops about climate justice and gender equality, primarily for women, with a welcoming embrace of the “HeForShe” movement. We'll provide sustainable pads and use the Tanora Revolution Podcast to reach a global audience. We aim to cover several cities, with a focus on marginalised and indigenous communities in Madagascar, thereby promoting inclusivity. TRC: How do you perceive the role of youth in addressing climate change? NB: I believe youth play a crucial role in addressing climate change. Our passion, innovative thinking, and ability to mobilise communities make us catalysts for meaningful change. Youth are not just beneficiaries but active contributors to sustainable solutions, and their engagement is vital to building a resilient and environmentally conscious future. Personally, I'm involved in supporting youth causes. I've trained forty young individuals in debate and public speaking at African Voice, leading the Madagascar team to secure third place in the African Debate Championship in 2022. I firmly believe in the importance of amplifying youth voices, especially considering the challenges that they face are often being overlooked. TRC: What were the key takeaways from your participation in the Global Landscapes Forum in Nairobi, Kenya? NB: I'm truly grateful to have been a part of the 2023 Landscape Leadership Workshop leading up to the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Nairobi, Kenya from 11–12 October 2023. The workshop offered valuable perspectives on climate justice, the complexities of negotiating with diverse stakeholders for climate justice, and the impactful role of storytelling as a landscape leader. The GLF in Nairobi, particularly the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Youth Consultation, provided a crucial global platform for youth to exchange ideas on land restoration. The emphasis on stewarding visions of justice and restoration was a highlight, where young people from around the world took centre stage and shared their insights on stewardship and justice. This collective engagement highlighted the importance of youth voices and their role in shaping a just and sustainable future for our landscapes. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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TRC: In what ways do you believe youth involvement can impact and drive action in the realm of climate change? NB: Young people can make a big difference in dealing with climate change. We bring new ideas and a sense of urgency to climate action. Our activism has the power to influence policies, raise awareness, and drive community engagement whether through advocacy, grassroots initiatives, or innovative projects. I truly believe that young people can be strong leaders, making our world more sustainable. Mrs. Anjatiana Radoharinirina, the President of our National Alliance on Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Desertification in Madagascar whom we’ve had the delight to partner with, alongside young people from all 23 regions of Madagascar, always says, "Youth can do it!" And I totally agree – I believe we are the driving force behind the change we wish to see in the world. TRC: What challenges have you noted for youth engagement in climate change initiatives, and how do you propose to address them? NB: Youth often face financial barriers when getting involved in climate change efforts, even though they have creative solutions for addressing this global problem. Luckily, there are numerous opportunities available in different organisations such as GLF, UNFCCC YOUNGO and other such organisations. Unfortunately, in certain parts of the world, the voices of young people aren't heard enough in decision-making, and it's crucial that we work to ensure our voices are recognised. My experience at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), where youth actively participated and played a central role, informs my suggestion to tackle these challenges. This involves creating targeted programs to build the skills of young

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individuals, promoting inclusivity, and advocating for meaningful participation of youth at all decision-making levels. TRC: How do you envision the future of youth involvement in climate change efforts? NB: I envision a future where youth is central to global climate initiatives, not just as advocates but as leaders and decision-makers. Their active involvement will be integral to shaping sustainable policies, fostering innovation, and driving a collective global response to climate change. The GLF 2023 slogan, "A New Vision for Earth," resonates with my belief that youth are the primary builders of this vision. When we're discussing their future, it only makes sense for them to be involved in making the policies that will impact them. It is impossible to talk about the youth without including the youth themselves! TRC: What strategies do you and EcoShe employ to advocate for and empower, as well as mobilise youth for climate action? NB: The EcoShe Project is dedicated to championing and empowering youth for climate action, focusing on climate justice and addressing the disproportionate impacts on marginalised communities in Madagascar. The Project provides essential skills through focused knowledge-based workshops and promotes sustainable practices with the Pads4Her initiative. The initiative promotes sustainable and eco-friendly pads for women. Personally, I care deeply about youth well-being and so I initiated The Tanora Revolution Podcast as part of the project, aiming to empower the next generation by fostering a positive mindset, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, nurturing a compassionate heart, and building a resilient soul. These combined strategies form a comprehensive approach to advocating for youth, recognising their pivotal role as key contributors to meaningful climate action.

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COVER STORY • ECOSHE

TRC: What specific opportunities have you identified for youth to contribute meaningfully to climate change mitigation and adaptation? NB: Youth now have abundant opportunities, especially with the aid of technology. Through these platforms, I have been privileged to land the role of Regional Coordinator for Youth Opportunities, overseeing Ambassadors in various African countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, and playing a role in ensuring the successful completion of the Global Ambassador program. This global program offers young people avenues for personal and professional growth. Opportunities for youth involvement extend to sectors like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and community resilience projects. As a young leader, I recognise the importance of integrating our existing skills and knowledge such as artificial intelligence into our pursuits. Given my background in computer science, I believe this to be crucial. In the future, I aspire to prepare youth especially women for negotiations, emphasising the transformative impact of such engagement through the EcoShe Project. TRC: How do you perceive the value of engaging youth in global discussions and initiatives related to climate change? NB: Engaging youth in global discussions injects diversity, creativity, and a vital sense of urgency into the conversation. It will ensure that genuine targeted solutions are implemented, as our perspectives are crucial for crafting strategies that are not only inclusive but also effective in addressing the complexities of climate change. Our involvement ensures that the leaders of tomorrow actively contribute to shaping the trajectory of climate initiatives. With our planet facing challenges, it's evident that youth will bear the consequences of inadequate solutions. Empowering youth to take action, lead, and advocate for their future is imperative in building a sustainable and resilient world. TRC: What key recommendations would you offer for fostering greater youth participation and impact in the spaces of climate change? NB: I believe that it is essential to prioritise accessible educational resources, mentorship programs, and handson experiences with adequate support if we want to foster greater youth participation and impact in the realm of climate change. Young people must have their voices heard in all aspects, especially in the critical endeavours of addressing climate change. We cannot be passive participants in the conversations about our future. We must become more active and create the future the way we want it. I will conclude with the insightful words of Bamigboye Olurotimi, who said, “Youth is the hope of today and the joy of tomorrow.” Let us empower and support the youth, recognising them as catalysts for positive change and a source of optimism for a better tomorrow. Andriamiarimbola Barisoa Nancy's journey with the THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

EcoShe Project exemplifies the indelible impact of youth and women in the fight against climate change. The insights gleaned from her engagements underscore the need for inclusive platforms, financial support, and targeted programs to elevate youth participation. To amplify youth involvement, it's imperative to create accessible educational resources, mentorship programs, and hands-on experiences, echoing Nancy's sentiments. The EcoShe Project stands as a testament to the potential for transformative change when young minds are engaged, empowered, and given a platform to lead.

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Christopher Maara on Kiri Bikes’ Journey in Shaping Sustainable Urban Commuting By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

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CHRISTOPHER MAARA

In the bustling heart of Nairobi, a silent revolution is gaining momentum, and at its forefront stands Kiri Bikes—an electric vehicle startup with a bold mission to redefine the landscape of the African motor industry. The CEO and founder, Christopher Maara, shares insights into the company’s unwavering commitment to challenging norms, one segment at a time, by proving the transformative potential of electric vehicles in the African transportation narrative.

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iri Bikes is not just building electric motorbikes; they are shaping a sustainable vision for the future of mobility across Kenya and the entire continent. In the rhythmic hum of engines echoing through bustling Kenyan streets, the term "Boda Boda" resonates as more than just a Swahili phrase; it embodies a dynamic force at the heart of sustainable empowerment. This two-wheeled phenomenon, meaning "motorbike," has transcended its mechanical essence to become a symbol of livelihood, community strength, and economic vitality. According to a comprehensive report by the World Bank, the Boda Boda industry in Kenya is no mere conveyance; it is an economic powerhouse employing an estimated 1.5 million individuals and injecting a formidable KSh 202 billion ($1.8 billion) annually into the nation's economic bloodstream. Beyond the financial metrics, Boda Bodas serve as veritable lifelines, weaving through both urban sprawls and rural landscapes, connecting communities and bridging the gaps of accessibility. These agile motorbikes, with their nimble mobility, have emerged as the unsung heroes of progress, breaking barriers by ensuring that even in the most remote corners, essential services like healthcare, education, and markets are within reach. The Boda Boda industry doesn't just transport people; it propels economies, sustains livelihoods, and accelerates societal empowerment, embodying a transformative force that transcends its mechanical origins.

From Funstar to Moran for Sustainable Commutes, Stylish Rides: Kiri Bikes Redefines Electric Mobility

Kiri Bikes, the vanguard of sustainable urban mobility, has ingeniously redefined the landscape of electric bikes, unveiling a line-up that goes beyond mere transportation – it's an embodiment of style, functionality, and empowerment. Their electric THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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bikes, meticulously categorized into the Funstar, Nomad, and Moran series, cater to diverse preferences and needs. The Funstar, a sleek scooter, exudes urban charm, while the Nomad pays homage to the traditional boda boda aesthetic, seamlessly blending modernity with tradition. The Moran, with its luxurious design and sportbike allure, stands as a testament to Kiri Bikes' commitment to providing more than just a mode of transport – it's an experience. Beyond aesthetics, Kiri Bikes is rewriting the narrative of electric bike efficiency. With a promise of over 80 kilometers on a single charge and a remarkably short 3.5 hours for a full recharge, these electric bikes are not just environmentally conscious; they're practically efficient. What truly sets Kiri Bikes apart, however, is their pioneering approach to rider independence. Rather than relying on swapping stations, Kiri Bikes empowers riders with personal chargers. This groundbreaking model allows riders to recharge their bikes conveniently at home or anywhere there's a socket, fostering a sense of autonomy and sustainability. In a world where sustainable choices often come hand-in-hand with compromise, Kiri Bikes is rewriting the script, offering electric bikes that seamlessly integrate style, range, and independence. As riders glide through urban landscapes, they're not just on a journey; they're at the forefront of a sustainable revolution, where Kiri Bikes doesn't just change how we move but empowers us to take control of our mobility, one charge at a time.

From Speed to Sound: The Extraordinary Features Defining Kiri Bikes

Kiri Bikes doesn't just redefine electric mobility; it transforms the very essence of commuting with a roster of features that seamlessly fuse technology, security, and entertainment. Picture this: the digital speedometer, not just a functional component but a sleek interface that elevates your riding experience, providing real-time information at a glance. The LED headlamp, not just a beam of light, but a luminary signature that cuts through the urban dusk, blending safety with style. As you navigate the cityscape on a Kiri electric bike, the Bluetooth speaker becomes your personalized soundtrack, harmonizing your journey with your favorite tunes. But it's not just about music; it's about turning every ride into a multisensory adventure. Need to charge your phone on the go? No problem. Kiri Bikes has seamlessly integrated a mobile phone charging USB port, ensuring your devices stay juiced up, ready for whatever the day holds. Worried about security? Kiri Bikes has you covered with an anti-theft alarm, transforming your bike into a vigilant guardian. And when it's time to park, the steering locking feature adds an extra layer of assurance. In every curve, every acceleration, and every stop, Kiri Bikes doesn't just offer a ride; it crafts an experience. It's not just an electric bike; it's a symphony of features, a manifestation of thoughtful design, and a testament to the innovative spirit driving Kiri Bikes' commitment to sustainable urban mobility. As you embark on the Funstar, Nomad, or Moran series, you're not just on a journey; you're at the helm of an electric revolution where style, functionality, and empowerment coalesce in the dynamic world of Kiri Bikes.

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Kiri Bikes: Where Sustainability Meets Savings in Every Kilometer

Consider the traditional bike, guzzling over 400 Kenyan shillings daily on 2 liters of petrol. Now enter Kiri's electric bike, where a mere 2 units of electricity, costing about 50 Kenyan shillings, fully charge the battery. The math is staggering — the rider saves a whopping 350 Kenyan shillings every day by choosing the electric alternative. It's not merely a ride; it's an economic victory. The imperative shift to electric mobility becomes resoundingly clear as fuel costs surge to 211 Kenyan shillings per liter, a figure expected to soar even higher in the future. Kiri Bikes doesn't just offer a mode of transportation; it presents a financial lifeline, a tangible solution to the escalating costs of fuel. In embracing electric bikes, riders aren't just aligning with sustainability; they're making a savvy economic choice that positions them ahead of the curve. Kiri Bikes stands as a beacon of financial prudence in the face of rising fuel prices, proving that adopting electric mobility isn't just an eco-conscious decision — it's a smart, cost-effective investment in the future of commuting. With the electric bike, riders save a remarkable 250 Kenyan shillings daily, underscoring that Kiri Bikes are not only environmentally conscious but also remarkably economical. In a world where every shilling counts, Kiri Bikes emerges as a beacon of financial prudence, offering riders not just an eco-friendly alternative but a cost-effective one. Beyond the electric hum of the bike lies a tangible testament to the economic viability of sustainable choices, where each ride on a Kiri electric bike is a dual investment — in a cleaner environment and a more economically vibrant future. Kiri Bikes isn't just changing how we move; it's reshaping the very economics of our daily commutes, proving that sustainability and savings can seamlessly coexist on the bustling streets of urban life.

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CHRISTOPHER MAARA

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BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

FROM INSIGHT TO ACTION AND BEYOND THE BOARDROOMS: Transforming Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future

- LEADING IN THE BUSINESS OF SUSTAINABILITY

By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

Against the lush backdrop of the Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel & Convention Centre in Botswana, the Corporate Governance Conference unfolded on October 26th and 27th, 2023. Orchestrated by the Wise Leadership Corporate Governance Consultancy, led by the accomplished Managing Director, Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile (FCG), who also stands as the visionary founder of the Responsible Citizen Magazine, this event transcended traditional boundaries. It was not just a gathering; it was a symphony of transformative ideas, a confluence of industry leaders, experts, and innovators, converging to redefine the very essence of corporate governance. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

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hemed "Transforming the Corporate Governance landscape: Key trends and emerging issues," the conference served as an intellectual crucible where responsible business practices, ethical leadership, and governance excellence became more than buzzwords— they became the focal points of an inspiring dialogue. Mr Sipho Showa, a beacon of leadership, not only directed the proceedings as a Governance and Communications Practitioner, but also graced the event as the moderator, steering conversations towards actionable insights. As the Leadership Summit unfolded, it transcended a mere gathering, evolving into a dynamic space where local business visionaries intermingled with international thought leaders. The conference was not just about learning and networking; it was a commitment to shape the future of corporate governance collectively. It stood as a pivotal moment, bolstering the capacity of the corporate sector to realize sustainability goals, especially in the era of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) prominence. The stage was set, not just for discussions but for a collective pledge to transform the corporate governance landscape—one trend, one insight, and one ethical decision at a time. SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE SYMPHONY WITH THE

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CAPTAINS OF CHANGE: THE CRESCENDO OF EXPERT INSIGHTS Sibani Mngomezulu, the seasoned Director of Luvivi Corporate Governance, brought a wealth of global investment banking, mergers & acquisitions, and operational management expertise to the stage, underscoring the imperative of a holistic governance approach. Duncan Majinda, a distinguished expert in Finance and Organizational Management, graced the conference with 16 years of firsthand experience and an MBA in Finance, weaving financial acumen seamlessly into the fabric of sustainable governance. Carolynn Chalmers, the esteemed CEO of the Good Governance Academy, The ESG Exchange, and Chapter Zero Southern Africa, emerged as a transformative leader in governance, technology, and systems thinking. With a remarkable 20-year journey, Lesego Bannalotlhe, the exceptional Managing Director of Turnquay Projects, illuminated the path in Corporate Governance, Compliance, and Operational Risk Management. Kusigani Mbambo, the esteemed Corporate Counsel & Company Secretary, brought a robust 23-year legal expertise to the conference, embodying the vital link between legal acumen and corporate governance finesse. Escher Luanda, a distinguished Namibian C-suite Governance and Ethics Strategist, and former President of the Namibia Institute of Corporate Governance, graced the conference with invaluable insights gleaned from his experiences in organizations like Air Namibia and the Namibian Retirement

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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Funds Institute. Jonathon Hanks, the esteemed co-founder, and director of Incite, lent his 30-year history to the discussions, guiding the conversation on corporate responsibility, sustainable development, and ESG issues. Claude Jr. Kamangirira, an expert in Integrated Reporting, Corporate Governance, and Strategy, shared his wealth of knowledge garnered from working with listed entities, establishing himself as a trusted figure in the industry. Notably, Gary, the visionary founder of ITWinners, brought a global perspective with over four decades of experience in technology and education. Together, these luminaries formed a constellation of thought leadership, enriching the Corporate Governance Conference with insights, expertise, and a collective commitment to steering corporate governance towards sustainability. ECHOES OF IMPLEMENTATION: DAY 1'S RESONANCE IN SHAPING BOTSWANA'S GOVERNANCE HORIZON Day 1 of the Corporate Governance Conference focused on implementation led by the distinguished Guest Speaker, Mr. Duncan Majinda, Advisor at the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA). The day commenced with a profound exploration of the mandate and objectives of BAOA in the realm of Corporate Governance implementation. Participants delved deep into the nuances of the BAOA's mission, seeking to decipher how its objectives align with the broader goal of fostering sustainable corporate governance practices. The dialogue then pivoted to a crucial examination of the challenges faced during implementation in the market. Mr. Duncan Majinda, drawing on his extensive experience in Finance and Organizational Management, provided invaluable insights into the intricacies of translating governance principles into real-world application. The conference participants grappled with the feedback on implementation challenges, forging a collective understanding of the hurdles that must be overcome to build a robust corporate governance framework. The spotlight then shifted to Public Interest Entities, unraveling the challenges they face as identified by BAOA. The conference became a crucible of shared experiences, as participants provided feedback on reviews already conducted, opening the floor for discussions on effective remedies. It was a holistic exploration of the corporate landscape, emphasizing not just the challenges but the collaborative solutions that pave the way for a more resilient governance structure. In the latter part of the session, the confer-

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ence turned its gaze toward the future, exploring the objectives and plans of BAOA in continuing to establish a conducive corporate governance environment for Botswana. The vision extended beyond national boundaries, with a commitment to enabling Botswana to compete effectively on the global business platform. Day 1, under the guidance of Mr. Duncan Majinda, set the tone for a conference that not only addressed the present challenges but charted a course toward a sustainable, globally competitive corporate governance landscape in Botswana. BEYOND NUMBERS, AND FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE: DAY 2'S VISIONARY LEAP INTO INTEGRATED SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING Day 2 of the Corporate Governance Conference was steered by the insightful leadership of Mr. Claude Kamangirira, a distinguished expert in Integrated Reporting, Corporate Governance, and Strategy hailing from South Africa. The session delved into the evolving landscape of reporting, with a spotlight on the triple context reporting, incorporating the critical dimensions of Environment, Societal, and Governance (ESG). The participants, with sustainability lenses on, engaged in discussions that underscored the integral role of these contexts in fostering a sustainable capital market system. The stage was then graced by Mr. Jonathon Hanks, the Co-founder and Director of Incite, who led a comprehensive exploration of Global ESG/ Sustainability Reporting Standards. Attendees were treated to an overview of the latest developments in the realm of sustainability reporting, with a keen eye on their implications for businesses navigating the ever-evolving landscape of ESG. The conference then pivoted to a session on ISO 37000 Governance Standard, led by Ms. Carolynn Chalmers. As the CEO of the Good Governance Academy, The ESG Exchange, and Chapter Zero Southern Africa, her insights illuminated the path toward embracing governance standards that align with the principles of sustainability. The final act of this symphony was an engaging session on Moderator Key Takeaways, where Ms. Mpho Kgosietsile served as the guide, exploring some of the lessons from the conference to the boardroom. This concluding session became a bridge between theory and practice, offering tangible insights that participants could carry from the conference room to the boardroom, ensuring that the lessons learned would shape the future of corporate governance and sustainability practices. The day not only delved into reporting intricacies but became a compass guiding businesses toward a future where sustainability reporting is not just a requirement but a strategic imperative for success in a rapidly changing world.

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RISING TOGETHER:

The West Africa Carbon Market Hub’s Impact on Regional Sustainability

By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

The West Africa Carbon Market Hub unfolded in Abidjan d’Ivoire from September 26-28th as a critical nexus, uniting stakeholders in a shared quest for climate resilience and sustainability. This pivotal event, echoing the resounding themes of the recent Africa Climate Summit, sought to deepen the understanding and operationalization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Against the canvas of a changing climate and pressing environmental challenges, the Hub served as a beacon, illuminating the path towards a resilient and sustainable future for the African continent. 20 |

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WEST AFRICA CARBON MARKET

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s participants delved into the intricacies of Article 6, the discussions reverberated with the urgent need to fortify the financial architecture for climate action. The commitment of Global North countries to accelerate climate financing cast a hopeful glow on the aspirations of nations in the Global South. The West Africa Carbon Market Hub emerged not merely as a forum for dialogue but as a dynamic response to a shared challenge—a commitment to building capacities and positioning West African nations to harness the transformative potential of carbon markets and credits. In the aftermath of the Africa Climate Summit, where the rallying cry for climate finance echoed across borders, the West Africa Carbon Market Hub provided a tailored space for strategic collaboration. It became a platform where stakeholders from diverse sectors engaged in robust discussions, mapping out the nuanced landscape of climate finance mechanisms. The goal extended beyond knowledge acquisition; it encompassed empowerment. Empowered with insights and capacity, West African nations were poised to adapt to climate shocks and fortify their resilience against the evolving climate landscape. In essence, the event became a testament to the region's determination to not only navigate the challenges posed by climate change but also to seize the opportunities embedded within them. As the curtains descended on the West Africa Carbon Market Hub, the momentum gained resonated far beyond the conference rooms of Abidjan. It echoed as a rallying call for sustainability in Africa—a call to turn challenges

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into stepping stones, and opportunities into transformative actions. The West Africa Carbon Market Hub, in its essence, stood as a beacon of hope, guiding the region towards a future where sustainability isn't merely a goal but a lived reality, written in the resilient landscapes and empowered communities of West Africa. Organized and orchestrated by the West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance, in collaboration with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and the Business Partnership for Market Implementation (B-PMI), the West Africa Carbon Market Hub was a convergence of visionary minds and influential stakeholders. This dynamic workshop drew together a mosaic of 150-200 key decision-makers, ranging from ministers to influential figures across both the private and public sectors, representing a multitude of countries within the region. As the workshop unfolded, it became evident that this assembly was not just a meeting of minds but a strategic initiative to foster private sector engagement in carbon markets. The gathering sought to illuminate the intricacies and opportunities inherent in the operationalization of Article 6, transcending discussions into actionable insights. The event provided a panoramic view of the carbon market landscape in West Africa, inviting participants to explore the potential and pave the way for a sustainable future. With each presentation, conversation, and collaborative effort, the West Africa Carbon Market Hub emerged as a crucible where diverse perspectives converged to catalyze change, inspire action, and redefine the narrative of sustainability in the region.

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WEST AFRICA CARBON MARKET

UNLEASHING THE POWER OF MARKET-BASED INSTRUMENTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Under the dignified auspices of Jean-Luc Assi, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Côte d'Ivoire, the West Africa Carbon Market Hub unveiled its official opening ceremony, marking the commencement of a transformative symphony of insights and collaborations. The resonant chords of sustainability echoed through the venue as attendees were welcomed into an immersive experience. The heartbeat of the event quickened with an insightful panel discussion featuring luminaries such as Andrea Bonzanni from IETA, Sandra Greiner from Climate Focus, and Vandana Sebastian from S&P Global. These experts wove a narrative rich with trends, unveiling market pathways, unraveling the intricacies of NDCs, and shedding light on the dynamic landscape of accounting and pricing. Amidst the bustling exchange of ideas, Espace Pullman played host to a panel titled "Overcoming Origination and Finance Barriers." In this enlightening session, experts including Jonathan Grassiano, Bernard Ayittah, Tom Owino Odual, Etulan Ikpoki, Idrissa Diatta, Kyoo-Won Oh, and Valérie Noelle Kodjo Diop, guided by moderator Rich Gilmore, delved into innovative solutions propelling the region towards a sustainable future. The narrative of overcoming barriers seamlessly transitioned into a thought-provoking panel discussion on "Market Opportunities and Private Sector Engagement." Here, buyers, sellers, and intermediaries converged, sharing invaluable perspectives that illuminated the path towards a sustainable and vibrant carbon market future in West Africa. The discussions resonated beyond the event, rippling through boardrooms and policy forums, igniting a collective commitment to navigate the intricate nuances of carbon markets for a resilient and sustainable future. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

CATALYZING SUSTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION: DECODING THE IMPACT OF CARBON MARKETS ON WEST AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT LANDSCAPE The West Africa Carbon Market Hub echoed with a resounding consensus on the pivotal role of carbon markets in orchestrating a transformative symphony of sustainable development. The takeaways from this groundbreaking event unveil a roadmap for leveraging finance and spearheading transformative changes across key development sectors. From energy and industry to transportation, waste, and agriculture, these changes are indispensable for aligning with the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. The event underscored the paramount importance of carbon markets in facilitating the reduction of emissions while safeguarding and enhancing the region's precious nature and biodiversity. The narrative of sustainability, as illuminated by the West Africa Carbon Market Hub, extends beyond emissions reduction – it resonates with a commitment to elevate the living standards of the region's people. Integral to this vision is the bedrock of capacity building, identified as a linchpin for the successful and equitable adoption of carbon markets in the sub-region. The insights gleaned emphasize the urgency of cultivating local expertise to spearhead carbon market project development, ensuring technical proficiency in certification processes, and fostering the cultivation of bankable projects in West Africa. The call for capacity building resounds not just within the public and private sectors but extends to include non-state actors, with a particular emphasis on empowering the youth. The West Africa Carbon Market Hub, through these resounding takeaways, has not only illuminated the path towards a sustainable future but has ignited a collective commitment to build the knowledge and skills necessary for transformative change in the sub-region.

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BEYOND TOURISM: KENYAN INDUSTRY LEADERS UNITE FOR SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW AT ECO WARRIOR AWARDS By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

In a dazzling display of commitment to sustainability, the Kenyan tourism and hospitality industry set the stage ablaze at the prestigious 2023 Eco Warrior Awards. Held on the 26th of October at the exquisite Trademark Hotel, the event marked the 16th edition of these influential awards, radiating the theme “Sustainable Tourism: A Brighter Future for People, Planet, and Profit.” This extraordinary gala, hosted by Ecotourism Kenya, brought together luminaries from the realms of Kenyan tourism, hospitality, and conservation. 24 |

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he glittering ceremony was not just a celebration of winners; it was a resounding proclamation that sustainable tourism is the linchpin for preserving Kenya's natural and socio-cultural treasures. As industry leaders, conservationists, government officials, and eco-conscious travelers converged, the event underscored a collective commitment to ensuring a prosperous future for all. The Chief Guest for this momentous occasion, Hon. John Ololtuaa, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife, lent his esteemed presence, highlighting the significant stakeholder engagement and support for responsible tourism. The Eco Warrior Awards not only celebrated past achievements but set the tone for a future where sustainability is not just a choice but a shared responsibility, echoing the belief that a brighter future for people, the planet, and profit is possible through the unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism. Under the glittering spotlight of the 2023 Eco Warrior Awards, a constellation of sustainable tourism stars emerged as below, each deserving their moment in the limelight. The list of awardees is listed below:

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ECO WARRIOR AWARDS

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ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES Addressing Climate Change Through Adaptation & Mitigation Sub-Category sponsored by Tourism Fund. • Emboo River Camp - WINNER • Mara Serena Safari Lodge - WINNER • Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge – 1st RUNNERS UP • Asilia Kenya Limited - 2nd RUNNERS UP Promoting Biodiversity Conservation Sub-Category sponsored by the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers. • Serena Beach Resort and Spa -WINNER • Governors’ Camp Collection –1st RUNNERS UP • Saruni Rhino -2nd RUNNERS UP Promoting Heritage & Cultural Integration Sub-Category sponsored by Tourism Fund. • Serena Beach Resort and Spa -WINNER • Basecamp Maasai Mara –1st RUNNERS UP • Sarova Lionhill Game Lodge 2nd RUNNERS UP Promoting Local Economies Sub-Category sponsored by Tourism Fund. • Basecamp Maasai Mara -WINNER • Leopard Hill –1st RUNNERS UP • Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp Maasai Mara -2nd RUNNERS UP TOUR OPERATORS Promoting Biodiversity Conservation Sub-Category sponsored by the Kenya Association of Tour Operators. • Let’s Go Travel -WINNER • Kampur Travel Diaries –1st RUNNERS UP • Intrepid DMC East Africa –2nd RUNNERS UP Promoting Local Economies Sub-Category sponsored by Tourism Fund. • Let’s Go Travel -AWARD RECOGNITION Promoting Responsible Tourism Practices in Operations Sub-Category sponsored by Tourism Fund. • Let’s Go Travel -WINNER • Intrepid DMC East Africa –1st RUNNERS UP

sponsored by the African Wildlife Foundation. • Mugie Conservancy -AWARD RECOGNITION COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM ORGANIZATION Promoting Heritage & Cultural Preservation SubCategory sponsored by GO4SDGS. • Beulah Hills – Beulah Gardens Mbulia – AWARD RECOGNITION YOUTH-LED INITIATIVES Advocating for Conservation in Tourism Sub-Category supportedd by Ecotourism Kenya. • Tembea Make an Impact – AWARD RECOGNITION TRAINING INSTITUTIONS Integrating Sustainability into Tourism Curricular SubCategory sponsored by GO4SDGS. • Kenya Utalii College -WINNER • Amboseli Institute of Hospitality and Technology 1st RUNNERS UP INDIVIDUAL Best Digital Content Creator in Advocating for Conservation in Tourism Sub-Category supported by Ecotourism Kenya. • Anthony Ochieng -WINNER • Dibblex Soiyantet -1st RUNNERS UP • Belinda Smetana -2nd RUNNERS UP Best Safari Guide in Promoting Responsible Tourism Practices Sub-Category supported by Ecotourism Kenya. • Isaac Mwangi -WINNER • Newton Kongo -1st RUNNERS UP • John Lesinko -2nd RUNNERS UP Best Student in Addressing Climate Change Through Adaptation & Mitigation Sub-Category supported by Ecotourism Kenya. • Shirley Akinyi -WINNER • Mark Miano -1st RUNNERS UP • Mallayka Lanna -2nd RUNNERS UP

AIR OPERATORS Promoting Best Practices in Operations Sub-Category sponsored by Kenya Tourism Board. • Air Kenya -AWARD RECOGNITION CONSERVANCIES Promoting Community Development Sub-Category sponsored by Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association. • Mugie Conservancy - WINNER • Ngare Ndare Forest Trust - 1st RUNNERS UP • Mara Naboisho Conservancy - 2nd RUNNERS UP Promoting Human-Wildlife Coexistence Sub-Category

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The 2023 Eco Warrior Awards shone a spotlight on those tourism industry trailblazers who have etched their names in sustainability. These champions, recognized in various award sub-categories, highlighted remarkable dedication to safeguarding Kenya’s breathtaking natural landscapes, fostering community engagement, and driving local economic growth.

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ECO WARRIOR AWARDS

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PIONEERING UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE WITH THE SOCIETY FOR FAMILY HEALTH (SFH) IN NIGERIA By Bem Abubaker

Within the dynamic borders of Nigeria, a nation brimming with vitality, profound health challenges have been met with relentless innovation and collaboration. At the core of this transformative journey is the Society for Family Health (SFH), an indomitable force and a true testament to the boundless power of human determination. The SFH narrative encapsulates audacious dreams, unwavering partnerships, and tireless endeavors to bridge the gap between health needs and accessibility. 28 |


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he Society for Family Health (SFH) Nigeria, originally founded as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Nigeria, has grown and expanded over the years. Today, SFH operates not only in Nigeria but also in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, aiming to improve healthcare access and promote social justice for all individuals in these countries. SFH adopts a comprehensive approach to addressing healthcare challenges, utilizing health system strengthening and total market approaches. By working in collaboration with communities, government agencies, donors, and the private sector, SFH strives to create a unified health system that provides universal coverage and ensures the delivery of a comprehensive Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) to all Nigerians. SFH's commitment to quality healthcare is evident in their efforts to bridge the gap between the private and public health sectors. Through their total market approach, SFH aims to ensure that quality healthcare services are accessible and affordable for all Nigerians. By leveraging partnerships and mobilizing resources, SFH works towards strengthening the capacity of both sectors, ultimately improving the overall health outcomes for individuals and communities across Nigeria. SFH is dedicated to addressing key issues that

significantly impact family health. Through its six thematic areas, SFH focuses on tackling challenges such as access to safe water, family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child healthcare, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, malaria prevention and treatment, and health and social systems strengthening. These thematic areas have been carefully selected based on their relevance and impact on the health of families. One of the key focus areas of SFH is Safe Water Systems in Nigeria (SWS). The organization recognizes the importance of clean and safe water in promoting good health and preventing waterborne diseases. SFH implements various projects across Nigeria and other countries to ensure that communities have access to safe water sources. By providing support and promoting the use of water purification systems and sanitation practices, SFH aims to improve the overall health and well-being of people. In addition to SWS, SFH also prioritizes Family Planning and Reproductive Health (FP/RH). The organization believes that empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their reproductive health is crucial for their overall well-being. SFH implements projects and initiatives that promote family planning methods, educate communities about reproductive health, and provide access to quality reproductive healthcare services. By expanding access to family planning and reproductive health services, SFH strives to empower individuals, promote healthy family planning practices, and contribute to the overall improvement of family health.

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SFH's commitment to addressing these various thematic areas is further strengthened by its extensive experience and expertise gained over three decades of community-level interventions and policy engagements. By leveraging this thought leadership, SFH aims to scale up its impact, reaching a larger population and connecting all Nigerians through an innovative social business model. This approach not only expands access to essential health commodities but also contributes to the overall improvement of national health financing, ensuring that more individuals and families in Nigeria can receive the quality healthcare they deserve. GUIDING PRINCIPLES THAT DRIVE PROGRESS Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, SFH contributes to the commitment to Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The UHC is geared to progressively reach individuals and communities with safe, effective, and essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and health technologies, to support all people with leading healthy, productive lives. The UHC aims to enable universal access to a strong and resilient people-centered health system with primary health care as its foundation. This implies that all people will be able to obtain the nationally determined health services they need. Thus, in the countries of its implementation, SFH is committed to reversing the rise in and trend of catastrophic out-of-pocket health expenditure. This is done by improving access to good healthcare services and providing risk protection measures with emphasis on the poor and vulnerable as well as those in vulnerable situations. SFH’s expertise is summed into three broad categories—health systems strengthening, total market approach, and essential health services. Health System Strengthening (HSS): As articulated in its Strategic Directions, SFH is committed to the six building blocks of the World Health Organization’s (SFH) Health System Strengthening (HSS) approaches. SFH perceives HSS as actions that establish sustained improvements in the provision, utilization, quality, and efficiency of health services, including preventive and curative care, as well as the resilience of the health system. In addition to improving services and producing equitable health and development outcomes, these actions may influence key performance drivers such as policies, governance, financing, management, implementation capacity, behaviors, and social norms in the host countries where SFH has a presence. The Total Market Approach (TMA) is a comprehensive strategy employed by SFH to enhance the availability and accessibility of essential health products and services. This approach ensures that individuals from all segments of the population can obtain the healthcare they need, regardless of their financial status. By adopting sustainable and equitable methods, SFH utilizes a combination of free, subsidized, and commercial channels to deliver priority health products. One of the key ways in which SFH implements the TMA is by creating access to a range of essential health products. This includes items such as condoms,

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SOCIETY FOR FAMILY HEALTH

contraceptives, oral rehydration salts, zinc supplements, insecticide-treated bed nets, and water guards. These products are crucial for preventing the spread of diseases, promoting family planning, and improving overall health outcomes. SFH recognizes the importance of engaging both the public and private sectors in driving this process forward. By supporting and empowering local leaders and organizations, SFH ensures that the TMA reaches its full potential in delivering accessible healthcare solutions to all individuals. Essential health services (EHS): The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) prioritize good quality essential health services to achieve UHC goals. SFH’s commitment to EHS aligns with Universal Health Coverage to deliver a guaranteed minimum package of public health interventions to communities. The package of interventions includes sexual, reproductive, and maternal health; THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

newborn and child health; infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS; and non-communicable diseases. Since its inception in 1983, and through the direction of visionary leadership, the organization has grown to be reckoned as one of the most respected NGOs supporting the scaling up of universal health coverage (UHC) in Nigeria. With offices across the country, a warehousing/planning system, and a network of hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and owner-operated retail drug outlets. It has also built a strong population base across every community, reaching an estimated sixty million Nigerians with services, information, or products. Its keystone for catalytic development and for achieving its vision lies in the organization’s commitment to robust programs backed by a well-articulated strategic direction; hence, this communication strategy is designed as one of the needed catalysts to support the overall mission.

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GLF NAIROBI 2023

GLF NAIROBI 2023: Crafting a Sustainable Symphony for Our Planet and Navigating a Path to a Fairer, Greener Tomorrow By Peter Kinuthia Murimi & Lorraine Kinnear

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Nairobi 2023 Hybrid Conference, spanning from the 11th to 12th of October 2023, emerged as a pivotal gathering for the global climate action community, serving as a beacon of hope and transformation. The Responsible Citizen Magazine Sustainability Writers were in attendance, Peter Murimi attending physically in Nairobi, Kenya while Lorraine Kinnear joined virtually from Gaborone, Botswana. The two immersed themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the forum ensuring the Responsible Citizen Magazine’s commitment to global sustainability went beyond physical barriers. This dynamic participation reflects our dedication to fostering a united global community actively engaged in shaping a sustainable future. From their participation, here are some of the highlights and insights from the Forum that went under the theme, “A New Vision for Earth”. 32 |

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Day 1 of the conference delved into 'Africa Sovereign Solu-

tions,' exploring how the continent can forge a prosperous and sustainable future. Day 2 pivoted its focus to the urgent global crisis—climate change, crafting a 'Survival Guide for a Planet in Crisis' ahead of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28). The GLF Nairobi 2023 Hybrid Conference was not merely a convergence of minds; it was a call-to-action, hosting thought leaders, activists, and changemakers both physically in Nairobi and virtually. Featuring 218 speakers and 121 global and local partner organisations, the conference sparked conversations across 89 plenaries, expert sessions, interactive discussions, side events, and networking sessions. The venue buzzed with onsite presentations and inspirational talks, igniting lively dialogues on local solutions to global climate and ecological crises in the pivotal year of 2023. This global gathering reached far and wide with over 7,000 participants from 130 countries, touching the lives of 27 million people across social media and other media channels, and well over 170,000 engagements. The GLF Nairobi 2023 Hybrid Conference became a testament to the power of collective vision and action, setting the stage for a fairer, more sustainable world as the world awaited the crucial COP28. The Forum, standing as the world's largest knowledge-led platform on integrated land use, transcended beyond a mere conference—it stood as a beacon of transformative action. Dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement, the GLF adopts a holistic approach, recognising that sustainable landscapes must be productive, prosperous, equitable, and resilient.

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The GLF’s commitment to creating a sustainable future was defined by five cohesive themes: food and livelihoods, landscape restoration, rights, finance, and measuring progress. Led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in collaboration with its co-founders UNEP and the World Bank, alongside Charter Members, the GLF emerged as a powerhouse of collective wisdom and actionable insights. The Forum's commitment to crafting sustainable solutions aligns seamlessly with its mission— uniting people to navigate the complexities of integrated land use and address the pressing issue of climate change. The stage was set for a harmonious collaboration that transcends boundaries, working towards a future where landscapes thrive as hubs of prosperity and resilience. Day 1's insights revolved around Africa's sovereign solutions, exploring how to strategically channel resources to fortify diverse landscapes. The discussion emphasised the imperative to direct funding towards disaster prevention in vital, food-producing rural regions. The wisdom of Perpetra Akite, a distinguished lecturer at the Department of Zoology at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, underscored the need for proactive measures rather than reactive responses to climate change impacts. She noted, "For every dollar that is invested to try to minimise impacts of climate change, we have to spend around US$7 trying to fight other potential disasters," resonated like a clarion call for proactive measures. This session highlighted Africa's solutions as global guideposts, resonating deeply within the GLF as a testament to the transformative power of African wisdom in facing climate challenges.

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GLF NAIROBI 2023

Day 2 focused on sustainable finance, accelerating invest-

ments in nature-based solutions, and supporting actors in the Global South. It outlined strategies to fund climate adaptation and allocate priorities, addressing the disproportionate impact of climate crises faced by African communities. Day 2 reinforced the urgent need for global solidarity in tackling the borderless challenges posed by the climate crisis. A dedicated exploration unfolded, scrutinising climate finance for nature-based solutions—a crucial endeavor that sought to build bridges between humanity and the natural world. The day's narrative took a poignant turn as it delved into initiatives like the Loss and Damage Fund—a visionary approach to bolster climate resilience. The discussions carried a weighty truth—the African continent, contributing less than 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, was already bearing the disproportionate brunt of the climate crisis. Floods, droughts, and unpredictable rainfall have become the harsh realities faced by communities across the continent. The GLF Nairobi 2023 Hybrid Conference, through its diverse voices and expertise, presented a survival guide for humanity, outlining six pivotal pathways towards a reimagined Earth. These pathways, resonating with urgency and hope, create a comprehensive framework for a resilient, inclusive, and environmentally conscious global community. The GLF's emphasis on youth involvement in climate action, particularly through initiatives like the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL), showcased the significance of young voices in shaping a just and sustainable future for

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our landscapes. The youth understand their critical role in the “New Vision” as echoed by Andriamiarimbola Barisoa Nancy who was part of the Landscape Leadership Workshop leading up to the GLF. She noted, “This workshop offered valuable perspectives on climate justice, the complexities of negotiating with diverse stakeholders for climate change and the impactful role of storytelling for landscape leaders. GLF Nairobi, particularly the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Youth Consultation, provided a vital platform for youth to exchange ideas on land restoration. There was much emphasis on stewarding visions of justice and restoration was a highlight where young people from around the world took centre stage and shared their insights on stewardship and justice. This collective engagement showcases the importance of youth voices and their role in shaping a just and sustainable future for our landscapes.” In conclusion, the GLF Nairobi 2023 Hybrid Conference: A New Vision for Earth acted as a platform for seeking solutions aligned with a more sustainable future. The topics discussed were as diverse as the participants and audiences in attendance, and this is a true reflection of this “New Vision of Earth”. What would it look like? A world that is led by passion and not fear - limitlessness and not restrictions. The Forum sparked hope, resilience, and a collective resolve to navigate the challenges ahead, envisioning a world where humanity thrives in harmony with nature.

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THE ALMAJIRI CHILD RIGHTS INITIATIVE: BREAKING CHAINS, BUILDING FUTURES

- COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS

By Bem Abubaker

The Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) is a driving force in Nigeria’s diverse cultural landscape, advocating tirelessly for the often forgotten heroes - the Almajiri children. As part of society’s traditions, predominantly in Northern Nigeria, these children are popularly called ‘Almajiri’ – hailing from poor homes usually sent to Islamic boarding schools for some form of religious indoctrination. Formal education remains a far cry for thousands of these children. Led by the dedicated Mohammed Sabo Keana, ACRI exhibits unwavering resolve and determination in dismantling barriers that hinder the potential of these marginalized children.

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ALMAJIRI CHILD RIGHTS INITIATIVE

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he organisation’s unwavering vision encompasses a society that embraces and empowers every Almajiri child, enabling their dreams to flourish amidst the rich landscapes of Nigeria. ACRI's mission is all-encompassing, seeking to not only educate but also address the wide-ranging challenges confronted by Almajiri children. ACRI firmly believes that education holds the key to a brighter future and therefore staunchly advocates for the rights of these children to receive a high-quality education, devoid of any form of discrimination or bias. However, ACRI's endeavors extend beyond education. Recognizing the influential role of socio-economic factors in perpetuating the cycle of poverty among Almajiri children, ACRI actively works towards tackling these issues. By advocating for policy changes, ACRI works to ensure that these children have access to healthcare, and advocates for policies that emphasize the education and social integration of Almajiri children. The ultimate goal is to provide these children with the opportunity for a better life, devoid of poverty and maltreatment. In a broader context, ACRI aspires to create a world where education, protection, and social inclusion are readily available, illuminating the future for countless families and lifting them out of the clutches of poverty. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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ALMAJIRI CHILD RIGHTS INITIATIVE

DISSECTING THE ALMAJIRI SYSTEM TO ACRL ANSWERING THE CALL TO IMPACT In the expansive and culturally rich region of northern Nigeria, a long-standing institution known as the Almajiri system has taken a disconcerting path. What was once a revered tradition of providing Islamic education to young individuals has undergone a distressing transformation, becoming a breeding ground for poverty, exploitation, and unimaginable hardship. The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has estimated a staggering presence of 10.5 million Almajiri children within the country, revealing a somber reality. However, a ray of hope emerges in the form of the Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI), an organization steadfastly dedicated to breaking the cycle of destitution and abuse. The ACRI directs its attention towards three key areas in addressing the systemic problems inherent in the Almajiri system. Its primary objective revolves around eradicating the distressing destitution and mistreatment that afflicts these vulnerable children. It is a fundamental belief that no child should be subjected to a life marred by poverty and hardship, and thus, the ACRI endeavors to offer them the essential elements of compassion, nurturing, and assistance they desperately require. In addition, the organization acknowledges the critical significance of guaranteeing unhindered access to superior education and fundamental healthcare services for each Almajiri child.

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ACRI commenced in 2015 and received its official non-profit status in 2018. Its methodology revolves around four pivotal spheres: policy advocacy, raising public awareness, engaging strategically with communities, and effectively mobilizing and distributing resources. ACRI's ultimate objective is to address the difficulties encountered by Almajiri children through collaborations with local and international organizations. Prominent backers of ACRI include LEAP Africa, Polish Aid, UNICEF, Street Child UK, the MacArthur Foundation, and Irish Aid. ACRI faces numerous obstacles and challenges in its pursuit of enhancing the well-being of Almajiri children. These hurdles include opposition from mallams, who are religious leaders, and apprehensive parents who are resistant to change. Nevertheless, ACRI persists with determination to overcome these barriers and create opportunities for a more promising future for these disadvantaged children.

formal education, ultimately earning the trust and support of mallams. ACRI places great emphasis on education as the cornerstone of its efforts. To combat the vulnerabilities faced by Almajiri children and foster sustainable educational outcomes, ACRI has introduced the Community Learning Almajiri School System (CLASS). This innovative community-driven educational initiative tackles the underlying issues associated with the Almajiri practice by providing livelihood support initiatives for parents, enhancing school accessibility, and promoting a shift in social norms. Moreover, ACRI has also implemented the AlmaLearn program, a recent addition to their educational endeavors. This program is specifically designed to equip Almajiri children with essential skills such as basic literacy, numeracy, and life skills, effectively preparing them for formal education. Recognizing that health is a fundamental human right, ACRI ensures that Almajiri children have equal access to healthcare services. Through the AlmaCare initiative, ACRI actively promotes community health, social inclusion, and interventions related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). This initiative facilitates connections between Almajiri children and healthcare providers and pharmacies, prioritizing their basic health needs. In summary, ACRI's comprehensive approach revolves around education at its core, with the introduction of the CLASS and AlmaLearn programs. Additionally, ACRI recognizes the importance of healthcare and actively works towards ensuring that Almajiri children receive equal access to necessary medical services through the AlmaCare initiative. ACRI acknowledges the importance of sustainable prospects that go beyond education. To fulfill this objective, the organization provides vocational skills programs to empower Almajiri children with practical abilities. These initiatives aim to prevent them from falling into exploitative and detrimental circumstances, ensuring they have the opportunity for a more promising future. ACRI envisions a future Nigeria where the Almajiri system undergoes substantial transformation, granting these children access to high-quality education and equal opportunities. This transformation is supported by the CLASS initiative and programs focused on protection, education, and social inclusion, which serve as the foundation for this vision. ACRI strives to decrease the number of children who are homeless, enhance community capabilities, and encourage civic involvement. This vision surpasses obstacles, fueled by a collective commitment to rewriting the narratives of Almajiri children, providing them with hope, education, and a brighter tomorrow.

STRATEGIES PROMOTING SUSTAINED IMPACT. ACRI utilizes a multi-faceted strategy to address the resistance encountered from mallams and parents. This approach encompasses widespread awareness campaigns, drives to sensitize the community, and active engagement with various stakeholders. The primary objective of these initiatives is to educate and enlighten religious leaders and parents regarding the crucial significance of offering comprehensive education and support to Almajiri children. ACRI duly acknowledges the necessity to foster understanding and collaboration among all involved parties. By actively involving mallams, ACRI endeavors to bridge the gap between traditional religious practices and modern educational opportunities. The initiative strongly emphasizes the idea that education can harmoniously coexist with religious teachings, without posing a threat to traditional values. Through effective dialogue and open communication, ACRI strives to dispel prevalent myths and misconceptions surrounding THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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MNCEDI MADOLO:

Bridging Art and Sustainability, One Collage at a Time By Zimkhita Kweza

The use of art to spark conversations around socio-economic issues in the African landscape is a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. Art has long been a powerful tool for expressing, critiquing, and addressing the complex socio-economic challenges faced by the continent. This history is a testament to the resilience and creativity of African artists in the face of adversity, and their ability to shed light on crucial issues affecting their communities.

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n the realm of contemporary art, where creativity knows no bounds, one artist stands out as a true pioneer in merging the worlds of sustainability and artistic expression. Mncedi Madolo, a native of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, has made a name for himself through his unique art form, transforming the discarded remnants of urban consumerism into thought-provoking masterpieces that reflect the lives of everyday South Africans. Madolo's work not only urges investment in art but promotes the concept of investing in sustainable art, and in doing so, he's becoming a trailblazer in the modern art scene.

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ORIGINS Mncedi Madolo's journey as an artist began with a humble origin. Born in the picturesque landscapes of the Eastern Cape, Madolo's childhood was infused with the vibrant culture and traditions of his homeland. The rural serenity of the Eastern Cape was a stark contrast to the bustling cityscape he would later call home. It was during his time at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in the Eastern Cape that he found his passion for art, igniting a fire that would lead to his remarkable artistic journey. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


MNCEDI MADOLO

creativity using traditional mediums, Madolo has boldly incorporated recycling and upcycling into his art, thereby advocating for sustainable practices within the art world. He believes in art that not only evokes emotion but serves as a powerful vehicle for change. By incorporating recycled and upcycled materials into his works, he encourages art enthusiasts to invest in pieces that are not only aesthetically compelling but also environmentally responsible. INTRODUCING “DISCOMFORTABILITY” Madolo often refers to the concept of "discomfortability." He believes that art thrives in the crucible of discomfort. It's in those challenging moments, those instances of vulnera-

Upon graduation, Madolo made the life-altering decision to relocate to Johannesburg, a sprawling metropolis and the economic heart of South Africa. This move would become the genesis of his art, as he began to observe the ever-changing urban landscape and the culture of consumerism that pervaded the city. Mncedi Madolo found his inspiration in the most unlikely of places – the discarded posters of popular South African brands. Unconventional beauty Madolo's art is characterized by intricate collages meticulously crafted from these discarded posters, each a reflection of the urban space and the everyday experiences of South Africans living in cities. His work is a visual narrative of Johannesburg's dynamic and often chaotic environment, capturing the essence of a city in constant flux. What sets Mncedi Madolo apart from other contemporary artists is his unwavering commitment to sustainability. While many artists express their THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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bility and unease, that the most authentic and profound forms of creative expression emerge. In the chaos of Johannesburg, he found his muse, the city itself, and the everyday experiences of its diverse inhabitants. Madolo's studio is not just a workspace; it's an extension of his being. He makes it his home, a place where he breathes life into his art and, in return, his art breathes life into him. He has an uncanny ability to fuse his personal experiences with the soul of the city, creating collages that are not mere compositions but living, evolving stories of Johannesburg and the people who call it home.

advocating for a more sustainable future. His collages are more than just art; they are a testament to the power of transformation and the resilience of the human spirit. By merging the worlds of art and sustainability, he invites us to consider the urban landscapes we inhabit and the impact of our choices on the world around us. Mncedi Madolo's artistic journey is not just a reflection of South African culture but also a mirror held up to our collective conscience, reminding us that, in the end, art has the power to change the world.

SUSTAINABLE ART Madolo's approach to sustainability goes beyond aesthetics. His choice of materials, often obtained from all over Johannesburg, reflects the city's spirit of repurposing and adapting to its ever-evolving identity. In doing so, he transforms waste into art, underlining the need for a broader shift toward sustainable practices in both art and everyday life. Mncedi Madolo's advocacy for sustainable art extends beyond his studio. He actively engages with his audience, conveying the importance of responsible consumption and the role of art in promoting ecological awareness. Through his captivating collages, Madolo encourages viewers to question the society they live in and the environmental impact of consumerism. AUDIENCE Mncedi Madolo's art appears to be a reflection of his personal experiences and a commentary on the influence of consumerism within the urban context. He sees his artwork as a narrative that tells the story of his life, with a particular emphasis on how consumerism has shaped urban life. In doing so, he aims to capture the attention and resonance of his audience, which largely consists of black South Africans. The fact that his art resonates with individuals who may not have the financial means to purchase his artwork suggests that he has created a powerful connection with his community. These individuals may not be able to afford his pieces due to their socioeconomic status and the digital divide, but they still find a sense of representation and identity in his work. This highlights the importance of art as a medium for cultural and social expression, as well as a means of sparking discussions on themes such as consumerism, identity, and socioeconomic disparities. Mncedi Madolo believes that his art is contributing to an African spiritual awakening experience for both his audience and clientele, regardless of their diverse backgrounds and financial means. This awakening is likely linked to his art's ability to challenge and reshape the way Africa is portrayed in art, culture, and history. “By emphasizing the importance of African perspectives and narratives in my art, I want to globalise and shed more light on the importance of African culture and narratives “, says Madolo. His work is likely seen as a form of cultural reclamation, allowing Africans to take ownership of their own narratives and heritage. In the world of contemporary art, Mncedi Madolo is a visionary, pushing the boundaries of creativity while THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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GREEN CHURCHES, BRIGHT FUTURES:

How Mwangaza Light Empowers Women and Ignites Climate Action Across Africa By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

Deep in the heart of Kenya, where golden warmth from the sun covers huge landscapes, a remarkable coalition of empowerment, sustainability, and faith is subtly transforming the very fabric of communities. Mwangaza Light, a women-founded and women-led social enterprise, stands as a beacon of change, weaving a narrative of hope and resilience across the tapestry of Kenyan churches. Their mission, echoing from the pulpit to the farthest reaches of congregations, is to transform not just energy access but the very essence of community life.


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s the rays of dawn touch the spires of churches in partnership with Mwangaza Light, a profound journey unfolds. This article embarks on an exploration of Mwangaza Light's groundbreaking initiatives, delving into the core of their Green Churches framework. Here, environmental stewardship is not just a concept; it is a living, breathing force for change. It is about women stepping into leadership roles, communities embracing clean energy, and the intersection of faith and sustainability fostering a new era of climate action. From the bustling congregations of the Anglican Church of Kenya to the tranquil landscapes of Elgeyo Marakwet County, Mwangaza Light's impact is palpable. Join us on a journey through their initiatives, where each tree planted is a symbol of commitment to climate action, where the pulpit becomes a podium for change, and where sustainable energy illuminates the path to a brighter, more resilient future. This is the story of Mwangaza Light—a story that goes beyond sustainability; it is a tale of transformation, one church, one woman, and one community at a time. CHARTING A COURSE FOR CHANGE: CATRINE SHROFF EXPLORES THE INTERSECTION OF CLEAN COOKING, CLIMATE ACTION, AND EMPOWERMENT In an exclusive and illuminating encounter, the Responsible Citizen Magazine had the rare privilege of engaging with the visionary force behind Mwangaza Light, none other than the dynamic CEO, Catrine Shroff. This opportunity arose organically, sparked by the compelling narrative of her relentless efforts in championing clean cooking as a catalyst for both

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mitigating the climate crisis and empowering women at the grassroots level. At the core of their mission is the unwavering commitment to forge sustainable communities, an ambition that aligns seamlessly with our publication's dedication to promoting responsible living and conscientious citizenship. Catrine Shroff's endeavors transcend the ordinary; they are a testament to the transformative power of merging environmental consciousness with grassroots empowerment. Mwangaza Light's role in not just lighting up homes but kindling a flame of positive change for our planet and its inhabitants. At the heart of Mwangaza Light's operational ethos lies a resolute commitment to steering the world toward sustainability, aligning its pursuits with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With a laser focus on clean energy solutions, the organization pioneers transformative initiatives in clean cooking and solar panel provisions, fostering a paradigm shift toward renewable and eco-friendly practices. Mwangaza Light stands as a vanguard of climate action, recognizing the urgent need to combat environmental challenges. Their multifaceted approach extends beyond mere energy provision, actively contributing to the establishment of sustainable communities. Through a robust framework of women empowerment initiatives, Mwangaza Light not only addresses gender disparities but also integrates women as key drivers of sustainable change. Partnerships lie at the core of their strategy, acknowledging that collaborative efforts amplify impact. In essence, Mwangaza Light's operational tapestry weaves together the threads of clean

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energy, climate resilience, women's empowerment, and collaborative partnerships, illustrating a clear-cut and unwavering pursuit of sustainability. As they illuminate pathways towards a cleaner, more equitable future, Mwangaza Light exemplifies the transformative power embedded in the pursuit of sustainable development goals. CASTING A GREEN NET: MWANGAZA LIGHT'S VISIONARY COLLABORATION WITH RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS In the expansive landscape of sustainable initiatives, Mwangaza Light NGO emerges as a catalyst for change, forging unique partnerships that transcend religious boundaries. Under the visionary leadership of CEO Catrine Shroff, the organization strives to cast a wide net, initiating conversations with the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya—an inclusive platform representing Muslims, Hindus, and Christians. Mwangaza Light's collaborative efforts extend particularly to mission-based Episcopalian churches, where a well-defined structure from the archbishop down to the village level ensures effective outreach. A notable alliance has been formed with the Anglican Church of Kenya, propelled by Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit's steadfast commitment to nurturing a green movement. The NGO's

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innovative approach involves collaborating closely with clergy members to amplify awareness from the pulpit, followed by empowering congregants through training. This unique model not only fosters a green ethos within the church but also extends its reach beyond, creating a ripple effect of environmental consciousness and access to clean energy solutions within communities at large. Mwangaza Light's narrative is one of unity, where diverse faiths converge under the shared mission of building a sustainable, harmonious future. As such, it is clear that in the noble pursuit of sustainable energy solutions, Mwangaza Light NGO stands as a beacon of innovation and collaboration. With a profound commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility, the organization has managed to proudly partner with religious organizations and churches, weaving together the threads of eco-theology and sustainability. Mwangaza Light believes that their products extend beyond mere eco-friendliness; they embody a sacred responsibility to the planet and its people. In this holistic approach, the NGO envisions a future where clean THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


MWANGAZA LIGHT

energy not only illuminates spaces but also lights the path towards a cleaner, safer world for generations yet unborn. It is in this harmonious interplay of faith, sustainability, and innovation that Mwangaza Light finds its purpose, casting a luminous glow on the journey towards a brighter, more conscientious world. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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A PAN-AFRICAN ALLIANCE

FOR COMMUNITY CONSERVATION By Lorraine Kinnear

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Conservation efforts globally have undergone a significant shift in perspective, acknowledging the pivotal role that Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Local Communities (LCs) play in preserving biodiversity and fostering sustainable ecosystems. For centuries, IPs and LCs have acted as custodians of vast stretches of land, utilising traditional knowledge, cultural practices, and a profound connection with nature to sustainably manage their environments. Recently, recognition of their intrinsic role in conservation has gained momentum, marking a paradigm shift from exclusionary conservation models to inclusive approaches that prioritise the rights, knowledge, and participation of these communities.

efforts among African communities, emphasising women and youth empowerment within these groups to champion their land and livelihood rights. Participants highlighted the necessity of building inclusive institutions like AICA that are rooted in community representation rather than being influenced solely by certain individuals in society. This engagement was built upon the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ priorities and strategies initiated at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Africa Protected Areas Congress held in Rwanda in July 2022. The former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and APAC Patron, H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, opened the event with these remarks: “Having taken the time to read through the impeccable Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities declaration at APAC and the recent strategy that you all played a part in putting together, I am reminded of the immense power custodians of our land hold in leapfrogging us to the next level and redefining what sustainable development means for Africa.” The esteemed guests and speakers at this event stressed the importance of inclusivity in conservation policies, emphasising the mantra "nothing about us without us." The event urged a fundamental shift in the prevailing conservation narrative away from the neo-colonial fortress model, advocating for placing people alongside nature at the core of conservation efforts. “We should apply consultation, participation, and representation to every conservation policy because nothing about us without us. The rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities must be protected, celebrated, and respected,” echoed the Deputy Minister for Marginalised Communities

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n Africa, active engagement and dialogue aim to explore the indispensable contribution of IPs and LCs in conservation efforts. One such pivotal conversation took centre stage at the inaugural Community-led Conservation Congress. This ground-breaking Congress, held in Windhoek, Namibia, in October 2023 under the theme "We are nature, and nature is us," was marked by insightful discussions, lived experiences, and critical reflections on the challenges and lessons surrounding community-led conservation initiatives. Participants reviewed the preliminary findings of a forthcoming study on community conservation in Africa and charted the course for the newly formed Alliance for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities for Conservation in Africa (AICA). With over 300 representatives from 47 African countries, including Indigenous Peoples, local communities, governmental bodies, donors, and NGOs, the event highlighted the collective effort to forge a strategy centred on community-led conservation across Africa. AICA’s discussions and recommendations were distilled into a signed communique echoing a resounding call for a rights-based conservation agenda, drawing attention to the crucial role IPs and LCs play in shaping sustainable development in Africa. The event, co-hosted by AICA and Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) in collaboration with prominent organisations, such as the Community Leaders Network and the Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations, was graced by esteemed guests, including the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and APAC Patron, H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, and Namibia's Deputy Minister for Marginalised Communities, Hon. Royal Johan Kxao IUiloloo. The Congress spotlighted the growing unity and coordinated

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of Namibia, Hon. Royal Johan Kxao IUiololoo. The Congress attracted not only IPs and LCs but also policymakers and representatives from regional and international conservation organisations, signifying a broad spectrum of support for this paradigm shift. Entities like the Christensen Fund pledged support, stressing the interconnection between land rights, environment, and culture in their conservation initiatives. Celebrating the diversity and representation from different organisations, the Executive Director of ReGeCom, Jose Monteiro, noted, “This gathering was a sign that communities in Africa are in this together and working towards speaking with one voice. We need to build an institution that is not elite captured but built from the bottom up, that is AICA.” Further to these remarks, RRI's Africa Program Director, Patrick Kipalu, emphasised the Congress as a platform where communities led the discussions, signalling a crucial departure from past injustices and human rights violations. There was a collective call to work collaboratively with governments and policymakers to ensure a departure from historical injustices and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future. AICA’s interim Chairperson and CLN representative in Malawi, Malidadi Langa, called this Congress a celebration of community-based conservation and urged African governments to change the dominant conservation narrative by putting people at the centre alongside nature. He then noted, “As IPs and LCs, we have every reason to celebrate community-based conservation because, from time

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immemorial, we have effectively conserved forests, ecosystems, and biodiversity through collective ownership, traditional governance, and ecological knowledge systems which continue to this day.” Looking forward, RRI plans to publish a comprehensive study in 2024 on community-led and rights-based conservation approaches in Africa, underlining the pivotal role of secure tenure for communities in sustainable conservation practices. AICA and its partners are set to establish mechanisms to implement the Congress's outcomes at national and regional levels, while continually updating data to inform ongoing and future conservation discussions. Moreover, the Congress is set to be a triennial event, with the next edition scheduled for the Central African region. It will also serve as AICA's engagement platform for future IUCN international conferences around protected areas, showcasing the enduring commitment to fostering community-led conservation initiatives on the continent. AICA has highlighted the indispensable role of IPs and LCs in conservation. These communities have a significant role rooted in centuries of stewardship, deep-rooted knowledge, and an unbreakable bond with nature. Their historical custodianship has been instrumental in sustaining ecosystems, preserving biodiversity, and fostering harmony between humanity and the environment. Today, the acknowledgment of their significance in conservation efforts marks a pivotal moment, ushering in a new era of inclusive, participatory approaches that prioritise the rights, wisdom, and active engagement of these communities.

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LIV & LIGHT

Liv & Light:

A Journey from Nature's Embrace to Ethical Fashion By Zimkhita Kweza

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n the heart of the South African Lowveld, where the untamed beauty of nature collides with the rhythm of life, Liv and Light emerged as a testament to the power of family, nature, and the desire to make a positive impact on the world. For sisters Gaby and Liv, growing up surrounded by the enchanting landscapes along the border of the Kruger National Park was not just an upbringing; it was a profound lesson in appreciating the simplicity and extraordinary beauty of the natural world. Their journey into the world of sustainable fashion began with the influence of their artist mother, who instilled in them a deep appreciation for natural fibres and quality clothing that transcends fleeting trends. Witnessing the environmental toll of mass consumerism, especially within the fashion industry, the sisters were inspired to contribute to a more conscious and ethical narrative. THE SPARK The spark for Liv & Light ignited when Gaby, during her medical internship near Durban, confronted the heartbreaking stories of women trapped in abusive relationships due to a lack of resources. This pivotal moment led to the creation of Liv and Light, a brand with a mission to empower women and redefine fashion's role in our lives. The brand's commitment to sustainability is reflected in its choice of linen, a fabric that encapsulates the timeless elegance and natural allure witnessed in their mother and grandmother's wardrobes. Starting with a few designs, each named after a patient whose story touched Gaby, Liv and Light began to weave a narrative of empowerment, resilience, and conscious consumerism. THE SEWING CAFE: A CATALYST FOR EMPOWERMENT Founded in 2012 by the dynamic duo of Cari and Athene, the Sewing Cafe has been a beacon of hope for the unemployed individuals in Masiphumelele and Ocean View, two communities in Cape Town facing economic challenges. The Sewing Cafe operates as a professional Cut, Make, and Trim (CMT) facility, providing services such as patternmaking and sampling. What sets them apart is their commitment to up-skilling individuals, particularly women, and offering them opportunities to create a sustainable livelihood. EMPOWERING THROUGH SKILL DEVELOPMENT One of the core aspects of the Sewing Cafe's mission is skill development. Liv & Light recognized the importance of this mission and entrusted the Sewing Cafe with the intricate and time-consuming task of garment production. By doing so, Liv & Light actively contributes to the up skilling of hundreds of individuals, providing them with valuable expertise in the sewing sector. As the company expanded, the sisters faced the challenge of balancing their demanding day jobs with the

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contributes to their financial independence but also bolsters the local economy. THE IMPACT ON EMPLOYMENT The Sewing Cafe has made a tangible impact on the lives of its students, who are either employed full or part-time by the Sewing Cafe itself or find opportunities elsewhere in the sewing sector. The ripple effect is felt not only in individual lives but also in the broader community, as skilled individuals contribute to the growth of the local economy. ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND COMMUNITY BUILDING Beyond employment, the Sewing Cafe fosters entrepreneurship and community building. Graduates from the Sewing Cafe often go on to start their own businesses, creating a network of skilled entrepreneurs. The Sewing Cafe also extends its impact to nearby schools, offering an afternoon sewing club for learners. Additionally, it serves as a hub where aspiring entrepreneurs can receive support and guidance to kickstart their own ventures. growing demands of their business. However, staying true to their values of slow and conscious consumerism, they opted to outsource production to Cut, Make, Trim (CMT) facilities like Link Atelier and the Sewing Cafe. These facilities not only produce their garments but also teach and employ women from the local community, continuing the brand's commitment to empowerment. The Sewing Cafe operates as more than just a manufacturing facility; it serves as a transformative force in the lives of its students. The hundreds of students who pass through its doors find not only employment opportunities but a pathway to empowerment and self-sufficiency. Many of these individuals, under the tutelage of the Sewing Cafe, have secured full or part-time positions within the cafe itself or elsewhere in the sewing sector. This not only

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CREATIVE PROCESS The creative process behind Liv and Light is a collaborative effort, combining Gaby's innate sense of style and trend prediction with Liv's expertise in online presence and branding. The sister’s source specific linen types and colours that align with their designs, emphasizing authenticity and attention to detail from conception to production. Beyond the challenges, Liv & Light draws inspiration from the foundation laid down by their mother – the ability to appreciate the beauty in the small things, the play of light, and the joy found in ordinary moments. Their commitment to transparency has been a cornerstone of their journey, sharing personal struggles, health issues, and the realities of their day jobs with their customers. In a world dominated by mass production and fast fashion, Liv & Light stands as a beacon of authenticity, reminding us that ethical and sustainable practices can coexist with style and innovation. The sisters have not only created a brand; they've crafted a movement that celebrates the beauty of conscious consumerism, empowering women, and embracing the natural wonders that surround us.

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BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

WAVE Foundation's Transformative Quest for Gender Equality and Empowerment in Nigeria

- IMPACT FOR TOMORROW’S GENERATIONS

By Bem Abubaker

The WAVE Foundation, under the leadership of the dedicated Arc. Lola Ibrahim, MNIA, serves as a powerful source of inspiration when it comes to promoting social and personal accountability. Through their unwavering resolve, they have made a profound impact on numerous lives, leaving an enduring legacy in society. The WAVE Foundation is firmly dedicated to empowering women and girls in Nigeria, with their ambitious goals extending far beyond. Their admirable mission revolves around eradicating harmful practices and tirelessly advocating for the rights and welfare of women and girls.

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AVE Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness about the unique challenges faced by children, while protecting them from harmful practices, exploitation, and abuse, both in the physical and digital realms. Their multi-faceted approach encompasses rehabilitation, prevention, advocacy, education, and community engagement. In the realm of rehabilitation, WAVE Foundation extends critical support and assistance to survivors of violence, including those who have undergone the trauma of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Their rehabilitation programs offer women the tools and resources to rebuild their lives after enduring violence or exploitation. Prevention is another pivotal facet of WAVE Foundation's THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


WAVE FOUNDATION

work. Their efforts revolve around educating communities on the perils of practices like FGM and violence against women and girls. By instigating this prevention drive, they aim to create a society where these practices are eradicated from the outset. WAVE Foundation's advocacy initiatives bear significant weight in their mission. They actively champion the rights of women and girls, pushing for policy changes and legal reforms. Through their vocal advocacy, they aim to cultivate a society where women's contributions are not only valued but fiercely protected. Education is deemed a cornerstone of empowerment at WAVE Foundation. The belief held is that education plays an instrumental role in propelling women and girls forward. Through their educational programs, they equip women with the knowledge and skills THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

necessary for success across various spheres of life, be it leadership, care giving, or production. WAVE Foundation deeply understands the importance of community engagement in creating lasting, impactful change. They collaborate closely with communities to promote gender equality, challenge harmful gender norms and stereotypes, and engage men and boys in the battle against violence and exploitation. Their aim is to create a society where women's contributions are not just recognized but celebrated. The Foundation seeks to facilitate freedom of choice and self-confidence for women within the communities it serves. A key initiative of theirs is rehabilitation, offering critical support to survivors of violence, including those affected by FGM. By providing counseling, medical assistance, and skills training,

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they empower women to regain their independence and self-confidence. A pivotal aspect of WAVE Foundation's work is forging impactful partnerships. Notably, they have partnered with the United Nations (UN) in Nigeria, as well as national and global organizations dedicated to peace, security, and climate change. These collaborations not only underscore the foundation's commitment to substantial progress but also expand their reach and amplify their impact. One striking achievement was the production of "EndFGM" jingles in various major Nigerian languages, a project that reached audiences nationwide through NTA International Stations. Additionally, WAVE is actively implementing the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Program for the elimination of FGM in Osogbo, Osun States, in Nigeria, spanning from 2023 to 2028. This extensive program signifies a significant leap in their quest to eliminate violence against women. Workshops and community sensitization initiatives are integral to this mission. Collaborating with the Public Affairs Department of the US Mission, Abuja, and WAVE initiated a monthly workshop for FGM survivors at the American Space in Abuja. This initiative has offered valuable support and empowerment to survivors, aiding in their healing and recovery. WAVE aspires to expand this initiative to American Spaces in more Nigerian states in the upcoming year, thus reaching a larger number of survivors. These are just a few of the strategic initiatives undertaken by WAVE Foundation to combat the exploitation of

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women. Their dedication to this cause and their transformative efforts make a tangible and lasting difference in the lives of women confronted by various forms of exploitation. PURSUING IMPACT BEYOND NIGERIA’S BORDERS WAVE Foundation's partnerships extend beyond national boundaries. They have not only partnered with the UN in Nigeria but have engaged with the Federal Ministry of Health, UNFPA Nigeria, UNICEF Nigeria, UN Women Nigeria, and more, to champion gender equality, end gender-based violence, and bolster women's rights in Nigeria. WAVE Foundation's Special Consultative Status

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WAVE FOUNDATION

with The Economic and Social Council of The United Nations underscores their global influence. WAVE's President serves as the Cluster Chair under AWLN Nigeria, reflecting their pivotal role in discussions focused on peace, security, and ending violence against women and girls. Through their collaborations with the UN and various entities, WAVE demonstrates a resolute commitment to creating positive change in gender equality and violence prevention in Nigeria. In a world fraught with gender-based challenges, collaborative efforts on peace and women's issues open doors for WAVE to work with like-minded organizations on a larger canvas. This collaboration allows WAVE to access resources, networks, and platforms that might not be readily available at a regional or national level. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

Collaborations serve to amplify WAVE's impact and outreach. They provide access to resources and networks that can significantly bolster their programs and initiatives. WAVE's advocacy gains momentum as it uses these partnerships to raise awareness about the importance of peace, gender equality, and violence prevention on an international stage. Through collaborations with various entities, such as the United Nations, UNFPA Nigeria, AWLN Nigeria, Nigeria Television Authority, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Health, and other global civil society organizations, WAVE Foundation actively promotes gender equality and women's empowerment in Nigeria. These partnerships have resulted in diverse initiatives, including educational programs, community engagement activities, and advocacy campaigns aimed at challenging harmful gender norms and promoting women's rights. WAVE Foundation's initiatives strive to empower women by offering them support, education, and resources. By challenging harmful gender norms, changing perceptions, and fostering supportive communities, WAVE Foundation aims to provide women with the tools they need to succeed. Women often encounter discrimination and power imbalances in society, leading to various challenges, including limited access to healthcare, gender-based violence, harmful cultural practices like FGM, and underrepresentation in decision-making processes. WAVE Foundation tailors its initiatives to address these challenges. They focus on rehabilitation, prevention, and advocacy, along with community engagement, education, and awareness-raising activities. Through these efforts, they work to break down barriers and promote gender equality. To gauge the impact of their initiatives, WAVE Foundation employs a comprehensive and multifaceted approach: Data Collection and Analysis- They collect quantitative and qualitative data at various program stages, enabling them to gain insights into the changes and improvements experienced by program participants. WAVE Foundation also establishes specific KPIs to track progress and measure the success of their initiatives, such as the number of women gaining employment or starting businesses through their programs, while regular impact assessments evaluate the long-term effects of interventions.

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INJINI’S

QUEST TO INCORPORATE TECHNOLOGY IN SOLVING SOUTH AFRICA’S EDUCATION NEEDS By Busiswa Lutshaba

Injini was founded on the belief that innovation and technology - developed by Africa, for Africa - can help solve the continent’s most pressing education challenges. The registered Non-Profit Company based in Cape Town, South Africa, was created with the sole purpose of improving educational outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2017, the organisation remains the only EdTech specialised accelerator in Africa.

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ocus area programme components include research administered through a Think Tank model and developing edtech accelerator programmes to support early startups in the tech education space across Africa. The third component involves planned events like their annual SA Edtech event, making these some of the few interventions under their wing of support. The organisation contributes towards its mission to increase quality, accessibility, and relevance of education in the region, Cape Town as an entry point, building up to the African Diaspora. Injini operates with the overarching mantra that by creating an enabling environment and supporting the development and implementation of education innovation in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those that are technology-based or enabled, educational outcomes throughout the region will improve. This follows from Injini’s understanding of the link between entrepreneurship, innovation and free markets, and the strength that can be found in aligning such efforts with publicly funded interventions. ALIGNING STRATEGY WITH SUSTAINABILITY Injini has aligned their strategic growth plans with the sustainable world goals unique to quality education. Injini collaborates with various EdTech companies committed to empowering youth and narrowing the digital divide. Some of the organisations target individuals who may lack resources like owning a personal laptops or technology access, and they do this by assessing existing community resources.

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Beneficiaries of the programming are encouraged to explore options available to them such as local libraries and community centres with computer and internet facilities. Additionally, many EdTech companies who are affiliated with Injini optimise their content for mobile devices, recognizing the widespread availability of mobile devices. In their research efforts at Injini, the organisation prioritises inclusivity by tailoring surveys to the intended audience, ensuring a wide reach of offerings and employing accessible mechanisms. Recently, Injini conducted a survey using SMS, considering that a significant portion of the target demographic possessed mobile phones capable of receiving and sending text messages. This approach ensures that their research methods align with the technological landscape of the communities Injini aims to support. Injini has several goals and objectives that will dictate their growth plan. These include: • Supporting an additional 50 African EdTech startups through tailor made impactful acceleration programming. • Injini's supported EdTech startups will rally behind the improvement in educational outcomes of 2 million more African learners. • Injini's data and insights will contribute meaningfully to the ecosystem's understanding of the effectiveness of EdTech in the sub-Saharan African context. • Injini will shift perceptions about EdTech as a viable solution

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to Africa's education challenges and foster increased collaboration amongst key stakeholders.

form through evidence-based research and engagement with policymakers in targeted African countries.

Injini has some key milestone since their inception in 2017 and these include: • The launch of the Injini Think Tank in 2022: In 2022 Injini launched the Think Tank, its research division, as an avenue to produce and distribute research and insights about education and innovation that is for Africa and by Africa. The division aims to support EdTech entrepreneurs through relevant market research, support corporate initiatives in achieving their commitments toward educational outcomes and advocate for educational re-

• The kick-off of the first Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program in 2023: Injini and the Mastercard Foundation teamed up to launch the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program. This accelerator program provides eligible startups with direct grant funding, product quality evaluation and certification, intensive skills development, coaching and mentorship, bespoke market research and market access through Injini’s network of stakeholders across the education innovation landscape.

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INJINI

Injini recently hosted the SA EdTech Week aimed to engage key stakeholders in the education sector and address emerging trends and challenges in EdTech. Injini partnered with the Mastercard Foundation and Wesgro to design and execute 2023’s edition of South African EdTech Week. “The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program has been the single most impactful opportunity I have ever engaged with.” – feedback from one of

the participants from the Edtech Weekday 3 event. Injini continues to play a key role in developing and orchestrating the African EdTech ecosystem. The organisation is constantly exploring new approaches to convene and support the role players involved across the African education innovation value chain.

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Amplifying Voices:

Audio Girl Africa's Quest to Empower Women in Music By Bem Abubaker

In the heart of the bustling music industry, where beats and melodies collide, a powerful force is emerging to shake the foundations and redefine the status quo. Enter Audio Girl Africa – a visionary movement dedicated to celebrating and amplifying the voices of African women. No longer confined by societal norms or silenced by gender biases, are these fierce and talented women reclaiming their rightful place on the stage, ready to leave an indelible mark on the music world.

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magine a world where the airwaves are filled with the powerful and soul-stirring sounds of African women. Picture a stage where these women confidently command the spotlight, captivating audiences with their electrifying performances and challenging the stereotypes that have held them back for far too long. Audio Girl Africa is the catalyst for this revolution, creating a vibrant and inclusive space where African women can unleash their creativity, share their stories, and inspire a new generation of artists. From the depths of their souls to the tips of their fingers, these audacious women are rewriting the narrative, one empowering note at a time. A seismic shift in the industry looms as Audio Girl Africa takes the music industry by storm, leaving an indelible mark that will resonate for generations to come. Audio Girl Africa's mission is clear: to increase the number of young African women, especially from

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THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


AUDIO GIRL AFRICA

Generation Z and Millennials, in the music and audio engineering sector. Their goal is not only to level the playing field but also to create an environment where women can unapologetically display their talents and skills. They strive to bridge the gender gap in a sector historically dominated by men. This is not just about music; this is a movement, empowering women to take their rightful place on the stage and behind the scenes. FORGING AHEAD WITH THE AUDIO GIRL VISION IN ACTION Accessible training programs and career opportunities are the pillars of this foundation. Audio Girl Africa offers a plethora of initiatives such as sound engineering workshops, music production boot camps, networking sessions, and music business master classes. These opportunities are not bound by geography; they are both physical and virtual, transcending barriers and making it seamless for aspiring female creators and professionals to step into the world of music. The foundation understands that knowledge should not be confined to borders. Thus, they have strategically designed programs that can be accessed virtually, enabling women from diverse backgrounds and regions to join this transformative THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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journey. In doing so, they are breaking down geographic barriers and ensuring that talent is recognized and nurtured, regardless of where it originates. The inception of the Audio Girl Foundation was sparked by a live sound engineer in Nigeria who noticed the glaring absence of women in audio-related fields. This ignited a fervent desire to address this unique problem. The music industry was predominantly male-dominated, and the few women who ventured into the field often struggled to gain recognition and opportunities. Thus, the foundation emerged with a vision to create a supportive community that celebrates women in audio technology and music business. Armed with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by aspiring female musicians, Audio Girl Africa became a beacon of hope, offering a platform for learning, collaboration, and empowerment. The founder's personal experience as the only woman on a set of colleagues served as a catalyst to dive deeper into understanding the root causes. It was evident that the issue was not lack of talent or passion but rather a lack of opportunities, awareness, and an enabling environment. CELEBRATING MILESTONES AND LOOKING AHEAD Since its inception, Audio Girl Africa has organized over 30 workshops, both physical and virtual, providing a platform for aspiring women to learn, collaborate, and connect with like-minded individuals. Many of these women, after training with Audio Girl Africa, have gone on to make waves in top entertainment companies. Notable partnerships with industry giants like Mavin and Avid DEI Learning have empowered young women, granting

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them access to quality training and certifications. One groundbreaking initiative was a partnership with Mavin for a five day Creative Boot camp, tailored for young women producers, engineers, artists, and songwriters. This collaboration resulted in original music, showcasing the creativity and potential of these young women. These success stories are not just anecdotal; they are a testament to the transformative power of this initiative. From struggling to achieve a hundred sign-ups for their programs to witnessing over 500-1000 sign-ups today, Audio Girl Africa has made substantial progress. Women are more confident in pursuing their passion, with Audio Girl Africa providing unwavering support throughout their journey. Challenges persist, particularly in terms of funding for programs. The foundation has found strength in partnerships and community support. The journey to empower women is not without hurdles, but the collective determination of the team and supporters propels them forward. Leveraging technology, Audio Girl Africa has transitioned many physical training programs to online platforms, making knowledge easily accessible to women across Africa and beyond. Technology, the driving force of the music industry, is at the heart of Audio Girl Africa's initiatives. Through various online platforms and tools, they ensure that aspiring female musicians can access the necessary knowledge and skills required to excel in the industry. The seamless integration of technology makes their programs not only accessible but also relevant in the rapidly evolving music landscape. Looking ahead, Audio Girl Africa envisions establishing a THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


AUDIO GIRL AFRICA

pipeline of talented young women ready to take on key roles in major music and audio tech companies. The ultimate goal is to operate a physical institute offering comprehensive training and empowerment programs. They aim to not only provide training but also create a network of support and opportunities, where women can thrive and reach their full potential. To support this mission, individuals and organizations can contribute by sponsoring initiatives, organizing workshops in their areas, or simply spreading awareness about the cause. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

It’s a collective effort, and every note counts in this melody of empowerment. Audio Girl Africa invites women across the continent to join this resonant tune of empowerment, amplifying the voices of African women in the music industry. Together, we can create a harmonious melody that celebrates diversity and inclusivity, weaving a rich tapestry of musical talent and innovation. We can make the music industry a stage where every woman has an equal chance to shine and inspire.

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The Space BW:

Crafting an Ideal Space for Nurturing Creativity By Lorraine Kinnear

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THE SPACE BW

Art, with its transcendent power to ignite imagination and provoke reflection, has long been recognized as a liberating force capable of transforming communities and fostering a shared sense of purpose. In Maun, Botswana, The Space BW harnesses this transformative potential, crafting an ideal sanctuary where creativity thrives, communities flourish, and art becomes an integral part of daily life.

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he Space Botswana Art Gallery and Creative Hub, founded and curated by Atang Arnold, is more than just a gallery. It's a beacon of sustainability, fostering creativity, and enriching the local artistic community. To ensure sustainability, the gallery prioritizes the use of eco-friendly materials in exhibitions and art-making processes. This includes recycled materials, low-impact installation techniques, and energy-efficient lighting. Their goal is to minimize their environmental footprint while fostering creativity. The Space BW is a testament to the ingenious fusion of sustainable architecture and artistic expression. The gallery is crafted from repurposed shipping containers, emphasizing sustainability and ingenuity. The choice of these containers not only promotes environmental responsibility but also showcases the potential for creative repurposing in the art world. Atang states, "Our gallery aims to catalyse sustainable creativity, fostering an environment where artists thrive, communities flourish, and art becomes an integral part of daily life in Botswana."

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WORKING WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO PROMOTE MAUN’S CREATIVE INDUSTRY The Space BW actively engages with the local community to promote the growth of the creative industry not only in Maun but also potentially on an international scale. They organize workshops, educational programs, residencies, and community events to encourage artistic expression and appreciation in Maun and surrounding villages. By being present in the local scene, The Space BW ensures that its mission is well understood. The gallery is committed to supporting local artists and creatives in Maun and throughout Botswana. They provide a platform for emerging talents through exhibitions and collaborations, ensuring that the gallery remains a dynamic hub for the local artistic community. Additionally, The Space BW runs a mentorship program called 'Space Creatives' aimed at out-of-school youth who are passionate about art. This program not only provides materials for learning and painting but also creates a space for dialogue, giving hope to young artists. A recent exhibition curated by The Space BW aimed to pique interest in art for both buyers and creators. This involved interactive installations with clay from international visiting artists,

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artist talks with secondary students, and community-driven art projects addressing climate change. The goal was to create a space where everyone, regardless of their familiarity with art, could find inspiration. MEASURING SUCCESS ON THE PATH TOWARDS SUSTAINED GROWTH As an entity that intends to scale, measuring success is pivotal to mapping a path for successfully operating the gallery. The success of The Space BW's initiatives is measured through various metrics, including attendance at events, community participation, international representation, creative educational feedback, artist feedback, corporate engagements, and sales. They also assess the impact on the local creative ecosystem, tracking the growth and recognition of artists associated with the gallery and their social media presence. The Space BW actively seeks artists from diverse backgrounds and communities. They implement mentorship programs and foster international collaborations to create a melting pot of artistic influences, enriching the local art scene with global perspectives. To keep artists engaged and aware of the importance of maintaining and growing interest in art within local communities, The Space BW organizes regular meetings, and workshops, as well as providing resources for artists to develop their community outreach skills. They place a high value on quality and storytelling when selecting artists' work, and they encourage artists to produce work inspired by their environment and culture. To maintain such a high standard of quality for artists, the gallery ensures a fair compensation policy for artists by transparently disclosing their commission structure. This approach guarantees that artists receive a substantial portion of the proceeds from their work, supporting their livelihoods and encouraging sustained artistic practice. This being one of the first of its kind in Maun, the gallery makes a concerted effort to ensure that its exhibitions and events are accessible to all community members. They leverage social media, word of mouth, and partnerships with local organizations

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THE SPACE BW

to ensure that art remains a shared experience for everyone. The Lead Curator was the first female Motswana to own a private Gallery and puts much emphasis on breaking barriers and unlocking the potential for Batswana’s creative community. She commented, “Art Education and Art Awareness are significant to me because when I was in university, many artists communities didn’t exist in Botswana. There were not many places that catered for someone like me who is a Multidisciplinary Artist. From this realisation, I took it upon myself to save up and make the dream that is, The Space BW, come true. With this space, I hope to make a difference in the lives of others doing what I love the most, ART!!!” ATANG L. S ARNOLD AND THE PASSION THAT INSPIRES. The Space BW, under the visionary leadership of Mrs. Atang L.S Arnold, stands as a testament to the power of sustainable creativity and community engagement. By providing a platform for local artists, supporting sustainability, and fostering inclusivity, this gallery has become a beacon for art in Maun, Botswana. Mrs. Arnold's passion for art education and awareness has led to the creation of a space that not only nurtures creativity but also inspires future generations of artists. The Space BW's impact extends beyond the walls of a gallery; it has become a symbol of creativity, sustainability, and hope in the heart of Botswana.

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