African Social Impact Summit Partners With MTNF, Others For Second Edition 

The second edition of the African Social Impact Summit (ASIS) by the Sterling One Foundation is set to hold on August 10 and 11 2023. This year, the Foundation will be hosting the second edition with corporate and development partners like the MTN Foundation, British Council, UNDP, and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), amongst others. This announcement was made on Thursday, July 20, 2023, at a press briefing held at the Sterling Towers in Lagos.

Speaking on ASIS, Chairman, Sterling bank and member board of trustees, Sterling One Foundation, Abubakar Suleiman, said that ASIS was created to bring together organisations in the impact space to provide better value in Africa. He said, “We observed that there are a lot of organisations and individuals who are working in the social impact space, however they were not talking to each other. There were a lot of duplication, inefficiencies and a lot of us were marching blindly because someone else had done the research but we could not access it. At the Sterling One Foundation, we felt if we could convene a summit that will bring people together, get them to listen to one another and get them to sit together once the conversation was done, we could solve this problem, hence the birth of the ASIS.” 

He continued, “Once again, this is for us to say to the rest of the world that there is an opportunity to engage Africa in an organised way, if their interest is to have an impact.  I suspect that once we have the summit, going forward, it will be difficult for anyone to come into Africa with the objective of impact, without coming through the summit to access the right partners, information and research, and effectively get value on every dollar they spend in Africa. That is what success looks like for us.”

United Nations (UN) resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale also highlighted how working on the project as a co-convener will boost the relationship between Africa. He said, “I would say the African Social Impact Summit couldn’t be more timely because development is in trouble. I recall eight  years ago, in 2015, global heads of government came together and agreed to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In doing so, they made a collective promise to people in all nations to secure their human rights, wellbeing and their planet.

The combined effect of Covid, climate change and conflict has stalked progress towards the SDG’s. It seems clear to us at the UN that unless we take urgent action, the 2030 agenda will become no more than a broken promise to the world’s most vulnerable people, and that’s where our interest comes in. We truly believe that ASIS is an important event on the road to achieving the SDGs. It is also a preparatory step to the global SDG summit in September.”

Speaking on the partnership on the ASIS project, Odunayo Sanya, Executive Secretary of MTN Foundation, who was represented by the Manager, Sustainability and Impact reporting, MTN Nigeria, Edward Fagbohun, highlighted the importance of  MTN Foundation’s partnership with ASIS. “We are excited to be part of ASIS 2.0. The MTN Foundation has been in existence for 19 years and has invested over N25 billion on impact projects across Nigeria, but recently  one of the things we have been trying to push is partnership, as it speaks to one of the SDG’s. We are excited that the summit will provide a platform for us to also meet people of like minds and see how we can bring more value to the work we do. I’m glad to say we are coming on board and we hope to see great things happen going forward.”

The second edition of ASIS will be hosted as a hybrid event and will feature keynote addresses, panel conversations, exhibitions and a deal room to facilitate partnerships and investments in social impact initiatives across Africa. In addition, the summit will feature workshops for civil society organisations, an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) roundtable, different sessions between private sector leaders and other players, and several other side events.

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