Sahara Foundation, the personal and corporate social responsibility vehicle for Sahara Group, has announced the award of $5000 each as seed funding to African social innovators who have successfully completed its 2022 Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) Fellowship programme.
The beneficiaries of the seed funding include Ayilara Assurance Oluchi, CEO of OnePad Reusable Pad, Nigeria; Lamin Ceesay, CEO of Karakunku Farm, the Gambia; Aminu Moses Rex, CEO Delfak Nigeria Ltd; Claude Albert Moghomaye, CEO, Bertec, Cameroon; Michael Osumune, CEO, Moon Innovations, Nigeria; and Adeyemi Tunde, CEO, D-Olivette Global Enterprise, Nigeria.
Other beneficiaries include James Thuch Madhier, South-Sudan; Ligare Allan, Kenya; Siwelwa Lazarous, Zambia; and Gerasia Laurent Andrea, Tanzania.
The three-month Fellowship was organized by Sahara Foundation in collaboration with LEAP AFRICA, a youth-focused leadership development nonprofit organization; and Impact Amplifier, a social enterprise that accelerates the investment readiness, growth and capital provision of high impact, innovative social enterprises in Africa.
The objective of the Fellowship is to better equip African social entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skill sets required to build sustainable businesses, capable of addressing the continent’s challenges. Faced with challenges such as inadequate energy, waste management, unemployment, poverty, climate challenges occasioned by drought, flooding, extreme heat etc. These African social innovators are helping to address Africa’s social economic issues with their business models.
The need to accelerate Africa’s growth in access to energy and promote sustainable environments across the continent, inspired the creation of the Sahara Impact Fund Fellowship programme. We believe that Africa’s biggest challenges need diverse, local problem solvers and Sahara Foundation is helping to identify and empower these social solution providers.
Speaking on the motivation behind the Fund during the SIF close out ceremony, Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Sahara Foundation commented that Sahara Foundation is committed to impacting lives and building sustainable societies across Africa. She said, “The Sahara Impact Fund was set up to help close the gap in energy equality in Africa, as well as promote sustainable environment through the empowerment of creative social entrepreneurs working to move Africa from a continent of potentials to actualization”. Uzokwe urged the social entrepreneurs to use the training and funds received from the programme to advance their business dreams and congratulated all 21 Fellows who participated in this year’s programme.
Also addressing the Fellows at the close out ceremony, Ndidi Nwuneli, Founder, Leap Africa, congratulated the Fellows for successfully completing the programme. Nwuneli implored them to make good use of the knowledge acquired and help improve Africa’s development with their ideas and abilities. She also thanked Sahara Foundation for powering this initiative and commended their commitment to advancing Social Development Goal (SDG) 17 – Partnership for the Goals.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Lazarous Siwelwa from Zambia, expressed excitement and gratitude on behalf of the 2022 Fellows. Siwelwa thanked Sahara Foundation, Leap Africa, and Impact Amplifier for putting together such a rewarding experience that exposed them to quality business knowledge, tools, and networks guaranteed to impact their businesses for good.
In closing, Uzokwe speaking to the Fellows again, stated, “This is not the end”. The Sahara Foundation is looking to continue this relationship and we urge you all as ambassadors to go out there and strengthen your businesses and each other. Leverage this network and build impactful social enterprises. As social entrepreneurs, Africa’s future depends on your actions today.