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Why Investing For Impact Is Key To Uplifting Communities’

L - R: Olapeju Ibekwe, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation; Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank; Odunayo Sanya, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation; Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, Senior Programme Officer, Ford Foundation and Ade Adefeko, Vice President, Corporate & Government Relations and Stakeholder Management, Olam Nigeria, at the maiden Africa Social Impact Summit held in Abuja recently

MTN Foundation Executive Secretary, Odunayo Sanya says the Foundation is committed to solving problems and creating sustainable value in communities where MTN operates.

Sanya stated this during a panel discussion at the Africa Social Impact Summit held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja recently.

At the summit, Odunayo joined other experts such as Chief Economist, Development Bank of Nigeria, Joseph Nnanna; Senior Programme Officer, Ford Foundation, Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima and Vice President, Corporate & Government Relations and Stakeholder Management, Olam Nigeria, Ade Adefeko to speak on the theme, Impact Investment, Funding, Measuring our Comms and Scaling Impact.

Speaking on MTN Foundation’s model for community investment, Odunayo Sanya said, “At the Foundation, our focus is on two key areas: Youth Development and National Priority because we believe that we should be able to deliver on national priorities. Under youth development, we drive education and capacity building. We take students through scholarship schemes and equip them through collaborations with tech ecosystem partners. By the time they get into the labour market, they are able to land jobs or even create their own businesses.

In the area of health, we enable by providing infrastructure. We are interested in equipping people and providing access to healthcare. We partner with institutions to take medical services to far-flung communities. For us, it is about solving problems in a structured manner,” she concluded.

Speaking on the State’s efforts in improving the health and education sectors during the summit, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed that the state is committed to providing access to quality healthcare and education for all.

According to Sanwo- Olu, “Year on year since 2020, we have had to increase our budgetary allocation for health and education, and it is deliberate. On education, we realise that we need to have a government that ensures that access to quality education is available to all. On health, we have not only increased the number of staff and have recruited over 3000 new health practitioners and increased our infrastructure. We are renovating 15 General hospitals and building capacity in all our facilities.”

Organized by the Sterling One Foundation and the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, the Africa Social Impact Summit is for regional inclusive development conversations that will provide an opportunity for the private sector and impact investors.

The summit is a call for effective collaboration by all players in Africa’s development sector including government, civil society organisations, the private sector, and the development community to ensure an all-inclusive approach to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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