The second edition of the African Social Impact Summit (ASIS) organized by the Sterling One Foundation is scheduled to take place on August 10 and 11, 2023. The Foundation is hosting the event in collaboration with various corporate and development partners, including the MTN Foundation, British Council, UNDP, and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), among others. The announcement regarding the summit was made on Thursday, July 20, 2023, during a press briefing held at the Sterling Towers in Lagos.
During the press briefing, Abubakar Suleiman, Chairman of Sterling Bank and a member of the board of trustees for Sterling One Foundation, spoke about the purpose of ASIS. He emphasized that the summit’s primary objective is to bring together organizations operating in the impact space to enhance their contributions and create greater value for Africa.
“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 explained.
He proceeded by saying that “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”.
He believes that this collaborative effort will contribute positively to the region’s development and foster greater cooperation and understanding among the participating organizations.
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.”
The partnership on the African Social Impact Summit (ASIS) project was addressed by Odunayo Sanya, the Executive Secretary of MTN Foundation. In her absence, the representation was made by Edward Fagbohun, the Manager of Sustainability and Impact Reporting at MTN Nigeria. Fagbohun highlighted the significant role played by MTN Foundation in supporting ASIS through their partnership. He emphasized the importance of this collaboration, indicating that it holds great value for both MTN Foundation and the summit itself.
“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”, he said.
The upcoming ASIS event, the second edition, will adopt a hybrid format, combining both physical and virtual elements. This format aims to accommodate a broader audience and ensure greater accessibility. The event will encompass a diverse range of activities and opportunities for attendees to engage and collaborate in social impact initiatives across Africa.