People, partnerships and potential

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April at the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) is all about people, partnerships and potential, as we welcome new Africa Council of Eight members, reap the benefits of new and old partnerships, and unlock the profit with purpose potential of young business leaders.

The SVAI’s Council of Eight brings together up-and-coming academia and entrepreneurs, who are successful leaders in their own right, from across Africa to collaborate and advocate for Shared Value. Our newest council members include three dynamic young women: Alaa Moatamed from Egypt and Dr Mumbi Wachira and Elizabeth Okullow, both from Kenya.

Alaa is co-founder of Presto, an automated, delivery system that connects vendors with customers and suppliers; Mumbi is associate director at the Doctoral Academy of the Strathmore University Business School; and Elizabeth is co-founder of Aafri Fudi, an agri-tech startup using automated hydroponic technology to produce crops.

On the subject of women who are leading the way, our congratulations and well wishes go to Safaricom’s Karen Basiye, who was appointed Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at the group, effective 1 April. In her new role, Karen will be responsible for Safaricom’s sustainability, corporate social investment and technology for development agenda

Another woman at the vanguard of Shared Value in Africa is SVAI’s very own Vuyo Lutseke, who jetted off to Uganda this month, to network and present at the Kampala Impact Day in Uganda. The day was organised by our partner OVO (Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs) and Einstein Rising, an Africa-focused business accelerator.

The event was a great success and enabled some 40+ social entrepreneurs to showcase their solutions and connect with impact investors and local business angels. In fact, altogether six entrepreneurs won prizes in the form of financial and/or business support. Alongside the live event, there was also an online pitch event, attended by over 480 people. Of the 16 pitches, two winning business ideas were selected.

From an SVAI perspective, we welcomed the additional Shared Value exposure, as well as the opportunity to connect with our partner OVO and build our footprint and entrepreneurial network in Uganda.

Another key partnership off to a great start this month is with the Lagos Business School (LBS) in Nigeria. We worked closely together to host the 2021 Africa Responsible Business Forum, which focused on the role of business in advancing the continent’s growth and recovery agenda. Close to 500 participants attended over the two days and topics for discussion included financing Africa’s sustainable recovery from COVID-19, shared value, gender parity in the workplace and leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for sustainable development.

Prof Chris Ogbechie, Dean of the Lagos Business School, aptly summarised deliberations over the two days: “The time to act is now and COVID-19 has given us a wonderful opportunity to do exactly that. The pandemic has demonstrated that business and society go hand in hand; it has demonstrated the need for business to put society first when developing their strategies. We look forward to walking this road together with the Shared Value Africa Initiative.”

We echo Prof Ogbechie’s sentiments and are very excited about our collaboration with LBS and working together to develop Shared Value leadership training programmes in West Africa.

If you weren’t able to attend the forum, below are links to the on-demand video playback.


Last but not least, we also concluded training of our first Purpose Playbook cohort this month, which was not only a huge success but also represents a key milestone in the development of our advocacy and education programme. We are now in the planning stages for the second training course, collaborating and working with SVAI partners to identify suitable candidates. The interview process will start during May.

Until Next month!