LEAP Africa Holds SIPA 2021

LEAP Africa, in collaboration with Union Bank, Sahara Foundation< and Ford Foundation is pleased to announce the 9th edition of the Social Innovators Programme andAwards (SIPA) 2021 will hold on Thursday, 7th October 2021 with a hybrid experience of virtual and physical audiences participating at the MUSON Centre in Lagos.

Events in late 2020 revealed a restlessness among the Nigerian youth demography. Against this backdrop, this year’s SIPA theme – “Youth in Action: Moving from Hype to Impact” – will allow professionals and youth leaders to highlight key strategies that young people desiring change can explore to optimize impact. Conference will be equipped to also identify the critical difference between Hype and Impact and learn how to implement this knowledge in their professional and personal endeavours. SIPA 2021 will showcase 80 Fellows from West African countries who are breaking barriers and leveraging the Global Goals to provide a better life for various communities in the region. These fellows have identified for social impact and inspirations for more change agents across Africa.

Some of these innovators have been nurtured on requisite skills and empowered with relevant resources over the past 12 months to scale their enterprise sustainably in the one-year Fellowship and others are being inducted into the Fellowship. Some of these innovators include: Velveeta Viban, Founder Image Nation (Cameroon) – a digital creative female-owned Public Relations agency with a non-profit wing inspiring a narrative of inclusion especially among vulnerable groups. Mohamed Alpha Founder, Network for Next-Generation Innovators (Sierra Leone) – a community-based organization in Sierra Leone reaching households with smart solutions to solving pressing domestic challenges ranging from renewable energy, smart agriculture techniques and health.

Shaibu Fuseini Founder, Agric Connect (Ghana) – an agri-business venture that uses technology to connect hundreds of smallholder farmers to buyers, creating employment for over 72,360 people across the agriculture value chain in Ghana. Omotoke Olugbode Founder, The Autism Awareness Foundation (Nigeria) – a social enterprise that focuses on raising awareness and advocacy about autism spectrum disorder and fostering inclusion in schools and the society at large.

This year’s conference will feature a series of activities, including sessions by Angel Adelaja; Co- founder, We Farm Africa, R. Evon Idahosa; Founder, Pathfinders Justice Initiative and Jeroo Billimoria; Founder, One Family Foundation. Speaking on LEAP Africa’s effort to build a community of young change-makers across Africa, the Executive Director, LEAP Africa, Femi Taiwo said: “Over the years, LEAP Africa has demonstrated its position as a lever for discovering and unlocking the potential of young people in Nigeria and Africa through various programming like the SIP and Awards. Through the continued commitment of Union Bank, Sahara Foundation and Ford Foundation we are advancing a critical aspect of our new 5-year strategy of “Raising talents for the SDGs”, which further amplifies our drive for building, energizing and supporting the ecosystem of young people.

This year, we have welcomed the partnership of Sahara Foundation, which keeps supporting us to spread the impact of SIPA to more young people across Africa. Speaking on the Bank’s continued partnership with LEAP Africa for the Social Innovators Programme, the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing at Union Bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem said: “Union Bank is pleased to partner once again with LEAP Africa for the 9 th edition of the Social Innovators Programme and Awards. Our support for this initiative aligns perfectly with our efforts in talent development – one of the key pillars of our CSR efforts.

We will continue to leverage partnerships such as this one, that amplifies our efforts in this area as we support the efforts of budding social innovators and entrepreneurs, especially in these times.” Speaking on the Foundation’s partnership with LEAP Africa for the Social Innovators Programme, the Director of Governance and Sustainability, Pearl Uzokwe said: “This one year journey has further reiterated Sahara Foundation’s desire to marry scalable social impact with commercial viability in the areas of access to energy and sustainable environments and to actively contribute towards a renewed mindset”.

The Sahara Impact Fund fellows across Nigeria, Rwanda, Malawi and Cameroon have been exposed to sustainability workshops, mentoring and coaching by expert professionals, webinars, online learning, opportunities for additional funding through the IIF annual deal summit, conversation cafes, networking access and one-on-one advisory support.” As we close out on the inaugural cohort of the Social Innovators Programme (SIP) , we look forward to continued and effective collaboration targeting at the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in a manner that results in measurable social impact. The highlight of the conference will be the recognition of remarkable fellows who have distinguished themselves during the fellowship year through the following awards categories:

  • Outstanding Fellows Awards (Three Fellows)
  • Dr Pamela Hartigan Prize for social innovation (One Alumnus)
  • Mr Seyi Bickersteth Prize winner for financial accountability (One Alumnus)

The Social Innovators Programme and Awards (SIPA) 2021 is LEAP Africa’s platform for showcasing young change-makers, equipping and empowering them with requisite skills and effective tools for building sustainable and social enterprises. Since its inception in 2013, LEAP Africa, in collaboration with partners, has supported 170 amazing young change-makers in Africa.

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