Posted by: isaac aggrey | January 14, 2009

Young African Entrepreneurs Support UN Stand Up Campaign

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Johannesburg, 16 October, as the UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) launches its Stand Up initiative for 2008, Sukuma Afrika calls on young entrepreneurs to Stand Up and make a difference through the 2009 Sukuma Afrika Young Entrepreneurs’ Awards.

The Awards are a joint initiative between Sukuma Afrika and the United Nations Millennium Campaign, designed to recognise and support entrepreneurial initiatives and projects that support the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa.

Outlining why the UN Millennium Campaign partnered Sukum Afrika, Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Deputy Director, Africa said: “The aim of the award is to raise awareness amongst young people about social entrepreneurial initiatives and projects around the MDGs. However, we hope that this competition will encourage youths to come up with initiatives for delivering MDGs and even going beyond the targets set for 2015. “We are now past the mid-point to 2015. Africa has done relatively well on some goals such as education and health. Progress is being hampered by lack of political will; weak public policies; poor governance practices; poor prioritisation and ineffective budgeting. In addition, Africa has to deal with its crippling
external debt, unfair trade and unjust aid policies,” he said.

The competition recognises outstanding young entrepreneurs making a difference to their communities. Through this recognition, the Young Entrepreneurs’ Awards support the expansion of valuable business initiatives and raise awareness about the role young Africans and Africans in the Diaspora can play in attaining the Goals in Africa.

The competition is organised into five categories, designed around the MDGs:
. MDG 1 – Poverty and hunger
. MDG 2 – Education
. MDG 3 – Gender equality
. MDG 4,5,6 – Health related issues
. MDG 7 – Environment
. MDG 8 – Global Partnership

If you have started a business that is growing on improvements in any of these categories or have an idea that will impact positively any one of the MDGs, we want to hear from you.

Entry forms are available from: competition@sumakaafrika.org.

Speaking on the initiative Hubert Danso, Vice Chairman, Africa investor and Chairman of the Sukuma Afrika Judging Panel said, there is now no doubt about the important role the youth and young entrepreneurs must play as the last generation to influence the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. We therefore call on like minded companies and organisations to join us, as we engage Africa’s future business leaders on their contribution to attaining the MDG’s and inspiring young colleagues to do the same.

The 2008 Young Entrepreneurs’ Awards ceremony took place as part the Schwab’s Foundation Africa for Social Entrepreneurs conference held during the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Cape Town, South Africa. The 2009 Awards ceremony will take place during the UN General Assembly in New York.

For more information on the competition, contact Magali Bongrand on +33 6 14 05 34 44, or Sukuma Afrika

More about Sukuma Afrika

Sukuma Afrika (Zulu for “Stand Up”) is a forum to facilitate networking, dialogue, information, mentoring and access to finance for entrepreneurs with projects in Africa that impact the MDGs – the eight UN goals to halve poverty worldwide by 2015.

Sukuma Afrika was established in support of the UN Stand Up Campaign in recognition of the critical role young entrepreneurs and the Diaspora will play in the fight against poverty as the generation that will be responsible for reaching the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
Sukuma Afrika works with young entrepreneurs interested in Africa’s development and achieves this through partnerships with the UNMC, corporate partners and investors committed to supporting the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

2008 winners:

1. Lawrence Tandah from Cameroon (Cultivation of jatropha)
2. John Nanabanyin from Ghana (Vocational training centre)
3. Margaret MacNeilage from Zimbabwe (Simukai Bag manufacturing project)
4. John Aoko Odeyo from Kenya (Moringa Oleifera nutritious supplement)
5. John Njoroge Mucheru from Kenya (Central biogas generation plant)
6. Gamuchirai Chituri from Zimbabwe (Training centre)

About UN Millennium Campaign

End poverty by 2015. This is the historic promise 189 world leaders made at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 when they signed onto the Millennium Declaration and agreed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are an eight-point road map with measurable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. World leaders have agreed to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

It’s up to us to make sure leaders follow through on these commitments. The United Nations Millennium Campaign supports and inspires people from around the world to take action in support of the Millennium Development Goals. Join the UN Millennium Campaign and be part of the generation that puts an end to poverty.

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