‘ASIS attracted 8,000 professionals from 60 countries’

‘ASIS attracted 8,000 professionals from 60 countries’

The Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS) has garnered interests from 8,000 development professionals across 60 countries in the last two years, the Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, has disclosed.

Ibekwe said the summit which began in 2022 has served as a platform to galvanize effective partnerships across the public sector, private sector, and the development ecosystem.

She spoke at a press conference, heralding the third edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS 3.0) 2024, hosted by the Sterling One Foundation and the United Nations Nigeria.

This year’s summit with the theme ‘Reimagining Progress: A New Blueprint for Sustainable Growth in Africa,’ holds in Lagos between July 24 and 26.

In her opening remarks, Ibekwe, said “So, the Africa Social Impact Summit has garnered interests from 8,000 development professionals from across the globe. Specifically, over 60 countries have already been part of this convening over the last two years.”

According to her, the ASIS has three major goals: to galvanize effective partnerships across the public sector, private sector, and the development ecosystem; to advocate for policies that will attract investments in major development sectors; and to ensure impactful investments in those sectors.

She said “We are pleased to announce that over 40% of last year’s participants have received various levels of investment.

“One significant example is the MTN Foundation’s investment of over 3 billion Naira to support primary healthcare centers across the country in partnership with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria.”

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Assistant Secretary – General Mohammed highlighted the urgency of the summit’s goals, saying, “We have discovered that we are behind on several indicators, and this comes at a time of numerous global challenges, including economic downturns.

“With only six years left to achieve the 2030 SDG targets, it is time to double our efforts. This gathering is crucial for galvanizing partnerships, as the SDGs are designed in such a way that no single sector or entity can meet these goals alone.

“The theme of this year’s summit, ‘Reimagining Progress: A New Blueprint for Sustainable Growth in Africa,’ resonates deeply with the UN, prompting us to support and partner with the Sterling One Foundation in co-convening ASIS 2024.”

Abubakar Sulieman, MD/CEO of Sterling Bank and member of the Board of Trustees for Sterling One Foundation, expressed confidence in the summit’s collaborative potential.

He said “As I walked into this room, I realized that our collective effort can achieve our goals. The institutions represented here demonstrate that we are well on our way to success. At Sterling Bank, we have always believed in using our trusted position to solve problems by galvanizing partnerships. In the social impact scene, we are many but often weak due to being distributed and disconnected.

“Size matters, and the beauty of what we do at Sterling One Foundation is our willingness to partner, co-convening with the United Nations.”