The United Nations and Lagos state have challenged the private sector to promote transformation in Africa.
The Punch reported that they gave speeches during the Africa Social Impact Summit 2023, which took place in Lagos on Thursday and had as its topic “Global vision, local action: Repositioning the African development ecosystem for sustainable outcomes.”
The United Nations Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator, Matthias Schmale, stated during the event that the private sector in Africa could be a change catalyst and accelerate its trajectory towards the 2030 target.
“On how we see the private sector contributing in a number of valuable ways, first of all, I encourage those of you leaders, CEOs, and investors to embed sustainability into your decision; making the sustainability of the planet relevant, and align your business practices with the sustainable development goals,” he stated.
He continued by saying that it was necessary to employ more women in order to face the challenges of eradicating poverty, advancing sustainable development, and establishing good governance.
He also said that considerations of what would have the greatest social impact should also drive private sector investment decisions.
Public-private partnerships, he continued, “have the potential to quickly ramp and scale up major development initiatives by leveraging the strength and cognitive capabilities of all sectors, private and public.”
The deputy governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, claimed that the country’s capital city was now Africa’s new digital hub.
According to Hamzat, the event would present solutions to Africa’s problems and hasten the accomplishment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“It is our aim that this event will work to change Africa’s impact solution and hasten the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations,” the speaker stated.
“Therefore, we applaud the organizers’ efforts as well as those of our esteemed partners in the corporate and public sectors and, of course, the international development sector in organizing this summit.
The summit’s co-convener and chief executive officer of the Sterling One Foundation, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, added that it sought to give the private sector opportunities.
According to her, the program would encourage investors to develop and implement market-driven solutions while accelerating impact investment into Africa in support of the SDGs.
Ibekwe claimed that the summit’s main focus would be climate solutions, health education, agriculture, and renewable energy.