Lafarge Webinar Series: Stakeholders Call for Tech Leverage and Education To Achieve SDGs

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Thursday, August 27, 2020 / 3:31 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong  for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV

 

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Stakeholders at the second discourse of the 2020 Lafarge Sustainability Series called for increased collaboration amongst public and private sector operators while urging improvement in technology adoption and increased investment in education to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

 

This was the major takeaway and call to action at the forum that discussed "Co-Creating Value Through Best Practices"  hosted on a Zoom video conferencing platform.

 

Giving his opening remarks the CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Khaled El-Dokani, described the webinar series as an attestation to the company's value for a sustainable environment.

 

In driving the SDGs El-Dokani said Lafarge Africa in Nigeria had focused its investments in the areas of;

  • Education
  • Health & Safety
  • Infrastructure (Less CO2 emissions. Green-based activities)
  • Waste Management (50%  alternative fuels adoption for its cement plants)

 

The CEO called for concerted efforts at the commercialization of sustainable development and the adoption of a structured level of cooperation to achieve SDG targets.

 

Sandra Ojiambo, the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, UNGC  said since the year 2000 the organization had focused on sustainable development and gender equality.

 

She described 2020 to 2030 as a decade of action for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. SDGs which is very critical for Africa.

 

Speaking further she said, "If the COVID-19 recovery process is done properly and guided by SDGs, it could put the globe on the path of inclusive growth post-pandemic".

 

The ED of the UNGC also stressed the need for strategic partnerships between the government, private sector and philanthropic organizations based on trust and a win-win playbook.

 

Former Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is a United Nations SDG advocate in his remarks at the webinar decried the fact that Nigeria is the poverty capital in the globe.

 

According to him, African countries had pre-existing economic conditions before the global COVID 19 pandemic disrupted the global supply chain and socio-economic activities.

 

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He noted that the non-implementation of the SDG components is having its adverse impact on Nigeria's economy especially human capital development.

 

Sanusi used the forum to re-emphasize the need for education and nutrition to be given top priority in the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.

 

Speaking on behalf of the Federal Minister for Education Alhaji Adamu Adamu through his Technical Adviser,  Mr. Mahmoud Mohammed asserted that technology is key to transforming Nigeria's education sector in alignment with the SDG goals.

 

He admitted that data collation and management will be critical to executing key programmes and plans like the Homegrown school feeding initiative, addressing the rising tide of out of school children in the country and provision of better education services.

 

The Technical Adviser called for a robust public-private partnership (PPP) model to boost funding for the education sector in Nigeria.

 

On her part, Magali Anderson, the Chief Sustainability Officer, Lafarge Holcim also alluded to the position of other panellists at the webinar that collaboration along activity value-chains was key to achieving the SDGs.

 

She described the Lafarge Holcim Global operations and approach to waste management as a learning point for organizations that are seeking to drive sustainability in their activities.

 

According to her Lafarge has delivered on 14 out of the 17 of the SDGs as a Group and remains committed to sustainable development.

 

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