It is that time of the year again when we at ONE Africa celebrate African-led efforts towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2016 ONE Africa Award comes when we are mapping new roads to ensure a better world for all by 2030 through the SDGs. It is also happening at a critical time when we have seen numerous challenges across the globe from famine, civil unrest, and rising income inequality. Our continent carries a dispropriate share of these challenges. If not checked through bold and innovative actions, these challenges will thwart the ambitions to consign extreme poverty to the history books.
This year, ONE visited Dadaab, one of the largest refugee settlements in Kenya and Africa. There we were reminded how extreme poverty and deprivation looks like on a day to day basis. We also traveled to Borno State in Nigeria, where the impact of instability has had a grave impact on human existence and well-being. These examples make us and many others even more determined to push our mission to challenge the structures that create and maintain extreme poverty and disease on our continent. We want an Africa with more opportunities for everyone to thrive and fewer Dadaab-like conditions.
Amid all these challenges, the ray of hope comes through the various organizations who have been working on the front lines to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable citizens. Through our Make Naija Stronger health campaign in Nigeria, we have had the honor of working with various Nigerian driven grassroots organizations and individuals who have been pushing for health reform. These organizations, along with ONE, have been asking the Nigerian government to invest more in the health sector so that the millions of women and children who die from preventable diseases across the country can be saved. Our focus on Nigeria was driven by the fact that it is the most populous country in Africa, with a very entrepreneurial population and yet has the worst health indicators in the world. Our call to the Nigerian government is clear; enough women have died during childbirth – the death of 150 women a day is unacceptable; under their leadership mother to child transmission of HIV must be a thing of the past and numbers of children infected with the virus every day need to be stemmed.
We know that organizations across Nigeria and Africa are playing their part amidst tough political and financial environments to end diseases and fight poverty. I am therefore delighted to have the privilege to invite applications from civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and other groups based in Africa that can demonstrate innovation, commitment and success in their advocacy efforts to achieve SDGs. We are again seeking the best and greatest to apply for the 2016 ONE Africa Award. As we are constantly looking for game changers, please share this notice with any organizations you know that are doing amazing work right now in the fight to end extreme poverty.
We at ONE are looking forward to reviewing this year’s submissions!