On the opening day of the United Nations Global Assembly, the Private Sector Summit kicked off with a focus on the role of business in advancing sustainable development to prevent global instability.
Speaking at the forum with the theme: ‘Securing the Way Forward,’ the Group Chief Executive of Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, emphasised that education, innovation, and good governance are key facets to sustainable long term socio-economic growth.
“Education remains the most powerful empowerment tool within a community. Through our Foundation we are addressing the issues of access and improving the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in primary schools, with a focus on the girl child. This has led to infrastructure projects primed to impact over 75,000 children nationwide, scholarship programmes aimed at enhancing over 9,700 lives, ICT centres geared towards over 170,000 direct beneficiaries, and teacher training programmes designed to support the lives of over 1.2 million pupils. In line with the SDGs these efforts have addressed goals of quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation and partnerships. However we have much more to do, our hope is that alongside the Government and partners we will create a sustainable and equitable educational system to ensure the empowerment of every child.”
Other speakers included the CEO of IKEA Switzerland, Simona Scarpaleggia; President and CEO, Save the Children, Carolyn Miles; SDG Advocate, Richard Curtis; Screen Writer, Producer and Film Director; Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA; and Kaan Terzioglu, CEO Turkcell.
Tinubu is part of a high profile list of attendees from the Nigerian public and private sectors including President Muhammadu Buhari, First Lady, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari; Aliko Dangote, President and CEO, Dangote Group; and Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank Chairman.
“Increased indigenous participation in varying projects across sectors is accompanied by greater accountability by all of us to ensure Africa fulfills its enormous potential. My commitment to help fulfil the SDGs is unwavering.
Tinubu also addressed African corporates’ dedication towards effectiveness, accountability and transparency—key SDG pillars for building a responsible organization focused on good corporate governance.
Attendees at this year’s UN Global Assembly included top government officials, private sector leaders, UNICEF ambassadors, and humanitarians including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon; Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the UNGA; President Barack Obama of the United States of America; and for the first time, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party, Theresa May.