Reaching Millions with Impact Book Launch


By Ndidi Nwuneli 

On the 4th of October 2016, at the Ford Foundation office in Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria, Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, founder of Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa, co-founder of AACE Foods and Sahel Capital, launched her book “Reaching Millions with Impact.” The book serves as a guide to achieving impact on a larger scale in order to better address the major challenges posed by rapid population growth to areas such as food provision, healthcare, housing, energy, sanitation and education.

Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, Representative, Ford Foundation Office of West Africa, during his opening remarks, highlighted the need for every organization to factor in their vision for scale and impact from inception.   Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, the Honorable Commissioner – Commerce & Industry in Ogun State, the keynote speaker provided insights into the State’s efforts to create an enabling environment for companies to scale. During his speech, he emphasised that organisations must engage the people in their communities in order to achieve impact that is direct and sustainable and stressed the necessity of social innovation to solve pressing problems.

Following the keynote speech, Mrs. Nwuneli moderated a panel discussion with some of Nigeria’s leading social innovators who are scaling high impact interventions. The panelists included Dr. Uwem Esiet, co-Founder of Action Health Incorporated, Ms. Adesuwa Ifedi of the Bridge International Academies, Mr. Otto Orondam, Founder of Slum2School, and Mr. Gbenga Sesan, the Founder of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN).  Mr. Sesan noted the need to manage growth, tailor services to meet unique needs across different locations, utilize appropriate technology and institute effective systems and structures to ensure that quality is not sacrificed with growth. Ms. Adesuwa Ifedi, highlighted the misconception that the poor cannot pay for products or services. She emphasized the important role that research and community engagement plays in developing innovative pricing strategies to meet the needs of low-income populations. Mr. Orondam stressed the need to engage volunteers, describing Slum2School’s 5,000 volunteers as its biggest asset. Finally, Dr. Essiet underscored the importance of identifying champions in the government and the critical role of partnerships between public, private and nonprofit organization to achieve large scale impact.

The book reviewer, Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu, lecturer at the Lagos Business School commended the book as an important contribution to Nigeria and Africa. According to her – “often lecturer’s struggle to find pieces which are locally relevant, that tell the stories of all the exciting social innovations happening on ground, but this book is a legacy to our children: the stories of these great African social innovators inspire, inform and demonstrate what is possible.”

“Reaching Millions with Impact,” also titled – “Social Innovation in Africa: A practical guide for scaling impact” for its international version released by Routledge in the UK has received rave reviews by professors and thought leaders at Harvard, Oxford, and the Brookings Institute.

According to Professor Calestous Juma of the Harvard Kennedy School, this is “An excellent handbook both for the perplexed and the curious… as practical as it is inspirational.” “Reaching Millions with Impact” is available for sale at LEAP Africa, Latarna Bookshop in Lagos Nigeria and on in the UK and USA. All the proceeds from the book are being allocated to the creation of the Okonkwo Iwella STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in Awka, Anambra State.

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Ebere Wabara, 08055001948


Gov. Lalong’s Faux Pas


AILY SUN of September 26 welcomes us this weekend with a few improprieties commencing from a full-page advertorial: “With a heart of felicitation and love, I wish to congratulate (I congratulate) my husband…over (on/upon) his merited doctorate award.”

“Your diligent nature and tenacity of purpose has (have) singled you out for recognition.”

“…but you have shown the world that good things comes (why?) to those who work for it (them).”

“NPFL title: Imama leads Rangers to promise land (sic)” Sports journalists: (the) Promised Land (take note of the capitalization)

THISDAY of September 17 circulated copious blunders beginning from the front page: “In spite of the current division amongst (among) members of the terrorist group….” ‘Amidst’, ‘amongst’, ‘whilst’, ‘join together’, ‘log of wood’, ‘heavy downpour’ (the list is endless!)…belong to ‘old school’!

“His present command and control (command-and-control) tactics must end.”

“…argues that ‘foreign terrorists’ are being treated with kid’s gloves.” Get it right: kid gloves

“I am sure those of them that participated in both competitions will tow (toe) the line of reasoning.”

“IGC sets (set) for 2016 Corporate Challenge Cup”

From THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER we move over to DAILY SUN of September 19 also starting from the front page: “Biafra asks Igbo to switch-off (switch off) phones….” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.

“…while incidences of diseases and death (deaths) have worsened.” Please note that even as ‘incidence’ is countable, it is usually singular.

“Lagos is a vibrant city with enormous potentials.” Either ‘potentialities’ or just ‘potential’ (without any inflection)

The next set of solecisms is from a full-page congratulatory advertorial signed by the Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, Executive Governor, Plateau State, as published by DAILY SUN under review: “Celebrating one of Plateau’s quintessential legal luminary (luminaries)!”

“Your several (many) years of practice and public service as commissioner…for about nine years has (have) no doubt….” Preferably ‘many’

“I am no doubt confident that Plateau State, the National Assembly where you now serve as a (an) honourable member….”

Let us welcome SATURDAY TELEGRAPH to this column. Its September 24 edition committed a few infractions: “Ashes to beauty (Ashes-to-beauty) story of the camera”

“…brings to the fore issues concerning some non-governmental organizations set up under the pretext of helping the needy but turn out to be scams”

“If a guy likes me and he’s going online to check for my status….” Delete ‘for’ because it is redundant

“FG seeks China (Chinese) cooperation to tackle piracy in entertainment industry”

“Strenghtening (Strengthening) commitment”, but straightening

Last entry from the back page of SATURDAY Telegraph under focus: “He is a bogeyman who pushes, shoves, pulls, elbows and even scratch (scratches) players on the face….”

“CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” Phrasal verb: clamp down (two words).

“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” This way: leader par excellence.

“New trends in electioneering campaigns” Just electioneering or political campaigns ‘Electioneering campaign’ is sheer verbiage! ‘Electioneering’ encompasses campaign and other related electoral issues.

“Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: ‘damage‘ is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.

“With the launching (launch preferably) of the poverty alleviation (a hyphen) programme by the Federal Government, not a few Nigerians desire to see it effectively in place. “

“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.” This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: summonses.

“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” ‘Riff-raff’ is uncountable.

“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed idiom), irrespective of the number of people involved.

“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….”  ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable.

“More overaged players for youth soccer“ Get it right: overage players.

“Residents of some of the troubled spots in Libya in disarray” Witness to lexical mayhem: trouble spots.

“…rummaging all the bags and ransacking every nook and corner.” Stock expression: nook and cranny.

“The police requires (require) a redeemer who can uplift the Force from the battering it (they) suffered during the long years of militarization.”

“I inquired from those that appear to know and they said that the president is (was) roaming the country in the name of campaigns.”

“There is (are) no electricity, no security, no water, no roads, no health facilities in Nigeria.”

“Foreign companies will be falling over themselves (one another) to come and invest here if we get the 2019 elections right.”

“…given the lame-duck posture of the opposition parties, the APC simply held sway from the onset (outset).”

 “Reactions on (to) the Pope’s visit, however successful, were mixed in Egypt, a country inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population.”

“Prior to the Pope’s visit, Egyptian Catholics have (had) opted out of the….”

“The first part was published last week Friday.” Monday politics: either last Friday or Friday, last week.

“Vigilante (vigilance) groups, committed to the enforcement of the by-law, are being set up.”  “Some of these areas include producing enough food to feed our teaming (teeming) population.”

 “Rather, the money, including the N200 million per state released for special purposes, was diverted to other uses.”  We certainly do not need the last three words in the extract, having been taken care of by ‘diversion’.

“Unless the detonating mechanism of extremist religious chauvinism is diffused” Get it right: defused (not diffused).

“They have decided to sheath their machetes and seek vengeance no more. “ Noun: sheath; verb: sheathe.

“The sources of revenue in a city like Lagos are very important.” Still on errors of attraction (more below): sources… are.

“…business downturn resulting to (in) drive-wandering.”

“…the rapaciousness of project contractors increase (increases) the country’s debt burden.”

“Senior civil servants’ union berate junior counterparts” Inside business: union berates.

“It’s the poet feared most, knowing fully (full) well that one of the….”

“The agitated crowd, who had been whipped to hysteria, demanded for his head.…” To avoid mayhem, delete ‘for’, from the extract.

”…and which provides a noble and humanistic framework for relations between the state and citizens in (on) our continent.”

“But in the welter of these realignment of forces…” Re-thinking development: this realignment of forces.

“The fear along the room and corridor (corridors) of power of a sovereign national conference.…”

“It is not in doubt that most of the commuters in the luxurious (luxury) buses that ply.…”

“…Aba traders constitute a large proportion of the passengers on commercial aircrafts (aircraft) that fly….”

“Major reorganization of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which may lead to mass retirement and sack of its men and officers, now looms.” Get it right: a major reorganization or major reorganizations, as context demands.

“One of the most outrageous abuses occured…” Spelling in the lurch: occur, occurrence, occurred.

“I do not buy the argument that the advent of electronic mails and network computers have rendered postal services obsolete.” Not yet time for structural proximity: the advent of electronic mails and network computers has (not have).

“In doing this, however, he must be faithful to the mandate of the ECOWAS Heads of Government under whose platform he operates.” Agenda: on (not under) whose platform he operates.