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Welcome to the 14th edition of The SERAS CSR Awards.

The SERAS is an acronym for Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Responsibility Awards. The Story of The SERAS began in 2007 when the very first edition held at Lagos, Nigeria. The first outing took place against the background of Africa’s very poor showing in the global rankings in the achievement of the millennium development goals.

As the world transited to the sustainable development goals, it became pertinent to have a platform that serves not just as a bounce board, but also one that possessed the enablement to inspire innovative action and commitment from all key players, be they private sector, public sector, non-governmental organisations, as well as governments, and also provide a yardstick for the measurement of progress and recognition for those who attained notable milestones in the efforts to ensure that Africa meets the 17 sustainable development targets.

Over the previous editions of the awards, The SERAS, which is Africa’s first and foremost recognition or accolade for corporate social responsibility and sustainability, has grown to become the most credible, the biggest, and most glamorous business award on the continent of Africa. It has therefore inevitably become the gold standard award for CSR and sustainability on the continent of Africa, having drawn participation from 19 countries from around the continent so far.

In the last 13 years, the awards have attracted over 1242 entries from over 300 organisations. The thorough awards process that ensures physical verification and documentation of projects entered via site photography, videos, and interviews of various stakeholders (the only awards platform of its kind in the world with such depths in its fact-finding process), has visited over 5000 project locations around Africa. Over the same period, there has been 240 competitive awards winners, 20 honorary award winners, five sustainability champions and 13 overall winners of the most coveted award of The Most Responsible Business in Africa. Within the period under review, we had over 25,000 key players, industry and policy leaders and influencers. Our work over the years has also made us custodians of data around activities of the most active organisations in CSR and sustainability in Africa, be they large, medium or small scale, as well as the not-for-profits.

Our measurement metrics are built around the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and ISO 2600, which has helped to boost confidence in our processes and the credibility of the awards considering that we have an international panel of judges drawn from around the world who have played leading roles in the evolution of CSR and sustainability in the world.

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For nearly a decade and half, The SERAS CSR Awards has achieved the following:

A platform that has galvanized the CSR/Sustainability industry, and encouraged organisations to annually commit to intervening in areas of health, education, infrastructure, poverty reduction and all the other areas of the SDGs to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

A platform that has encouraged greater participation and imbibing of the ethos of responsible business practices in Africa by all players and stakeholders, and annually bringing new players into the fray.

A platform that has become recognized around the world as a leading promoter of corporate social responsibility and sustainability in Nigeria and Africa, and has contributed to the boosting of public image and positive perceptions about corporations through the promotion of best practices emanating from them.

A platform that has helped to positively influence the perception and narratives about Africa and positioned the continent as a hotbed for development initiatives powered by the corporates and NGOs, in spite of the many challenges in the business climate.

A platform that has help in accentuating a new value creation whereby market differentiator for brands and organisations is shifting from the various strengths or weaknesses of their market offerings to the differences and social impact they make on society.

THE 2020 THEME

Only partnerships can drive the inclusive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. They have the strong potential to unlock progress across multiple SDGs, acting as the connective tissues that can ensure an integrated and holistic approach to sustainable development. All stakeholders, big or small, are development actors, and have the power to transform the world collectively

Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations

DEC ADE OF ACTION

Accelerating Sustainable Development in Africa Through Collaborations.

Every single edition of The SERAS since 2007 has seen us select a thematic focus indicative of the state of play in the CSR and sustainability industry in Africa. Each subsequent year, has seen us select theme that serve as a continuation from the previous year, thereby creating measurable growth patterns for both organisations and the industry in general. This has also enabled us keep all noses pointed in a singular direction and causing a uniform growth across sectors in the economies on the continent.

Over the years we have seen individual organisations do excellently in terms of committal of huge budgets to CSR and Sustainability, matched with passion, and the desire to make differences in their areas of intervention. However, this has not yielded much. Which is why the 2020 theme focuses on progress organisations make by working with others across The 17 SDGs. Working together is that only way to accelerate sustainable development, thus making the impacts of interventions far-reaching and more meaningful.

ABOUT
THE SERAS
STATUETTE.

We have a figure, it could be a man, woman, adult or child, or an organization in a position of advantage that extends a hand of riendship to another. In fact, the figure bends over double to assist that person who for the moment is down there- who needs help or leverage. However, as we are all aware, in life, the only thing that is constant is change.

The one who is down today, may indeed have the advantage tomorrow. As the figure bends over the double, to make a difference, to make an impact. To reach out and touch somebody’s hands, to make this world a better place…the muscles and backbone stretch, the helper can feel a twitch of discomfort as the finger stretch to make with the other.

And as the hands touch, the eyes connect… for the moment in time, a bond is forged, a connection made… a life saved, enriched and a warm golden blow to hope and love engulfs both parties both the giver and given… hope, love, faith is rekindled. For that infinitesimal moment in time as the figures touch… there is a burst of hope and the weary earth rejoices.

The figure represents LIGHT … light to show the way to a better and brighter future for mankind and the universe. It is said that, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness; Light that illuminates what is good and right about us all… and banishes our ills not just today… but forever.

The prestigious SERAS statuette is produced by R.S. Owens – Makers of the renowned OSCARS and Golden Globe Statuettes.