THE SERAS 2021 SERAS
2021
THE The 15th Africa CSR/
Sustainability Awards
DECADE OF ACTION Driving sustainability
through circularity:
Localizing the SDGs for greater impact
SERAS 2020 AWARD NIGHT SERAS 2020
AWARD NIGHT
THE November 7, 2020 6PM GMT
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The 15th Africa CSR/
Sustainability Awards.

Welcome to The SERAS CSR Awards. The SERAS is an acronym for Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility Awards. The exciting story of The SERAS  began in 2007 when the inaugural edition was first held in Lagos, Nigeria. The first edition took place following Africa’s abysmal showing in the global rankings to achieve the millennium development goals. As global leaders adopted the sustainable development goals (SDGs),  Africa needed to birth a platform capable of inspiring commitment and action from all stakeholders and provide a basis for the measurement of development progress.  To promote the desired behaviors, it also became essential to recognize attained milestones to increase Africa’s chances of meeting  SDGs targets by 2030.

Over the previous editions of the awards, The SERAS, Africa’s first and foremost recognition or accolade for corporate social responsibility and Sustainability, has grown to become the most credible and most glamorous business award in Africa. It has inevitably become the gold-standard award and the most crucial industry ceremony in Africa. The growing importance of The SERAS has led to participation from organizations from 19 countries in Africa so far. continue reading

Having held for the last 15 years, The SERAS CSR Awards has achieved the following:

A platform that has galvanized the CSR/Sustainability industry and encouraged organizations to annually commit to intervening in 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 as a leading promoter of corporate social responsibility and Sustainability in Africa has contributed to boosting the public image and positive perceptions about corporations by promoting best practices emanating from them.

A platform that has helped promote positive perception and narratives about Africa and positioned the continent as a hotbed for development initiatives powered by the corporates and NGOs, despite the many challenges in the business climate.

A platform that has helped accentuate a new value creation whereby market differentiator for brands and organizations is shifting from the various strengths or weaknesses of their market offerings to the differences and social impact on society.

  • "We have found The SERAS CSR Awards Africa fascinating and engaging. Our sister businesses in the United Kingdom get a lot of recognition for the work they do in CSR and Sustainability because many awards recognize the extraordinary job done. We are very excited that there is such a platform in Africa. If you don't notice and reward people for doing good, how do they benchmark against their peers? How do they know that they are even having an impact? How do we even measure our performance? How do all the smaller entities learn if they don't have more prominent and successful entities to hold their hands? Whenever we start anything, we always ask who the best is and who we can take as role models. The SERAS gives all corporate business types, even if they are small, an opportunity to partake in a credible vetting process. Apart from the recognition it provides, it also creates the desire for a corporate organization to be better, does more, and be good.
    "
    — Tanya Dos-Santos, Director of Sustainability/Investec Bank, South Africa
  • "As an organization, we have been part of The SERAS for a couple of years, and this year (2020) is special for us because COVID-19 negatively impacted our world and changed many things. For the first time, Sustainability has become more critical than previously. Our corporate understanding of the importance of Sustainability is what has helped us stay atop our game. It helped open a new vista in innovative solutions because our stakeholders needed us to show up and walk the talk. We look forward to seeing the projects that have made impactful differences being recognized on a global stage and also look forward to joining other sustainability professionals as we listen to the testimonies of the impacts our projects have made on individuals and communities.
    "
    — Amaka Onyemelukwe – Sustainability Director/Coca-Cola, Nigeria
  • "The SERAS over the years has grown and has become a prestigious award. It helps that we understand an independent and credible assessor is watching with all the work we do. Besides the recognition, it has put us on our toes. At IHS Towers, it is always top of our calendar regarding important sustainability dates in the year. We also use it as a benchmark when carrying out our initiative. The awards ceremony is simply world-class. The SERAS indeed is the OSCARS of Sustainability.
    "
    — Cima Sholotan- Sustainability Director/IHS Towers
  • "Sustainability is a concept that is still evolving. The very reputable platform that The SERAS CSR Awards has become has helped Nestle as an organization raise our standards and expose us to best practices amongst our peers and even competition. There is more to what Sustainability is. It is not about charity. It is about creating opportunities.
    "
    — Victoria Uwadoka – Corporate Communications/Public Affairs Manager, West Africa, Nestle
  • "I am thrilled to have made it here from Japan. Our organic farming project is situated in Zambia. It is a project that incorporates the objective to train agricultural engineers and promote food sufficiency and security in Africa. The recognition we got at The SERAS 2019 is our biggest honor yet. Surely, we shall do more. I love the entertainment, the organization. Everything was just world-class! Congrats to The SERAS team.
    "
    — Masahiro Ishihara, Director, Japan-Zambia Bio Farm
  • "The awards ceremony is so grand. The closest to the feeling I got walking into the awards ceremony was the feeling of attending the OSCARS. Everything was so glam, perfect, and on point. I am surely looking forward to being part of this again and again.
    "
    — Fauziya Abdi Ali, Founder/President, Women in International Security (WIIS), Horn of Africa (HOA), Kenya
  • "To be honest, when I was coming here, I did not know what to expect. Right from the moment I arrived from Kenya, everything has been exemplary. Judging my meeting with Ken Egbas and his team at The SERAS headquarters, I have been struck by their love, their simplicity, and their commitment to the work they do. With my experience, coming from Kenya, I can tell you that this sort of work is a thankless one. I think the biggest surprise for me came when I arrived at the venue for the awards ceremony. I have never seen an event so glamorous and so well laid out and put together, with so much class and excellence. Tonight, I am very proud to be African. I will return home and encourage other organizations to take part. Hopefully, we can get Kenya to host an edition of The SERAS someday soon.
    "
    — Professor Ezekiel Okemwa, Chairman, CANOPS for Africa, Kenya
  • "I am very pleased with what I have seen and experienced at The SERAS. This is a perfect model for Africa. This is a journey that has begun well. But we must go deeper in helping organizations to fulfill their roles in society. I am also delighted to have part of the jury process. I am sure as we go along, various aspects will even improve further. I have traveled around the world and worked virtually on every continent, and in these continents, I have been within the thick of the most major countries involved in CSR and Sustainability; the SERAS rates extremely high for me.
    "
    — Indira Kartallozi, Founder/ Director, Chrysalis Family Futures
  • "I am delighted about what I have seen about The SERAS. My team members also gave an excellent report. This is a very potent export coming out of Nigeria. I am also impressed with the identities of the personalities I see behind the awards. It can only grow bigger surely. Well done!.
    "
    — Nolan O’Neal – Chairman/ Managing Director, ExxonMobil Nigeria Upstream Companies

The
2021
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

Driving Sustainability through Circularity

Localising the SDGs for Greater Impact.

Rationale:

Adaptability, resilience, and Sustainability are necessary for all living things to survive and thrive. Humans have done the same through thought reprocessing, resulting in paradigm shifts. There was a time the world in unison agreed that the world was flat. It was science that powered the mind change for humanity, leading to new planets, distant galaxies, aeronautical industry, and others. Most view current challenges as impossible with our current business model of natural destruction and control, so did we once see the thought of landing a man on the moon.

Understanding and adopting circularity and working in synchrony with nature is one that we have been slow to accepting as self-interest, self-preservation presides over lands, government, and economies. The thought of Sustainability itself is suggestive of finite resources, and this promotes self-survival behaviours. If only we all viewed resources as limited, perhaps this paradigm could speedily and willingly shift. In 2020, like the rest of the world, Africa was stung and economically and socially paralysed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s scourge fully exposed the systemic malaise that has bedevilled the health sector across Africa, many attributable to the political leadership class’s failure. Once the political leaders and affluent of the African societies could no longer jet off to their patronised medical facilities in Europe and America due to international travel restrictions, they all turned all their energies and attention into ensuring that local hospitals were provided the basic amenities that were required for optimal functionality. Otherwise, they could become victims themselves. continue reading

Award
Categories

Meet The
2021 Judges

Lampe Omoyele
Managing Director at Nitro 121

Charles Ojei
Partner and CEO of HYBR

Gina Din-Kariuki
Founder and Executive Chair of the Gina Din Group (GDG)

Maria Sillanpaa
Internationally Recognized Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Leader

Nyasha Gwatidzo
Over Three Decades of Working in Social Enterprise

Amjed Achour
Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Communication and Public Relations Expert

Paul Kapelus
Director of Synergy Global Consulting

Ellen Gunning
Founding Director Of The PR Training Academy

Scott Walker
Over Twenty (20) Years Global Consulting Experience

Adesuwa Onyenokwe
Broadcaster

Indira Kartallozi
Director at Kaleidoscope Futures, Founder of Sustainability Leadership Kosova

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 friendship to another. The SERAS figurine 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 constant thing 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 hand’s 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 tiny 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 humanity and the universe. It is a common saying that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness; Light illuminates what is good and right about us all and banishes our ills, not just today, but forever.

***The prestigious SERAS figurine is made by R.S. Owens – Makers of the renowned OSCARS and Golden Globe Statuettes.

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Participants