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ABOUT
THE SERAS

The Vision

To remain the gold-standard recognition in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability in Africa.

The Mission

To lead the drive towards the actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa by enabling a platform that promotes, measures, and harmonizes the contributions of private sector, government/public sector, and non-governmental organisations to attain set targets.

Purpose
of the Awards

PRESIDENT OF THE JUDGES COMMITTEE

Deborah Leipziger

Deborah advises companies, governments, and UN agencies on corporate social responsibility issues. She is the author of The Corporate Social Responsibility CodeBook and SA8000: The Definitive Guide to the New Social Standard, amongst many other books and publications. Her books have been translated into Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean. She has also served on the board of a number of organisations including Aviva investor’s advisory committee on socially responsible investment, and is a member of the international board, Instituto Ethos, Brazil.

Ms. Leipziger has worked in the field of corporate social responsibility in the UK, USA, and The Netherlands. She is also a Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at the Lewis Institute at Babson.

She serves as adjunct faculty at the Simmons School of Management, and for four years has been a lecturer at the Bard MBA in Sustainability program. She is a professor at Hult International School, and serves on the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Corporate Citizenship.

She heads a team of eight judges panel at The SERAS CSR Awards Africa. 2020 makes it third tenure of 2 years after her co-panelist voted for her to retain her position.

AWARDS DIRECTOR

Mary Ephraim

She became the awards ceremony director in 2013. Her first task was to see to the actualization of evolving The SERAS into a Pan Africa brand. A feat that was achieved in 2016. She has spent the last decade working in marketing, development communications, and sustainability. She has designed and curated several big budget events for a coterie of clients. Some notables include – The Calabar Carnival, Africa’s Biggest Street Party amongst other A-listers. She is executive director at TruCSR, also a founding member of Women In Sustainability, Nigeria.

CHAIRMAN, LOC

Gregory Amaihwe

Greg has been the thrust behind organizing the team that delivers the awards process annually since 2016. He spent a decade and half in the oil and gas sector as General Manager of one of the worlds leading energy producer. He lives and breathes sustainability, and desires to see The SERAS as an ancillary to driving sustainable development all over Africa, and banishing poverty, inequality, and social inequity forever. He is based in Canada.

I consider The SERAS- CSR Awards to be one of the best things to have happened to corporate social responsibility and sustainability movement in Nigeria. The Social Enterprise Report which is a publication that comes out of the awards happens to rate amongst the very best I have seen not just in Nigeria or Africa, but also around the world. I am full of praise for Ken Egbas and team for a job well done. You guys have surely put Nigeria firmly on the global sustainability map with what you do. Best of luck in the future

Mr. Keith Richards

Chairman and Former Managing Director, Promasidor

This is a very good program. I have been won over by the great depth of thought involved in the process. I am sure that in the next few years, this awards would be something that the world would reckon with, as long as the brains behind it sticking with the vision and keep trying to expand its boundaries. Nigeria has so much to share with the rest of Africa, this has always been my view. Keep it up

Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi

Former Managing Director, Fidelity Bank

I am very delighted about what I have seen about The SERAS. My team members also gave a very good 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

I am very pleased with what I have seen and experienced at The SERAS. I love the effort at verifying everything sent in. This is a really good model for Africa. This is a journey that has begun well. But we must go deeper in helping organizations to fulfil their roles in society. I am also very glad to have part of the jury process. I am sure as we go along, various aspects will even improve further. I have travelled around the world, and worked virtually on every continent and in these continents, I have been within the thick of the most prominent countries involved in CSR and Sustainability, The SERAS rates extremely high for me

Indira Kartallozi

Founder/Director Chrysalis Family Futures and member, The SERAS Jury

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. From my meeting with Ken Egbas and his team at The SERAS headquarters, I have been really struck by their love, their simplicity, and 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 the venue for the awards ceremony. I have never seen an event so glamorous…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 organisations to take part in. Hopefully, we can get Kenya to host an edition of The SERAS someday soon

Professor Ezekiel Okemwa

Chairman, CANOPS for Africa, Kenya

The awards ceremony is so grand. The closest to the feeling I got walking into the awards ceremony was a 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

I am very happy to have made it here all the way 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 honour yet. Surely we shall do more. I truly enjoyed the ceremony. I love the entertainment, the setting, the organization… everything was just world-class! Congrats to The SERAS team.

Masahiro Ishikara

Japan Bio Farm

HISTORY
OF THE SERAS

We live in a global, information age, where nothing can remain hidden for long. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated, more critical and more demanding of corporate organizations. They choose to make their purchases from firms that are perceived to be more consumer-friendly and cconsumer focused; firms that show that they care about equity, equality, fairness, and justice in society. Nowadays, even children question the veracity of claims made in advertorials disseminated via the mass media communications and messaging by organisations which depended solely on the ‘wow-factor’. In those times, organisations were seen as abstracts. All that has changed. Consumers and other stakeholders, due to the emotive connection with brands, see them more like human beings, and connect to them as such, and base their support, disdain, acceptance, or rejection based on these emotions trigger by how they feel about the brands or organisations based how these brands and organisations deal with issues that matter to them, be they poverty reduction, women empowerment, infrastructure development, education, environment etc.

We foresaw these future trends that would change the face of corporate and marketing communications years ago as we planned to establish a strategic, research, customer-focused and responsive public relations, stakeholder engagement and marketing communications intervention.

Corporate/public engagement as a phenomenon had evolved a lot, and through the various ages of greed, philanthropy, marketing, management, and had now arrive at a new dawn otherwise known as the age of responsibility, would serve as a key market differentiator for another fifty years or even more.

Though Public Relations as a discipline has become better known, accepted and practiced in Nigeria, we still find a lot of companies limiting the impact of their business activities because they would not allow themselves, time to explore and enjoy the bountiful and longer-term rewards that CSR and Sustainability can bring to their business and bottom line. We really had our work cut out. What strategies would increase public awareness about CSR as a legitimate discipline and a sprouting shoot with the capacity to grow into a forest of oak trees?

The first idea we had was to publish a biennial or quarterly online journal or magazine that would explore the depth, texture and dimensions of CSR in Nigeria. This sounded really good at the onset but as we further deliberated on this, digging deeper into the advantages and disadvantages, we realized that this type of publication would largely appeal to those in corporate practice. What strategies would be all-inclusive, we pondered? What strategies would enable us involve the people, communities, NGOs, government and other stakeholders? We went back to the drawing board. Here, we would need to acknowledge the impact of friends of TruCSR who brainstormed with us looking for that functional idea. When we emerged from this round of brainstorming, it was obvious that we would need to expand the concept beyond just publishing an online report. This marked the birth of The SERAS as we know it today - where participating organizations showcase their work around corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability to society and society in turn assesses and rates the performance of participating organisations. Thus, both corporate organizations and stakeholders together set the agenda and plot the way forward for mutually beneficial future encounters.

Though the actual ceremony takes place for about four hours on a single night, the countdown to the D-day spans many 9-months of activities and preparation. The highlights of these activities include the call for entry; submission of entries by participating organizations; the field trips to cited CSR projects; voting by the general public; and the meetings of the judges who make the final decisions regarding recipients of the prestigious SERAS statuettes.

The report component now fits in nicely as a way to draw public attention to Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility practice in Nigeria in a format that firms and their stakeholders can access long after the awards cycle ends. The report also provides the platform for documenting the best practices encountered annually during our field trips around Nigeria, and the rest of Africa, to capture the very essence of corporate interventions in communities – stakeholder engagements. In as far as these engagements enrich and improve the lives and wellbeing of the peoples of Africa and simultaneously impact on the bottom-line of organizations perceived as good and responsible corporate citizens, then our job is done.

The first edition of The SERAS held in 19th July 2007. The awards was first known as The Nigeria CSR Awards from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, it became known as SERA Awards. At the end of the 2011 cycle, we began to receive increasing number of enquiries from organisations from other countries such as Ghana, Cote d’voire, Kenya, and South Africa, on how they could become part of the annual awards. The awards became open to the rest of Africa from the 2016 cycle which marked the 10th anniversary of the awards, and was renamed The SERAS CSR Awards Africa. To date, it has attracted participation from 19 African countries, and is today the prime CSR and sustainability recognition in Africa.

PAST WINNERS

Overall Best Company Winners over the Years.

List of Winners by Year

  • Best Company in Poverty Eradication

    Nigeria LNG

    The Youth Empowerment Scheme

  • Best Company in Hunger and Food Security

    Dangote Rice Limited

    Dangote Rice Out-Grower Scheme

  • Best Company in provision of Good Health and Well-Being

    Zenith Bank

    War against cancer initiatives

  • Best Company in Education

    Nigeria Bottling Company

    Youth Empowered Nigeria

  • Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality & Women Empowerment

    Unilever

    The Shakti Empowerment Program

  • Best Company in Provision of Water & Sanitation

    Nestle

    The community water project

  • Best Company in Clean & Affordable Energy

    nternational Breweries

    Alternate Energy

  • Best Company in Infrastructure Development

    Chevron

    Social Education Intervention

  • Best Company in Partnership for Development

    Access Bank

    Global Sustainable Banking Principle

  • Best Company in Climate Action

    Access Bank

    Green Bond

  • Best Company in Environmental Excellence

    Union Bank

    Contain Architecture

  • Best Workplace Practice

    IHSTowers

    -

  • Best Company in Stakeholder’s Engagement

    Coco-Cola

    The Safe Birth Initiatives

  • Best Company in Supply Chain Management

    Dangote Cement

    -

  • Not-For-Profit of the Year

    ACT Foundation

    -

  • The SERAS Social Enterprise Award

    Dangote Rice Limited

    Rice Outgrowers’ Scheme

  • Best Corporate Communications Team

    Access Bank

    -

  • Best Company in Sustainability Reporting

    Access Bank

    -

  • Best Company in CSR Reporting: Media (Television, Print, Radio, On-line)

    Channels TV

    -

  • The SERAS Innovation Prize

    Union Bank

    Contain Architecture

  • CSR/Sustainability Practitioner of the Year

    Olumide Orojimi

    -

  • CEO of the Year

    Mr. Segun Ogunsanya

    -

  • Best Company in Story Telling for Driving Sustainability

    Airtel Nigeria

    -

  • Best New Entry

    Flour Mills of Nigeria

    -

  • Best Company in Poverty Eradication

    Nigeria LNG

    Youth Empowerment Scheme

  • Best Company in Eradication of Hunger & Food Security

    Dangote Rice

    Rice out-growers’ scheme

  • Best Company in Promotion Of Good Health & Well-Being

    CocaCola

    The Safe Birth Initiatives

  • Best Company in Poverty Eradication

    Lafarge

    The Lafarge National Literacy Competition

  • Best Company in Promotion Of Gender Equality & Women Empowerment

    Access Bank

    Beta Mama, Beta Pikin

  • Best Company in Provision Of Water & Sanitation

    Nigeria LNG

    Bonny water projec

  • Best Company in Provision Of Clean & Affordable Energy

    Lafarge

    Geocycle – Alternate energy project

  • Best Company in Infrastructure Development

    Chevron

    Agbami Chest Clinic

  • Best Company in Climate Action

    Shell

    De-Rabacon plastic project

  • Best Company in Partnership for Development

    Access Bank

    Partnership with ACT Foundation

  • Best Corporate Communication Team

    Access Bank

    -

  • Best Company in Sustainability Reporting

    Zenith Bank

    For its 2017 sustainability report, titled “Sustaining the strong momentum”

  • Best Company in Environmental Excellence

    Channels TV

    Reduction in Carbon Emission

  • Best Work Place Practices

    iSON BPO

    -

  • Best Company in Supply Chain Management

    Dangote Cement

    Sustainable Supply Chain

  • Best Company in stakeholder Engagement

    Nestle

    Quarterly Media Engagements/Parleys; Annual Stakeholder Convening

  • Not-for-Profit of the year

    ACT Foundation

    The ACT Foundation Grant

  • SERAS Innovation Prize

    Ikeja Electric

    The Power Play board game

  • CSR/Sustainability Practitioner of the year

    Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan

    Temitope Oguntokun / Seyi Dare (runner up)

  • Best Company in Support of SME

    FCMB

    -

  • CEO of the year

    Herbert Wigwe, MD

    Access Bank

  • Most Socially Responsible Company/ Overall Winner

    Access Bank

    Lafarge / Nigeria LNG (runner up)