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(Right) Edidiong Idang, Social Development Specialist for Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa initiative (ASR Africa), with other participants at a side event at the 67th session of UN Women Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.

$100m fund: Nigeria-based philanthropic institution, ASR, seeks partnership at CSW

Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, Bua Group

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, March 18, 2023

A Nigeria-based, Africa focused philanthropic organisation, Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa initiative (ASR Africa), has solicited the support of individuals and organisations to advance its strategic partnerships in its core areas to enhance growth in Africa.

ASR Africa core thematic areas are in health, education and social development.

ASR Africa, Social Development Specialist, Edidiong Idang made the call at a side event at the 67th session of UN Women Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.

The side event on “New Strategic Partnership towards Gender, Technology and Innovation” was supported by the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the UN.

It was co-hosted by Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa initiative (ASR Africa), Latiwa Development Foundation, Women Power Legacy and B.Lead’Her Network.

Idang, speaking as a panelist in the event, said ASR was set up with an annual pledge of $100 million dollars dedicated to health, education and social development issues within the African continent.

“Our belief is that Africans need to rise to provide solutions to African problems.

“We focus our intervention in Africa and this is expressed mainly on infrastructure development, equipping facilities, capacity building for researchers, healthcare practitioners and community level service providers.

“We also support the efforts of various Governments in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa across our three thematic areas. The Initiative provides both technical and financial resources to partners,’’ she said.

The specialist told the participants that gender issues cut across the three areas of the organisation’s intervention, noting that three things drive and measure the impact of its grants.

“The measure of success for ASR Africa programmes are impact, relevance and sustainability.

“ASR Africa programmes, and partner programmes must be designed to achieve clear outcomes in the quality of the lives and futures of benefitting individuals, institutions and communities.

“We are particular about ensuring women participation in project design and implementation because of the clear evidence of societal development stemming from the multiplier effects of empowered women and sustained value creation within a balanced environmental ecosystem,” she said.

According to her, these are grants offered to African countries with programmes or projects within the key areas of focus for ASR Africa, namely social development, health and education.

Idang said quite a number of grants were available and open to Africans, organisations, governments and countries across the continent, listing them as international grants and state development grants.

Others, according to her, are tertiary health system support grants, tertiary education grants scheme, humanitarian emergency intervention and development partnership.

“The international grants are awards offered to African countries with programmes or projects within the key areas of focus for ASR Africa; for example, we are working with the Government of Ghana on two education projects.

“We are also working with the National Government of Niger; we got a very beautiful concept note from the Government of Niger where it talks about the challenge that girls face, distance in accessing education in their closest communities.

“I’m happy to say that our intervention of over $3 million dollars has helped the government to establish schools across the seven regions of Niger,’’ she said.

In Nigeria, under the state development grants, the specialist said that ASR had supported 36 states in the country, from grant of N2 billion and above.

“We have given grants to 21 tertiary institutions in Nigeria under tertiary education grants scheme.

“Also, under humanitarian emergency interventions, Nigeria has benefited as ASR was one of those organisations in Nigeria who immediately sprang into action putting about N2 billion for intervention for COVID-19,’’ she said.

 

(Left) Tatiana Madi, Founder of Women Power Legacy; Edidiong Idang, Social Development Specialist for Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa initiative (ASR Africa), at a side event at the 67th session of UN Women Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.

Also speaking, Tatiana Madi, Founder of Women Power Legacy, an NGO based in DR Congo, thanked ASR for the collaboration it has enjoyed with the Nigeria-based organisation, seeking for new alliance and partnership with other organisations.

Other panelists and participants from across Africa – including representatives from governments, the UN, civil society as well as activists – who spoke examined how gender equality, empowerment and sustainable development could be achieved in the digital era.

The event, facilitated by Dr Kate Truit, also discussed inclusion of boys (He/She movement) in balancing advocacy against violence and other dangers women and girls face, as well as the need for quality education for girls.

NAN reports that the 67th session of the CSW, which opened on March 6, ended on Friday (March 17) with the Agreed Conclusions document.

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