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Thought leaders to mobilise finance for SDGs at 2023 Sustainability Table Discourse Series

Photo: X.Com

*Organisers of the 2023 Sustainability Table Discourse Series say several thought leaders and high-profile speakers, including Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Kwara First Lady, Dr. Abdul Razaq, IHS Nigeria CEO Mohamad Darwish, snd others are set to converge on Lagos to address the urgency of Sustainable Development Goals investments in the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the global world grapples with critical environmental challenges, climate change, and sustainability, the 2023 Sustainability Table Discourse Series (STS) is set to convene a forum of  thought leaders, policymakers, and business leaders to address key critical policy issues.

The STS discloses such germane policy issues decarbonisation strategies, mobilisation of finance for timely climate action, and the creation of ecosystems that address climate change, environmental, and SDGs-related issues.

The event, which has the theme, “Sustainability to Prosperity: Mobilising Finance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, is scheduled to hold for Thursday, November 2, 2023, at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, at 10.00a.m.

Now in its seventh year, the organisers of the discourse series noted that the event is dedicated to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and driving the transition towards a circular economy.

According to the organisers, this year’s discourse will centre on the critical need to mobilise finance for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the imperative need for investments in SDGs-related areas in Nigeria.

The 2023 STS also will attract top officials, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Kwara First Lady, Dr. Olufolake Abdul Razaq; Dr. Isiaq Salako, Honourable Minister of State for Environment and Ecological Management; Dr. Yunus Akintunde, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment; Akintunde Oyebode, Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development; and Tokunbo Wahab, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment.

Others from the private sector of the economy include Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IHS Nigeria; Kola Aina, Founding Partner, Ventures Platform; Tariye Gbadegesin, CEO, ARM Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited); and Olumide Lala, CEO of Climate Finance and Investment Accelerator funded by the UK Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) among other stakeholders.

Objectives of 2023 STS 

Noting the STS is a vision for prosperity, Kayode Olaniyan, Convener of the Sustainability Table and Principal Consultant at Avantgarde, stated: “We are, once again, going beyond the rhetoric.

“The speakers are subject matter experts, who will share insights into channelling finance into SDG-related projects.

“We are not just discussing the critical $10 billion funding gap for the SDGs, but we will harness this challenge as an opportunity to attract capital and impact investments into sustainable projects for economic prosperity.”

Olaniyan said, “this year, we’re placing a special emphasis on integrating ESG principles into funding strategies, guiding us towards maximising the returns on these investments.

“In this discourse, we aim to empower decision-makers with actionable insights, shaping a future where investments lead to impactful change.”

He equally stated that the forum would “address policy issues, and create a roadmap for global progress, unravel the climate geopolitics, drive decarbonisation, mobilise climate finance, and nurture a resilient ecosystem.

“There is an intensifying urgency to mobilise finance for achieving the SDGs by changing the narrative, telling our sustainability success stories as Nigerians and Africans to the rest of the world.”

The Convener of Sustainability Table Discourse also underlined the enormous potential and capacity that Nigeria holds for socio-economic prosperity when aligned with the SDGs.

Speaking with reporters on the upcoming launch of his book entitled: “Not a Tick in the Box”, which is one of the activities at the STS 2023, the Principal Consultant at Avantgarde, disclosed the new book is a compelling journey into the heart of sustainable business practices.

“This transformative body of work challenges individuals, businesses, and stakeholders to go beyond superficial Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and intentionally integrate sustainability into their core strategies,” stated he.

Through engaging narratives and illustrative examples, Olaniyan explains sustainability is not a mere checkbox exercise but a profound reorientation towards economic prosperity while upholding environmental and social responsibility. The book, he said, bridges the gap between profit and the planet as it urges readers to embrace a transformative journey that harmonises business success with a better, more responsible, and environmentally conscious future.

On the imperative of investments

While highlighting the significance of the forthcoming event, Olaniyan further emphasised that Nigeria currently faces an annual funding gap of $10 billion to meet the SDGs, as estimated by the United Nations (UN).

SDGs represent a global call to action, aiming to transform the world by ending poverty and inequality, protecting the planet, and ensuring health, justice, and prosperity for all.

On an investment in a greener tomorrow, the Convener asserted that this year’s discourse would delve into various aspects of financing for the SDGs, including strategies to close the funding gap, showcasing Nigeria’s potential for sustainable growth on the global stage, and identifying factors contributing to the funding deficit.

About IHS Nigeria, sponsor of STS 2023

The STS 2023 is sponsored by IHS Nigeria, the largest subsidiary of IHS Towers, the fifth largest independent multinational TowerCo globally by tower count, spanning 11 countries and impacting the lives of over 750 million people.

With ownership of over 16,000 towers in Nigeria and the deployment of 6,500 kilometres of metro optic fibre across 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in just 18 months, IHS has facilitated the expansion of telecoms services to ensure that more Nigerians are connected than ever before.

IHS is aggressively laying fibre across Nigeria, bridging the digital divide, and ensuring connectivity for all.

Its diverse portfolio of services includes optic fibre connectivity, rural telephony, and cutting-edge solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Edge Data Centre.

Listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: IHS) October 2021, it demonstrates the potential of a Nigerian-rooted company.

The organisers of the discourse noted IHS is a strong advocate for sustainability evident in the investment of over $100 million in its Project Green initiative.

On the strategic goal of the forum, the organisers stated that the initiative is geared towards reducing carbon emissions across IHS’s extensive network of over 16,000 sites in Nigeria by a commendable 50 percent by the year 2030.

IHS’s approach to sustainability is guided by the UN Global Compact, to which the company has been a signatory since 2020, and its sustainability strategy is structured around four pillars of Ethics and governance, Environment and climate change, Education and economic growth, and People and Communities, as Sustainability is also one of its core values.

Other sponsors of the Sustainability Table discourse 2023 include the Ekiti State Government, Clarence Gate Investment Limited, and ACIOE (an advisory services firm) among other partners.

The Sustainability Table is convened by Avantgarde Innovation and Technology Services Limited, an environmental and sustainability one-stop shop.

For Web site link and registration for the event, please visit: https://sustainabilitytable.com/.
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