The Global South’s largest convening on impact entrepreneurship and sustainable development, the Sankalp Summit has held its 1st Edition of the Sankalp West Africa Summit in Accra Ghana under the theme: “Catalysing Collaborations for Entrepreneur-led development in West Africa.”
The Sankalp West Africa Summit 2023 presented by Intellecap and Sankalp Forum was aimed at engaging 80+ Global & Regional Speakers and over 300 pioneering change-makers from the development ecosystem and impact community in West Africa, to discuss, define, and drive forward the critical levers of entrepreneurial success, across 16+ interactive sessions.
This year’s summit also focuses on the power of partnerships in supporting the growth of entrepreneurs in the region and driving critical discussions around focus areas like Climate & Energy, Agriculture, Health & Nutrition, Circular Economy, Financial Inclusion, and Gender& Livelihoods.
The inaugural Sankalp West Africa Summit being held from June 12-13 at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) was also targeted at honouring and rewarding high-impact enterprises for their outstanding contributions toward the growth of entrepreneurship in the region.
The Associate Vice President of Intellecap and Head of Sankalp Africa, speaking at the event, said for over a decade Sankalp in East Africa has demonstrated the ability to drive action and influence outcomes. “And now with our 1st Sankalp West Africa Summit 2023 we are extremely elated to bring the Summit along with our partners.”
During a panel discussion moderated by Ghanaian media personality Anita Erskine, the Managing Director of Ghana Incentive-based Risk-sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), Mr. Kwasi Korboe, underscored the need for greater collaboration and engagement between the private sector and policymakers in a bid to improve the production and processing of agriproducts.
“There has to be a deeper engagement between the public and private sector to be able to map up strategies to identify and solve issues affecting the African continent.
Citizens must also engage in healthy activism to influence government policies to help them achieve their aim,” he emphasized.
An Economist, Dr. Yakama Jones of Sierra said: “The notion of leaving no one behind must be mainstream, especially in policy-making and innovative designs. Engagement must be more intentional and must be clear on what the global aspirations are so we can work together to achieve them.”
The Country Director (Ghana) for Invest In Africa Mrs. Carol Annang, also underscored the need for bridging the gap between the formal and informal enterprises. Stressing that, the need for Africans to come together to speak one voice when it comes to sustainable growth.
Every year, the Summit recognizes and rewards high-impact enterprises from a pool of promising finalists, in the African region which are tackling key development challenges. The finalists also get the opportunity to pitch their enterprises to a jury panel comprising of eminent business leaders and investors.
This year the winners were the four most innovative young entrepreneurs in West Africa, whose ideas are well poised to deliver significant impact outcomes, whilst solving some of the most complex social challenges.
The 10 outstanding finalist impact enterprises representing the West Africa region were Agriculture startups – Alcoford Corporation from Togo, Green Afro Palms from Ghana, Kitovu Technology, Farm Corps and Simkay Foods, from Nigeria, Clean Energy startups ShaQ Express and Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd from Ghana, Healthcare startup Drug-It Solutions from Nigeria and Circular Economy startup Pad Up Creations from Nigeria.
The Sankalp West Africa Awards 2023 Winner was Green Afro-Palms from Ghana, an agricultural startup engaged in the business of oil palm farming and processing. They also pay it forward through farmer sensitization aimed at promoting environmentally sustainable oil palm farming.
The First Runner Up was Kitovu Technology from Nigeria. An agri startup, they build climate-smart farming and post-harvest infrastructure for African agriculture, which provides smallholder farmers with decision support and access to tools and resources that optimize their productivity and incomes.
The Second Runner Up was ShaQ Express, Ghana’s first superapp. A tech company addressing the evolving needs and challenges in the e-commerce and logistics industry their mission is to connect packages to people.
In a unique format the Fourth Winner, called as the ‘Sankalp Ecosystem Award’ is given through a voting process from practitioners from the developmental ecosystem.
This year the winner was Pad-Up Creation from Nigeria, a circular economy startup that manufactures and produces washable and reusable sanitary pads as a sustainable solution for women and girls in Africa, thereby showing how innovation coupled with intent can significantly impact and deliver on sustainability and social good.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo