CATEGORY SIX: AFRICA’S BEACONS OF HOPE AWARDS FOR HEALTH PROMOTION AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT-TO RECOGNIZE TOP-TEN AFRICANS WHO DEVOTE THEIR EFFORTS AND RESOURCES TOWARDS HEALTH PROMOTION AND EMPOWERING AFRICAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN THROUGH VARIOUS CHARITABLE INITIATIVES.
Toyin Saraki is the wife of the current president of the Nigerian, Senator (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki. Mrs. Saraki is a philanthropist with over two decades of advocacy covering maternal, newborn and child health, gender-based discrimination and violence, improving education, socio-economic empowerment and community livelihoods in Africa. She is an advocate of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 in Nigeria, reducing the rate of maternal and infant mortality. She also launched a successful social media campaign through Wellbeing Foundation Africa in 2012 called “Maternal Monday” to raise awareness on key issues in maternal, newborn and child health in Africa. She is also on the board of the Global Foundation for the Elimination of Domestic Violence and the board of the Africa Justice Foundation.
Toyin Saraki was born into the Ojora and Adele royal families of Lagos as the daughter of the Yoruba aristocrat Oloye Adekunle Ojora, the Otunba of Lagos. She had her elementary education in Lagos, Nigeria after which she went to the United Kingdom and attended Roedean School, Brighton. She then obtained her L.L.B degree from the London School of Oriental and African Studies and her L.L.M from King's College London, both of the University of London. She returned to Nigeria and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989.
In 2005, Kebede was appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She then founded the Liya Kebede Foundation, whose mission is to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia and around the world. The organization funds advocacy and awareness-raising projects as well as providing direct support for low-cost technologies, community-based education, and training and medical programs. In one health center that the foundation works with, hospital deliveries rose by over 50% in 12 months.
Kebede has traveled to Ethiopia to support maternal health projects on multiple occasions. In 2009, she worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of their Living Proof Project. Kebede served as a High-Level adviser for the Center for Global Development's 2009 report, "Start with a Girl: a New Agenda for Global Health".
Kebede launched the Lemlem, a clothing line, in 2008. Lemlem, which means "to bloom" in Amharic, features hand-spun, woven and embroidered women and children’s clothing. Kebede founded the line to help preserve the art of traditional weaving in Ethiopia and to offer work opportunities to local artisans.
Baloobhai Patel gives generously and regularly to his two favorite charities; the Lions Club and Pandya Memorial Hospital, based in Mombasa.
The Lions Club in Nairobi is best known for fighting blindness in line with its mission to eradicate blindness. Lions also have volunteers that work in caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding the aged and the disabled. The Lions give sight by conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye diseases in line with its mission of providing vision for all.
Suzanne Engo began her philanthropic work at aged five, when she shared her Christmas gifts with local handicapped children in her native Cameroon, West Africa. At six, Suzanne spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on World Children's Day as junior ambassador for Cameroon. She spoke at the UN each year until age eleven. When she was twelve, Suzanne and twelve other women (including women from the UN) co-founded an NGO called African Action on AIDS (AAA). She raised funds for this organisation by creating "Jeans Day" at her dress-coded boarding school; (charging students a dollar for the permission to wear jeans). At its inception, AAA focused its efforts and resources on sending African AIDS orphans to local schools. As of 2008 AAA has consultative status with the United Nations, and has provided education and health services to HIV- and AIDS-affected young people throughout Africa. In 2004, Engo was selected as one of the Top 40 Youth AIDS Activists in the world by MTV and the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation.
He is also the founder and chairman of Zarina and Naushad Merali Foundation which gives to hospitals and needy schools. Zarina & Naushad Merali Foundation donated Ksh 100 million ($1.2 million) to facilitate the construction of a fully-fledged day care medical center at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). The 24-bed day care center will offer same-day minor surgical services for walk-in patients who do not require overnight management and will house four main operating theaters and two minor operating theaters.
Driving on the legacy her father bestows on her, Wendy, has become one of the biggest philanthropist among wealthy individuals in Africa. Wendy who could stand taller than any woman philanthropists in South Africa has given away millions of South African Rand through her Wendy Appelbaum Institute for Women’s Health to ensure that intensive health care attention is given to women across her country home. The woman philanthropist believes that women have been ‘historically, marginalised’ in terms of researching their meticulous aliment. This made her to give huge sums of money through her women health institute. Mrs Appelbaum also gave her share away, donating R20 million ($2.3 million) each to disability, empowerment and education totaling about $6.9 million).
One of Wendy’s most publicized activities is a $23 million donation she made for the creation of the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the funding of the Donald Gordon Medical Center (DGMC), founded by her father. She says that the efforts were targeted at training the specialists necessary to maintain a strong health system. Today DGMC is the leading organ transplant center in Africa.
Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe is a board member of Synergos (SA Chapter), Endeavor and the Global Philanthropy Circle, and is the Patron of Birdlife South Africa and Child Welfare South Africa. She has also married her passion for women’s health and fashion business through the Design for Life Breast Cancer campaign. 2012, she was named South Africa’s Most Influential Women. She also got the Elizabeth Tshabalala Award on Raising Breast Cancer Awareness.
Through his successful exploits on the field and his tireless charity work, Drogba is hoping to inspire the next generation of footballers in the UK and Africa to fall in love with the game.
The Didier Drogba foundation (DDF) has built five hospitals in Cote d’Ivoire. The hospitals have many facilities including an ultrasound room, a maternal and child protection unit, an x-ray block, an ultra-modern laboratory, a pharmacy and hospitalisation and isolation wards.
One of the hospitals located in the Abidjan region is reported to cost $1 million dollars, and will be able to accommodate 50,000 patients a year. The DDF hospitals will focus on offering assistance to lower-income women and children.
Jay Naidoo has recently joined the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation established to promote African development through a focus on promoting good governance. He serves in an advisory capacity for a number of international organizations including the Broadband Commission of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Lead Committee of the UNSG on Nutrition. He is the Patron of ‘Scatterlings of Africa’ a paleontological foundation linking archaeological sites across Africa.
Naidoo was General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions from 1985 to 1993. He then served as Minister responsible for the Reconstruction and Development Programme in President Mandela’s office (1994–1996) and as Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting (1996–1999). Naidoo was a member of the NEC of the African National Congress. He was at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid leading the largest trade union federation in South Africa at the time. Jay Naidoo, has given away a third of his wealth to charitable causes — echoing the “giving campaign” of US billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
Abdul Samad Rabiu established BUA International Limited in 1988 for sole purpose of commodity trading. The company engaged in the importation of rice, edible oil, flour and iron and steel. In 1990, the then Government owned Delta Steel Company contracted BUA to supply its raw materials needs, for which BUA was paid with finished products. This provided the much needed windfall for the young company. BUA further ventured into steel, billets and iron ore importation and supplying multiple rolling mills in the country.
Few years down the line, BUA acquired Nigerian Oil Mills Limited, the largest edible oil processing company in Nigeria and later set up 2 flour milling plants in Lagos and Kano in 2005. By 2008, BUA broke an eight-year monopoly in the Nigerian sugar industry by commissioning the second largest sugar refinery in sub-saharan Africa. The company went on to acquire a controlling stake in a publicly listed Cement Company of Northern Nigeria in 2009 and commenced to construction of a $900 million cement plant in Edo State commissioned early 2015.
Abdul Samad Rabiu is also the chairman of the BUA Foundation, a charitable organization he uses for his philanthropic activities. The foundation has recently constructed a 7,000 Square meter paediatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital as well as the construction of the Centre for Islamic Studies at the Bayero University Kano amongst several others charitable projects.