By Sebastine Obasi
CSR-in-Action, Nigeria’s foremost sustainability outfit is poised to host Nigeria’s maiden Community Engagement and Human Rights (CAHR) Awards, at its 8th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference.
The Awards, which consist of seven categories, will be a mainstay of the conference themed: Community Engagement: A Panacea for Peace in Extractive Operations. It is scheduled to hold on Friday, 22 November 2019, at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos.
The CAHR Awards is co-founded with Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF) and is designed to provide a platform to encourage extractive businesses in Nigeria and Africa to take cogent steps to correct the anomalies of engagement within communities, primarily extractive communities, by acknowledging and appreciating best performing companies. The Awards whose focus for 2019 is currently extractive companies in Nigeria, will progress in due course to companies in other West African states and Africa as a whole.
As the inaugural community engagement awards in Africa, CAHR will recognise and bestow awards upon outstanding individuals and corporate entities that have demonstrated exemplary service in several categories including: The Ken Saro-Wiwa Environmental Management Award; The MKO Abiola Community Engagement Awards; The Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award; The Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Human Rights Award; The Apostle Hayford Alile Humanitarian Award; The Josephine Nkemdilim Equal Rights Award and The Ahmadu Bello Award for Leadership.
Also, the occasion of the 8th SITEI Conference will serve as a veritable launch pad for Nigeria’s pioneer Community Engagement Standards (CES), a framework for community inclusion and management during a project’s life cycle. The Conference will pivot on solutions for engendering peace and harmony, security and sustainable development for all stakeholders in the extractive space across Africa, with a call to more government agencies and businesses to adopt the Standards.
Speaking on the 8th SITEI Conference and CAHR Awards, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, asserted that: ”CSR-in-Action’s commitment to the advancement of sustainability in Nigeria and the African continent has seen us structure interventions and design events to advance overall the global sustainability agenda.”
She noted that the CAHR Awards and the unveiling of the CES document will promote sustainability practices in Nigeria beginning from the extractive space.
She added: ‘While the CAHR Awards will motivate extractive agencies and companies to up their game in their sustainability practices across board, the CES will provide a focused guide for the extractive industries to engage effectively with their stakeholders in the host communities and generate meaningful sustainable impacts which align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).