Photo Courtesy of Daily Post Nigeria.
During a two day visit to Nigeria, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with GBC-Education Advisory Board member Aliko Dangote, CEO of one of the most diversified business conglomerates in Africa: the Dangote Group.
The Group’s corporate social responsibility arm, the Dangote Foundation, is a major supporter of education, having invested in school construction, school meals, school fees, education programs for children with disabilities, and the global movement A World at School.
“Nigeria can spark off the race to the top and demonstrate to the region and to the world that a pathway to sustainable development is possible,” the Secretary-General said on Monday, August 24, in a meeting of Nigerian business and philanthropic leaders hosted by the Dangote Group in Abuja. He also commended Dangote on his “dedication to humanity through the Dangote Foundation.”
As the President of the Foundation, Dangote has led the way for major corporations in the region by not only financing programs to help the 59 million out-of-school children across the world, but by taking on leadership roles, including serving on the Steering Committee of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative and establishing the Global Business Coalition for Education as a founding member.
During the meeting, Dangote pointed out that Nigeria is the only country to have recorded economic growth without experiencing a reduction in poverty. In some areas of the country, more than 60 percent of the population live on less than $1 a day. Despite being home to the world’s ninth largest workforce, Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children due to barriers to education such as child marriage which hinder the country from tapping into its full economic potential.
In Nigeria, the Global Business Coalition for Education has been working with the business community and other partners to encourage increased investment in education to help ensure more children and young people are in school and learning. Last year, GBC-Education was a lead partner behind the “Safe Schools Initiative” which has catalyzed tens of millions of dollars for children’s education in the north of the country in response to the attacks by Boko Haram.