The Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE) project, an environmental sustainability and women empowerment initiative, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, has come to an end.
The project, executed by implementing partners, the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), to drive environmental protection, marine conservation, and women empowerment, concluded with a closing ceremony at Ibeju Lekki on Friday, May 21, 2021.
Present at the event were key government dignitaries, community leaders, and Coca-Cola representatives including Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Ifeyinwa Ejindu, Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Doyinsola Ogunye, Founder, MEDIC; Barr. Mrs Rhoda Ogunye, Trustee, MEDIC; Chief (Honourable) Olalekan Bakare, Secretary to the Apapa Local Government Council and Chairman of the body of secretaries to Local Govts and LCDAs in Lagos (Scribes57); Chief Tajudeen Adams, Baale Of Igbolomi and Chairman of Baales, Ibeju-Lekki LCDA; Honourable Tosin Osunnuga, Secretary to the Local Government, Lekki LCDA; Honourable Semiu Waliu, Secretary to the Local Government Council, Ibeju Lekki; and Ogunlana Olaseni, Head, Recycling, Lekki Free Trade Zone, East District 2, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
Launched in 2020, the RESWAYE project was developed following concerns around Nigeria’s increasingly polluted shorelines and coastal lines as Nigeria is reported to generate 32 million tonnes of plastic waste every year with the majority ending up in landfills, beaches, and other water bodies.
Through the initiative, Coca-Cola sought to tackle this challenge while ensuring women’s economic empowerment within the target communities. As a result, the initiative was incentivised, providing low-income communities in the Ibeju Lekki area with an opportunity to earn an income while ensuring marine and environmental conservation.
After 18 months of enlisting women and young people in the plastic buy-back scheme across 16 coastal communities in Ibeju Lekki, the project recorded impressive numbers at its conclusion with over 150,000kg of plastic waste reportedly removed from the coastal and shorelines; over 2000 women and youth empowered economically, and 2,124 households impacted – resulting in over 13,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries.
Speaking at the event, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, lauded the initiative and emphasised the need for corporations to scale up efforts to alleviate the country’s burgeoning plastic waste problem.
“At Coca-Cola, we are aware of the devastating implications of climate change on our environment, health and economy at large. The RESWAYE project was developed to combat this looming problem, and I am pleased with what we have achieved over the past 18 months. By partnering with credible NGOs such as MEDIC, we developed an effective recycling system that met the unique needs of the Ibeju Lekki communities, making recycling more accessible to everyone while also ensuring the economic empowerment of women and youths”. She stated.
Doyinsola Ogunye, founder of MEDIC added, “Seeing the impact we have made in these communities through our network of women and youth recyclers over the past 18 months have been deeply fulfilling. Through Coca-Cola’s support, we have ensured the economic empowerment of women, looked after communities, and cleared an inordinate amount of plastic waste from the oceans even in the turbulent times experienced last year”.
The Secretary to the Local Government Lekki LGA, Chief (Honourable) Olalekan Bakare, also lauded the initiative, commending Coca-Cola for “devising a creative solution to our community’s waste problem” and urged more corporate bodies to do more.
The RESWAYE project is in line with Coca-Cola’s “World Without Waste” mandate which fosters collaboration with multiple stakeholders, including partners, governments, and civil society organisations like MEDIC, to foster continued leadership in reducing its carbon footprint. By 2030, Coca-Cola also aims to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one sold by the company.
According to Nwamaka, Coca-Cola will continue to work with communities to better understand their recycling and collection challenges while engendering a recycling culture amongst residents.
South African Government to Sell Stake in South African Airways to Takatso Consortium
The South African government is selling a 51% stake in South African Airways (SAA) to Takatso consortium, which will initially commit more than 3 billion rand ($221 million) to give the struggling airline a new lease of life.
SAA has been under a form of bankruptcy protection since December 2019, but its fortunes worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic and all its operations were mothballed in September 2020 when funds ran low.
The airline is one of a handful of South African state companies that depend on government bailouts, placing the national budget under huge strain at a time of rapidly rising debt.
The partnership with Takatso will alleviate that financial burden, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told journalists on Friday as the state would no longer provide any funding to the airline, which exited administration in late April after receiving 7.8 billion rand from the government. read more
Gordhan added that the government will retain a 49% stake with the intention of eventually listing the airline to address future funding requirements.
“The objective of bringing in an equity partner to SAA is to augment it with the required technical, financial and operational expertise to ensure a sustainable, agile and viable South African airline,” he said.
The consortium includes pan-African investor group Harith Global Partners and aviation group Global Aviation, Gordhan said.
Following the announcement, co-founder and consortium Chair Tshepo Mahloele told Reuters that 3 billion rand should be sufficient to operate the airline for 12 to 36 months.
The government could dispose of more of its ownership stake going forward, he added.
“They aren’t married to this 49%,” he said. “They won’t be putting more money into this asset.”
An initial public offering for the airline is unlikely to happen within the next three years, and SAA would first need to become profitable, Takatso Chief Executive Gidon Novick said.
Novick said Takatso would seek to relaunch SAA as soon as possible, prioritising first domestic service followed by regional destinations.
International long-haul routes would follow but would be selected carefully, and SAA would also work to forge partnerships with major carriers.
“We’re going to be competing with the greatest airlines in the world, and we need to be mindful of that,” Novick said.
The airline’s subsidiaries meanwhile will be evaluated, in particular Air Chefs, SAA Technical and low-cost airline Mango, Gordhan said, noting that “anything can happen” when asked if some could be shut down.
SAA will continue to be domiciled in South Africa and the government will have a “golden share” of 33% of the entity’s voting rights and certain areas of national interest, Gordhan said.
($1 = 13.5379 rand)
Coca-Cola Partners NGOs To Clear Plastic Waste In Nigeria
Coca-Cola Nigeria has said it partnered with non-profit organisations to reduce plastic pollution across the country.
In a statement on Thursday, it said it would be doing more to promote environmental sustainability as part of efforts to commemorate World Environment Day.
It stated that it had introduced initiatives to protect the environment through its philanthropic arm, the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Coca-Cola said that it supported the Statewide Waste and Environmental Education Foundation to launch the Eko Beach Race 2021 themed ‘A race against plastic pollution.’
The event had in attendance 2,000 youths, students and sports enthusiasts who participated in a marathon race and beach clean-up.
SWEEP Foundation’s President, Obuesi Philips, stated at the event that it “was geared towards recognising the growing contributions of sport to the realisation of societal development.”
The drink maker also partnered with the Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative to host the “Recycle and Win” festival.
It included community outreach and clean-up programmes in Kwara, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe and Oyo States. Coca-Cola said that 10 tons of plastic bottles were recovered through the process.
The Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, urged Nigerians to adopt more eco-friendly practices while emphasising the urgency of the current global situation.
Onyemelukwe stated, “At Coca-Cola, we recognise there is a packaging waste problem globally and especially in Nigeria, which is why we pioneered the World Without Waste initiative to engineer innovative solutions to tackle this challenge.
“World Environment Day presents an opportunity for us to act on this mandate as seen by the number of environmental sustainability initiatives we have supported in collaboration with local implementing partners.”
RAK Unity Petroleum to Shutdown as Shareholders Approved Liquidation
Shareholders of RAK Unity Petroleum Company Plc, at the company’s 18th Annual General Meeting, held on Friday, 4th June 2021, agreed that the company be wound up voluntarily in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Olubukola Olonade-Agaga, ALSEC nominees Limited Company Secretary.
The liquidation is subject to the approval of the members of the Company in the general meeting.
The statement in part, “THAT Mrs Chinwe Chiwete of the law firm of EPIC Legal of Block 74, Plot 22B, Emma Abimbola Cole, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos be appointed liquidator for the purposes of winding up of the Company, subject to the approval of the members of the Company in the general meeting.”
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