NEW YORK, 23 June 2016 â€“ The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 in New York, Patrick Ngowi, founder of Helvetic Group and the Light for Life Foundation, was announced as one of ten 2016 Local SDG Pioneers. Mr. Ngowi was recognized for his efforts that align with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy.
The announcement was done by Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General at the United Nations General Assembly.
Launched in 2016 as part of the UN Global Compactâ€™s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign, the Local SDG Pioneers Programme seeks out individuals who are demonstrating how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can enable business to unlock economic, social and environmental gains for the world. Over 600 nominations were received from 100 countries between February and April 2016.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development â€“ adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit â€“ officially came into force on 1 January 2016. Over the next fifteen years with these new goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
â€œEach of the 2016 Local SDG Pioneers exemplifies how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society,â€ said Lise Kingo, UN Global Compact Executive Director. â€œMr. Ngowi was the first to bring solar power to Northern Tanzania. He uses his entrepreneurial passion to drive the renewable energy sector in East Africa, while also empowering rural communities through his non-profit, Light for Life Foundation â€“ making him a pioneer for access to energy.â€
The Pioneers are made up of entrepreneurs who are championing sustainability through their business models and change makers who are mobilizing the business community broadly to take action in support of the SDGs. A Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of experts from the UN, academia, civil society and the private sector, ranked the nominees based on a set of criteria, resulting in the ten 2016 Global Compact Local SDG Pioneers. In the years to come, the Global Compactâ€™s Pioneers Programme will become a vital part of the organization’s priority to make global goals local business.
â€œI am greatly humbled and honored to be selected for this very prestigious recogntion. My country of Tanzania, my team and I are truly joyful for this global recognition of our work and its potential to make a difference,â€ said Mr. Ngowi. â€œGoing forward, we will partner with more likeminded businesses, organizations and non-profits that share our goals and vision. We will make use of the UN and its esteemed agencies to come up with robust practical solutions that are aimed at lowering our carbon footprint and scaling up the rollout of new affordable clean energy solutions and technologies in both rural and urban areas in Africa.â€
Mr. Ngowi adds â€œI take this opportunity to thank the Government of Tanzania, East Africa Community (EAC) and its private sectors for the support they have afforded us throughout the years which enabled us to realize this decade old dream. My special thank you goes to my mother who enabled me to start of this journey and my mentor for the wisdom and business acumen he instills in me on a daily basis.â€
The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 is a two-day gathering of the private sector, UN, Government and civil society to jump-start action to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Together, over 800 leaders from around the world are gathered in New York to identify how to unleash the business activities, thinking and innovation required for a new era of sustainability.
The UN Global Compact is the worldâ€™s largest corporate sustainability initiative, calling on companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. In Tanzania, nearly 50 companies and non-business organization have joined the initiative, and the recently launched Global Compact Network Tanzania has supported their efforts to advance sustainable business practices since 2015.