By Anyway Yotamu.
HARARE – The positive power of partnerships was celebrated at the second annual Old Mutual Partnership Awards ceremony at a recent event that honoured all those partners who have worked with Old Mutual to positively impact the lives of stakeholders, customers and communities across the continent.
The Partnership Awards initiative gives Old Mutual the opportunity to recognise and show its appreciation for the vast network of partners and stakeholders who help the Group to deliver on its purpose of championing mutually positive futures every day.
Group Marketing, Public Affairs and Sustainability Director Maserame Mouyeme said: “Many of the complex challenges we face as a society today are not new. In fact, over the years we have contributed towards tackling some of them through a range of organisations, projects and initiatives. “What crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic continue to remind us, however, is that we cannot solve or remedy these issues by working alone. To grow our impact and scale up these efforts to reach the many more who remain marginalised and excluded in our society, we need more partners more agents of change.”
This year, Old Mutual received more than 100 entry nominations from employees wanting to recognise the impactful work being done by the Group’s partners across the African continent. This year’s finalists hail from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
“Linkages for the Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged” or LEAD from Zimbabwe were declared the overall Partner of the Year, walking away with R375 000 in prize money. The first runner-up was non-profit organisation Matla a Bana from South Africa, which walked away with R275 000, while the second runner-up, the Imbumba Foundation, also based in South Africa, received R175 000. The prizes will be used towards capacity building, enterprise development and building on the excellent work each of these organisations already do.
Mouyeme further highlighted that the efforts and achievements of all this year’s nominees and especially those of LEAD, Matla a Bana and the Imbumba Foundation, demonstrate how shared value can be created through joint efforts to tackle common challenges. “We must, however, recognise that as we thank and award those who have made a difference in these difficult times, our efforts will need to be redoubled in the months and years ahead to reverse the damage inflicted by Covid-19. We may have made inroads into Africa’s challenges, but there is still much to do.”
Recognising the achievements of Old Mutual’s partners through the Old Mutual Partnership Awards is a vital part of the process of attracting new partners, reinforcing objectives and ensuring that the focus remains on building a brighter future for all Africans, she adds. The judging process was led by a panel of esteemed judges and followed a rigorous and demanding process. 20 finalists were then shortlisted in seven partner categories designed to recognise partners in the SME, Private Sector, Corporate Social Investment, Public Sector, Industry Bodies and Associations, Strategic Initiatives, and Humanitarian sectors.
“As a financial services provider founded 175 years ago, we are immensely proud of the ongoing work we do to fulfil our purpose of championing mutually positive futures. By working together with our great partners across Africa, we are developing African solutions to African challenges and helping to build sustainable futures for the people of our continent,” said Mouyeme.
LEAD (Linkages for the Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged) was named overall Old Mutual South Africa Partner of the Year. This award recognises the stakeholder from among the other category winners who demonstrates replicable ingenuity and a commitment to working together to achieve meaningful impact.
The winners in each category are:
Small to Medium Enterprise Partnership of the Year:
Malaika Textile (Pty) Ltd (South Africa). An initiative between Old Mutual Insure, Signature Support, The Document Warehouse and WildHearts Foundation Africa that is run “by women for women” and produces and sells washable, reusable sanitary pads.
Private Sector Partnership of the Year:
The Udungu Institute from Zimbabwe for their ‘Eight2Five’ project. The partnership between Old Mutual Zimbabwe and Udungu Institute created an Innovation Hub with a ‘B2C’ shared working space to be used by young entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas.
Corporate Social Investment Partnership of the Year:
Matla a Bana from South Africa for ‘A Voice Against Child Abuse’, a project undertaken with the Old Mutual Foundation and Old Mutual Staff Volunteers Fund Trust, providing funding support for community projects since 2009.
Public Sector Partnership of the Year:
The Kenya Society for the Blind and the Faulu MicroFinance Bank initiative that embraced the healthcare intervention programmes for the prevention and management of blindness causing diseases.
Industry Body Partnership of the Year:
The Association of South African Black Actuarial Professionals (ASABA). During its partnership with Old Mutual, ASABA developed the ASABA Leadership Development Initiative to establish a leadership development framework with and for the ASABA Exco to ensure the sustainability of the ASABA leadership structure.
Strategic Initiative Partnership of the Year:
Linkages for the Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged (LEAD) from Zimbabwe worked with Old Mutual Zimbabwe to provide agricultural input loans and crop weather index insurance to smallholder farmers operating in agro-ecological natural region 3 (a semi-intensive farming region in Zimbabwe).
Humanitarian Partnership of the Year:
The Imbumba Trust worked with the Old Mutual Foundation in South Africa to launch an extensive COVID-19 relief response programme providing food relief, hygiene and sanitation products to help curb the spread of the virus in underprivileged communities.
By Anyway Yotamu.