Launch Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2022

On 29 April 2022, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens launched its 5th Global Citizen Scholarship Program in partnership with RELX and Université de Bordeaux. 17 young changemakers from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and the Philippines will turn their passion for sustainable development into SDG Micro-Projects and empower their communities. CEO Monika Fröhler and Program Officer Jessica Besch held an introduction call to welcome the cohort and guide them in the different steps of their 8-months journey.

 

This week, from 2 to 6 May, the scholars are joining the online Summer School hosted by the University of Bordeaux to learn more about sustainable African cities. The program will continue virtually with expert workshops, mentoring sessions, and the SDG Micro-Project implementation phase.

 

Learn more about the Global Citizen Scholarship program and this year’s cohort here.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Board Members and CEO Monika Froehler reappointed

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is delighted to announce the prolongation of its board members, and the reappointment of Monika Froehler as Chief Executive Officer for four more years.  

“We have four more years of continued growth & consolidation.”  

said Co-chair Heinz Fischer at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens virtual board meeting on April 5, 2022.

CEO Monika Froehler moderated the Board Meeting, briefing the Co-chairs and the board members on developments of the Ban Ki-moon Centre US Foundation in New York, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s programmatic activities. She highlighted the Centre’s efforts in particular the Leadership Program for African leaders in Climate Adaptation, the Global Citizen Mentorship Program on Global Health and the Global Citizen Scholarship Program and its SDG Micro-Projects, the success of the Agricultural Adaptation Program, and the cooperation with the Austrian government for the SDG Dialogforum 2022.  

The Board discussed strategic methods for promoting the Centre’s activities as well as effective ways to amplify the messages through the Centre’s various partnerships, affiliated offices and channels.  

Check out our board HERE.

Check out our activities in 2021 and our goals for 2022 HERE

Closing Ceremony – Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation”

The first Online Executive Training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation” concluded on Thursday, 17 March 2022, celebrating six months of intensive learning amongst 30 young changemakers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Organized by the BKMC, CARE Climate and Resilience Academy, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and supported by the Global Center on Adaptation and NORAD, the training served to strengthen the participants’ knowledge, skills and network to lead climate adaptation solutions.

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, CEO of GCA Patrick Verkooijen, and BKMC CEO Monika Froehler were amongst the high-level speakers who congratulated the young women for their remarkable accomplishments. The Closing Ceremony also introduced the outstanding work of the young leaders and their innovative ideas to #AdaptOurWorld. 

Representing her fellow trainees, Stephanie Eyram Akrumah, Valedictorian of the Online Executive Training, held an emotional speech to summarize their learning journey. Read her remarks below.

See the SDG Micro-Adaptation Project illustrations below. 

Online Executive Training "Young Women Leaders on Climate Adaptation" - SDG Micro-Project Illustrations Watch the Micro-Project Adaptation Pitches here.

Watch the Closing Ceremony below.


Valedictorian Speech by Stephanie Eyram Akrumah

“I’m grateful to be here, and I’m grateful to be speaking on behalf of all my colleagues here.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end, actually the end, although it seems like just recently a friend shared the application of the training programme with me and to be honest, I was not sure what to expect from the training programme.

When I received the congratulatory email, I had knowledge as to what I wanted to do in climate change adaptation but honestly where I am today, my knowledge has been impacted, thus the high-level leadership that you wanted to impact in us has been impacted in me, at least.

 Honoured guest, fellow trainees, and the team that put all of this together, thank you for being here and good day, good afternoon, good evening to you, wherever you are.

I am honoured and elated to give the speech on behalf of my brilliant and inspiring fellow trainee of the Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation Executive Training program 2021/22 for women.

 I am very fortunate to have met my fellow trainees from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt.

 It has been an exciting journey for us so far. It has not necessarily been very easy because this has been competing with other equally important things in our lives especially practical things in our jobs and our works, but this has been impactful enough for us to always be here, be punctual, be on time and try to do our best with our programme.

WE MADE IT ladies, WE MADE IT, fellow woman leaders, we have made it to the very end of our course, with glamour with grace and with a lot of wit.

I remember the days when some trainees were on the move, you could see that their cameras were on, not known to them, they were actively listening, the cameras showed that they were working with their phones on the field in some farm somewhere and trying to listen on the go.

 Thank you all, ladies, for having put in your best in the training programme and given it your best that we’ve learned from each other and we are here as it stands.

 Ladies, WE MADE IT till the end. I recount the gender sensitive adaptation solutions that we learned and realised that women have been left out of very important roles such as women farming in lands that they do not own, gender-based violence, women gap pays at the workplace, were interconnected with problems on gender sensitivity in climate adaptation and that if we needed to resolve these issues, we needed to see them as a comprehensive issue and provide a comprehensive solution.    

I remember when we were studying effective communication for adaptation, how we can Communicate effectively so we can get our message across to the respective stakeholders and involve the people that we wanted to include.

 I remember our talks on adaptation policies on local, regional and global policies that we could implement.

I remember when we said to each other some of the policies needed to tickle down to the local levels, in that, policy is very disconnected from local level practices.

I remember negotiating like a pro and understanding that we needed to communicate better and what we needed was a kind of negotiation that doesn’t leave out the other party but one that brings a solution to both parties.

I also remember that we need to be global leaders and global citizens to a complex world with complex problems and that we are capable of providing those solutions.

I have never in my life experienced a micro adaptation project and I am exceptionally sure that my fellow women leaders will agree with me that we’ve not had a practical micro adaptation project like this on an online programme that you think will be very theoretical.

I must say that from the beginning until now, we have become the very skilled high-level leaders that you wanted to create.

On moving forward after our graduation or finishing and completing this programme, that we show support to each other. We have already practiced as we have done things in teams and collaborated on different works. I recognize especially our Eagles-entrepreneurs for the green environment team when we went out of our way in the late-night calls and tried to finish our assignments on time.

I know all other groups and team members were also trying as much as possible to meet with their teams and finish assignments, even when we were late, we pleaded very actively that one thing or the other caught us up and that we wanted to finish as soon as possible so we can forward to you.

We are also very thankful for the patience of some of our leaders here, it helped us understand things we didn’t understand and when we were running late on some of these programmes, you were there to hold our hands and pull us up.

 I’m also grateful that we have learned to collaborate amongst each other and keep collaborating because of our alumni group that we’re putting together, and we intend to do certain programmes together after this programme.

I encourage that we continue to lead with the energy we have applied to the adaptation training and the strength and boldness that we need for sustainable solutions.

The executive training wanted to impact and show the ripple effects of investing in women and lead effective climate adaptation on local, regional and national levels, well from the people that I have seen and have worked with and the leaders here, I know that we are able to make this happen directly and indirectly, and we will keep impacting.

I don’t want to bore you too much, so I will here, say thank you so much to the team that put this all together, to Viola Christian, Alina Stinx, Aurélie Ceinos, Julia Németh & Maximilian Huck, Adriana Valenzuela to the team from Norad, thank you very much.

 I’m going to say a special thank you to the organizations; to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, to  CARE Climate and Resilience Academy, to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, to the  Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) and Norad, thank you all so much.

Thank you so much to all our trainees who are spent time and energy of their busy schedules at work and school to be here to be impacted and have given it their best.

Before I leave, I must tell you, that there is an old Chinese proverb that says that women hold up half the sky and, in our case, it is quite literal, that we literally hold up half of our climate. We need to contribute our quota as women in the world for climate change to be able to meet our global goals or 1.5 average temperatures by 2030.

Congratulations again to my fellow leaders. YES! WE DID IT, let us lead the cause in climate adaptation and resilience building. Let us transform our continent and inspire the world.

From the latest IPCC report on climate change, the climate crisis has hit Africa the hardest, and every time things hit Africa, we need leaders that will stand up to the challenge and bring solutions.

African needs you, my dear woman leader, Africa needs you and the world needs you.

Thank you and I look forward to meeting you in person, hopefully at the next COP, COP27.

Thank you very much.”

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women who #AdaptOurWorld

Guest blog post by Gabriela Díaz Musmanni for International Women’s Day. 

The Covid crisis has exposed the depths of gender inequality on a global and disquieting scale: from a spike in gender violence, to a sharp rise in women and girl’s unpaid care work fuelled by worldwide lockdowns and school closures.

Sadly, the pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg. With a similarly pervasive scope, the climate emergency is not gender neutral either:

In spite of being hit hardest, and possessing valuable local knowledge, women have limited access to climate decision-making and leadership roles that could improve their situation and the world’s. Their inclusion is crucial to effective climate adaptation action, yet this remains a global challenge.

This year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated today, focuses on “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” The 2022 theme encompasses the contribution of women and girls all over the world who, despite insurmountable challenges, have taken the lead in climate adaptation and mitigation action to build a more sustainable future for all of us.

With a similar goal, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), partnered with CARE’s Climate Change and Resilience Platform, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna to conduct a capacity-building training to elevate the leadership of young women in one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions, the African continent, in response to the climate crisis.

In October 2021, thirty African women between the ages of 20 and 35 embarked on the 20-week “Online Executive Training – Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation,” supported by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

The women, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, were selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants based on their community leadership skills and dedication to climate action and adaptation, according to Viola Christian, Program Officer at BKMC.

The participants shared some of the training’s many benefits, including the opportunity to belong to an empowering network of women in adaptation:

“The training gave me a platform to connect with more than thirty climate champions: the instructors, resource persons and other trainees,” said Jiata Ugwah Ekele, 24, a Knowledge Management and Extension Assistant at the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria.

Dorah Momanyi, 29, a Kenyan food scientist and founder of the Nutritious Agriculture Network, applied for the training because she finds “a strong link between local food systems, climate change and the attainment of SDGs given local food systems play a critical role in climate adaptation.”

“In a continent where youth unemployment is on the rise, climate adaptation puts a meal on my table,” she said, highlighting that, “I am a bigger and better brand as a result of this online training. Being a millennial generation influenced by everything western, I appreciate more than ever the role of local climate adaptation strategies fronted, designed, and led by women.”

Patience Sibanda, 28, a Zimbabwean student and researcher in the field of Climate Smart Agriculture and resilience building at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, said, “I gained priceless knowledge on climate crisis management, the nexus of gender, climate vulnerability, adaptation, resilience and advocacy and the pivotal role young women play in bringing attention to climate policy architecture.”

For Mariam Elsadek, 27, a marine scientist from Egypt who works as an Environmental Communication Manager at Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association, the training created “a powerful community of women who work in the field and support and encourage each other.”

“The idea is to bring these young leaders together and elevate them to another level so that they can be more effective at driving climate adaptation solutions,” said Christian, explaining that one of the training’s main goals is that, as women, its participants will transfer the knowledge gained into more gender inclusive climate adaptation practices.

“Another big reason is that we want to connect them and give them opportunities and platforms to show the world that they have knowledge and that they already do so much for climate adaptation but their voices are often just not listened to – bringing them into opportunities where they can network with high-level decision makers. That way we ensure that they can be more effective in what they want to achieve,” Christian said.

The training, which is designed to be replicated in future, will conclude on 17th March and CEO of GCA, Professor Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, will deliver a speech during the closing ceremony.

For more information about the training “Young Women Leadership on Climate Adaptation” visit the BKMC or GCA website. 

Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler mission trip to the UAE

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler travel to the United Arab Emirates for a mission trip on climate change and agricultural adaptation.  

Check out the photos from the visit on Flickr.

During 1-5 March 2022, the delegation held several meetings with government leaders, attended events, had private tours to key locations, and also spent a day at the EXPO 2020 Dubai to visit multiple pavilions. The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens was excited to be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to promote its advocacy work on agricultural adaptation and global citizenship education.

On the first day of the trip, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler met Minister H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri وزارة التغير المناخي والبيئة Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. They discussed UAE’s leadership on climate action and also the importance of financing climate adaptation.

 
Ban Ki moon with Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Ban Ki-moon with H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

As an end to the day, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon joined a panel to discuss recovery from COVID19 and accepted the Social Humanitarian Award at the Asian Business Leadership Forum.

Ban Ki-moon on stage the Asian Business Leadership Forum to receive the Humanitarian Award.

Starting the second day with a visit to the UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry Co-chair Ban commended H. E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber,  for UAE’s pledge to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 at the COP26. 

The BKMC delegation at the IRENA.

In the afternoon, the delegation was welcomed at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a VIP tour of the agency together with DG Francesco La Camera and Deputy DG Gauri Singh as well as a discussion on how crucial renewable energy is in our path towards a sustainable and green future.

In the evening, H.E. Lee Seok-gu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE hosted a warm dinner reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the UAE.

Starting the day with an extensive visit at the GEMS School, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler had a meeting with GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Saima Rana to discuss how to better implement global citizenship education around the world and best practice examples from their curricula.

As Ambassador of the Model United Nations (MUN) of the GEMS World Academy, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the MUN opening ceremony. He addressed the students and Executive Committee with a clear and inspirational message:

“You are the young generation. Use your voice to speak up. You are soon going to be responsible for this world.”
Ban Ki-moon on stage at the GEMS World Academy for a session on the status of the SDGs.

Throughout the day Ban Ki-moon and CEO Froehler held several discussions with different student groups on topics such as How Koreans can have a global impact, Approaches to Leadership, Sustainable Development Goals, skills required to overcome challenges. Ban Ki-moon Centre contributor and CEO of GEMS Education Dino Varkey hosted a dinner reception welcoming GEMS World Academy CEO Dr. Samai Rana to discuss continued collaborations on quality education.

BKMC Delegation in front of the Dubai Cares Pavillion at Expo2020.

To end the mission trip the BKMC delegation spent the day at EXPO 2020. While visiting the Dubai Cares pavilion Ban Ki-moon met with CEO Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, discussing the future of education and the role of lifelong learning.

Amid the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia Co-chair Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for the Ukrainian people at the Ukrainian Pavilion. It was a delight to participate in a tour of the UN Pavilion where Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler saw how the setup inspired daily visitors to act for the SDGs. At the Korean Pavilion, the delegation learned about the future of smart cities and listened to a concert to experience Korean culture and Kpop.

 
The BKMC delegation at the Ukranian Pavillion at the EXPO2020.

An intimate gathering organized by BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian who was also part of the delegation allowed BKMC Fellow alumni Nada Al Turifi and Huda Al Salah an opportunity to discuss their achievements with Co-chair Ban Ki-moon in person for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE OF FORMER UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON’S VISITS TO THE CLIMATE MINISTER AND CLIMATE ENVOY IN THE UAE. 

8th UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY BAN KI-MOON COMMENDS UAE’S LEADERSHIP FOR CLIMATE ACTION AND CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION LEADING UP TO COP28

Ahead of COP27 and COP28, during a mission trip, Ban Ki-moon congratulates the government of the United Arab Emirates on their climate action efforts and calls for an increase in climate adaptation finance. (Read on Yahoo Finance) 

Vienna/Seoul/Dubai, 2 March 2022, – Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the leadership of UAE on climate action and sustainability and underlined the importance of ever-stronger global cooperation for COP27 in 2022 in Egypt and COP28 hosted by UAE in 2023 with bold net-zero targets by 2050. Former SG Ban put an emphasis on agricultural adaptation for climate change during consultations with H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Trade and Advanced Industry, and H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Addressing H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Ban Ki-moon said; “It is promising to see the advances UAE has made and the ambition with which it will lead the COP28 in 2023. More than 40 countries have joined the UAE and the USA’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) initiative launched at COP26 and 40 billion dollars have been pledged. I fully support the call for investing in agricultural research and innovation to accelerate adaptation in agriculture and commend the goal of doubling investment in climate-smart agriculture by the COP27.”

 

In return, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment shared her appreciation for Ban Ki-moon’s keynote speech broadcasted on February 23rd, at the Food for Future Summit at EXPO 2020 in Dubai. H.E. Almheiri also emphasized the importance of high-level cooperation and investment. The UAE has invested in renewable energy ventures with a total value of around US$16.8 billion across 70 countries.

Highlighting that the UAE was the first country in the MENA region to promise net-zero by 2050, at COP26, H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Special Envoy for Climate also pointed out that the UAE is the first country in the region to commit to an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

   

UAE is playing a key role in the region and globally as a bridge-builder and trendsetter in cooperation with UNFCCC on adaptation, mitigation, and finance. UAE’s active engagement in sustainability and climate action also manifests in the continuing developments in Masdar City, the work of IRENA, and recently with EXPO 2020. SG Ban visited all these venues as well as the Global Green Growth Institute UAE office in his function as President and Chairman of the Board of GGGI.

“Only if we all work together a just and fair climate transition can become a reality.” SG Ban underlined. Declaring the meetings a success, and calling for further collaboration, Ban Ki-moon mentioned that it’s hopeful to see the UAE continue the momentum by hosting the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2023.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens looks forward to working closely with the United Arab Emirates government for its Elevating Agricultural Adaptation program which calls for financial and political commitments to tackle agricultural adaptation and build the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Global South.

Ban Ki-moon in “The ASEAN” on multilateralism

Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon reflects in “The ASEAN”‘s December/ January Edition on his 10-year tenure as chief diplomat of the United Nations, the role of multilateralism to solve global challenges, and why youth-driven responses give him hope for the future of our planet and its people. 

   

Read the full English version below.

Access the full magazine HERE.

 

GEEF 2022 “Remember our Common Future”

Under the theme “Remember our Common Future”, the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF) reviewed the Past, Present and Future of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and discussed the role of international cooperation in the post-Covid-19 era.

On February 10-11, 2022, the Ban Ki-moon Centre co-hosted the 4th GEEF in cooperation with Yonsei University, the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE), and the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future. The GEEF is an annual international event where global leaders and experts, including the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Co-chair of the BKMC Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed, First Woman Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland and more convene to collaborate towards accomplishing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre hosted a Featured and Scientific Session  “Global Citizenship for a Sustainable Tomorrow – from Policy to Action”, moderated by COO Katrin Harvey and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and featured opening remarks by Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer. It focused on best practice examples of GCED policy and spotlighted youth-led global citizen action for the SDGs.

“In a world of ever-increasing global challenges, education provides an essential pathway to solutions by illuminating minds & inciting actions.” – Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

 

Keynote speeches were delivered by Niki Kerameus, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs for Greece and Vibeke Jensen, the Director of the Division for Peace and Sustainable Development at UNESCO highlighting what both Greece and UNESCO are doing to support policy for GCED and Target 4.7.

“We have moved from the focus of transferring knowledge to a parallel focus on the cultivation of skills, such as empathy & problem-solving.” – Minister for Education Niki Kerameus

   

Other high-level speakers shared their insights on policy for Target 4.7 and GCED during the first half of the session, including Ramu Damodaran, First Chief of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and Sam Loni, Program Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Director, Global Schools.

 

“We plant a tree under whose shade we will never sit – that is what global citizenship and citizenry is all about.” – First Chief Ramu Damodaran

After the high-level segment, a youth panel discussion took place, featuring three outstanding young changemakers from the BKMC’s own leadership and empowerment programs:

  • Gillian Ndlovu, Ban Ki-moon Centre, Global Citizen Scholar 2021 (Zimbabwe)
  • Rosario Diaz Garavito, Ban Ki-moon Centre, Global Citizen Fellow 2021 (Peru)
  • Shireen Shehzad Bhamani Ban Ki-moon Centre, Global Citizen Mentee 2021 (Pakistan)
 

The youth panelists shared the impact their SDG Micro-Project had on their communities and how they have taken action as global citizens, offering inspiring words of advice to others to act for the SDGs.

We thank all partners and participants for their engagement in the GEEF 2022!

Watch the GEEF2022:

How Can Investing in Youth Leaders Combat Record Unemployment in Nigeria?

Guest Blog

By Joe McCarthy

Nigeria has struggled with an unemployment crisis for several years.

In 2021, unemployment in the country affected a third of the working-age population, with more than half of the people between the ages of 15 and 24 without work. For people in the next age bracket, 25 to 34, the unemployment rate reached 37.2%.

But Oyindamola Adegboye, grants and special projects coordinator at the youth empowerment organization LEAP Africa, recognizes the boundless potential of the country’s youth if resources, funding, and leadership opportunities are made available to them.  

As part of Global Citizen’s partnership with the Ban Ki-moon Centre, Oyindamola recently spoke to Global Citizen about the state of youth unemployment in Nigeria, and how there is a leadership gap that threatends to exclude young people from the job market.  Read our new content piece with Global Citizen HERE and find out why funding farmers is key to ending unemployment, poverty and hunger around the world.

You can Take Action Now and Speak Up for Farmers on the Frontline of the Climate Crisis! Leave a personal message and tell your leader why smallholder farmers need our help.

Closing Ceremony – Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2021

 

On December 15th, the Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2021 held its virtual Closing Ceremony. The Ceremony honored this year’s eight outstanding Global Citizen Scholars from African countries – Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.

The Ceremony was co-moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and BKMC Program Officer Julia Zimmerman and featured opening remarks from Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer as well as Márcia Balisciano, Chief Sustainability Officer, Global Head of ESG and Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and BKMC Board Member. Further congratulatory remarks were delivered by Stéphanie Debette, Vice-President for External Relations at the University of Bordeaux, and Joanna Orne-Gliemann, Senior Scientist and Professor from the University of Bordeaux who coordinated the ‘African Cities in 2030’ summer school attended by the scholars and served as a mentor.

 “It makes me proud to see that you choose to be ambassadors for global citizenship and that we can count on you as a valued part of our BKMC family.” – Ban Ki-moon

After the opening and congratulatory remarks, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman presented an overview of the program and its activities. She highlighted the academic training with the University of Bordeaux, the 6 expert workshops, and networking opportunities provided as well as the one-on-one mentoring and the implementation of an SDG Micro-Project by each scholar.  

Following the overview, video pitches of four of the scholars’ SDG Micro-Projects were shared. The project videos screened included:

  • Informal Urban Fabrics Flood Resilience by Scholar Fenosoa Ramiaramanana (Madagascar)
  • Implementing Garden Sachs in Deep Sea Slum Nairobi by Scholar Bessy Thuranira (Kenya)
  • Get the Children off the Streets by Scholar Eedee-Bari Bawoh (Nigeria)
  • Project BLISS by Scholar Gillian Ndlovu (Zimbabwe)

After the project videos, scholars were honored one by one for their achievements and were presented with a professional illustration of their projects as well as a Certificate of Achievement signed by BKMC Co-chairs.

Before concluding the ceremony, Scholar Gillian Ndlovu (Zimbabwe) was asked to take the floor and share her reflection on her time in the program. She shared her deep appreciation for the opportunity and her hopes for the future.

 

“It only takes a little spark to get a fire going. Our SDG Micro-Projects are sparks that have become flames and that will soon become a fire. We are going to keep the fire burning, and we will endeavor from this moment forward to work hard for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.” – Gillian Ndlovu

The BKMC congratulates our eight scholars on their tremendous achievements and thanks their partners – RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux – for making this program possible.

Watch the full recording of the Closing Ceremony HERE.

Learn more about the Scholarship Program HERE.