GC Scholars Discuss Sustainable African Cities at Bordeaux Summer School

Our 2022 Global Citizen Scholars attended the Bordeaux Summer School on “Sustainable African cities: multidisciplinary research to meet health, demographic, economic and political challenges” as their academic training for the scholarship program. 

Guest Blog: Shalom Abebaw, GC Scholar 2022

My personal experience with the Bordeaux Summer School program can be summarized as intense, insightful, and collaborative. I’ve had the honor and privilege of learning about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the sustainability of African Cities from experts from the Ban Ki-moon Centre and Bordeaux University. I’ve gained an interdisciplinary understanding of what it takes to create a sustainable African community. My favorite lecture would be one on air pollution, which is more related to my field of work and my chosen SDG-Micro Project. I’ve also participated in a workshop with other scholars on the SDGs, and I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with peers from various countries and backgrounds. I’ve also learned how businesses and individuals who incorporate SDG concepts into their work can benefit from increased productivity, new market opportunities, and improved stakeholder engagement.

Rania, Khaoula, Greta, and Sharon presented about Green Infrastructure investment in Lusaka, Zambia.
 

The BKMC Global Citizen Scholars of 2022 participated in a Bordeaux University intense summer school program on “Sustainable African cities: multidisciplinary research to solve health, demographic, economic, and political concerns” from 2 to 6 May.

The program featured an interdisciplinary approach, with professors, researchers, and representatives from Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Health participating to provide deeper insights into sustainable African cities.

The program covered the following topics: African population dynamics, migration, pollution, and transportation, the political economy of food crises and food riots in the MENA region, and diet quality enhancement.

During the summer school week, 8 scholars participated in the tutored group work session with Bordeaux. 7 scholars attended a special workshop on the 17 sustainable development goals with the BKMC.

Food systems and stakeholder interactions in Côte d’Ivoire were presented by Joseph, Anna, and Emmanuel Hanyabui.
 
Aurian and Esmael gave a presentation on African air pollution.
 
Moussa and Dula discussed the issue of informal settlements and transportation issues in Addis Ababa.

Dorcas and Shalom presented recent trends on each SDG, providing a great overview of the current state of the global goals.

 

The scholars underwent the one-week intense summer school program and now have a basic understanding of what is required to build a sustainable city and community, which they will use when implementing their SDG Micro-Project. Stay tuned as our scholars start working on their SDG Micro-Projects! 

 

Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars 2020 – Closing Ceremony

On December 15, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020’s Closing Ceremony took place. The BKMC, together with RELX & University of Bordeaux awarded, six extraordinary African Global Citizen Scholars – Akosua PepraOduor Kevin, Hikmat Baba Dua, Tafadzwa Sachikonye, Barbara Nakijoba, and Ruvimbo Samangafor successfully completing the scholarship program and implementing outstanding SDG Micro-Projects in their communities 

The Ceremony was opened by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who greeted participants in a video statement and welcomed the scholars to the alumni family of the BKMC, expressing support and gratitude for the scholars’ contributions to the Agenda 2030: More than ever the world needs young leaders like yourselves. It makes me proud that you have chosen to be ambassadors of global citizenship and that we can consider you as a valued member of the BKMC family. 

Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and a valued member of the BKMC Board, also addressed the audience.  Márcia Balisciano expressed RELX’s enthusiasm for funding the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 while sharing exciting news, We are thrilled to have participated in this program and we would like to announce that we would like to fund this program again next year.”  

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also congratulated the scholars and emphasized the impact they have created with their projects: This is exactly what a global citizen mindset is about: global citizen values and 21st-century skills. We are honored that we had the chance to have worked with you.  

The University of Bordeaux, represented by Vice President for External Relations Stéphanie Debette, shared her words of congratulations and also positive feedback from professors at the university who mentored the scholars during their SDG Micro-project implementation.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentations by our GC scholars where they shared the impact they have created in their communities. 

To improve the livelihoods of widows and orphans involved in farming, GC Scholar Akosua Pepra developed the SDG Micro-Project “Climate Resilient Agriculture for Widows and Orphans in Rural Communities in Ghana” (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).  


Barbara Nakijoba, deeply passionate about youth empowerment, conceptualized the “Youth take the lead”  in the Rugaba Division in Uganda to create a more peaceful society by reducing crime by 2021 (SDG 16). 


Action4Periods by Hikmat Baba Dua, created a safe space for 60 women and girls in rural communities in Mbanaailiy (Ghana) by engaging elders, women and girls to discuss the stigma of menstrual hygiene and produced 60-70 reusable pads, improving access to menstrual products (SDG 3, 4, 5 and 13).  


 

GC scholar Oduor Kevin founded INFO4FOOD, as he realized that food waste was dumped on the roads by vendors contributing to environmental degradation. With his project he prevented post-harvest losses, reaching 87 households in Kenya.


 

Ruvimbo Samanga’s project Agrispace, helps farmers in Zimbabwe gather missing agricultural data by using satellite technology to monitor agricultural productivity, leading to more sustainable and climate-resilient practices. The program can map different agricultural zones providing soil data, weather soil analysis, and monitoring crop health and irrigation, allowing farmers to have better time and yield tools for crops. Agrispace contributes to many SDGs, particularly SDG 2 for “zero hunger” and target 2.1.2 for “food insecurity”.


Tafadzwa Sachikonye raised public and private awareness for improved urban wastewater system in Zimbabwe with her project Waterclix for sustainable urban water systems in Zimbabwe (SDG 6 and also 3, 5, 13).  

   

In the last part of the evening, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman awarded the scholars with their certificate of achievement, and Co-chair Heinz Fischer offered closing remarks, commending all GC scholars 2020 on their efforts, You showed resilience, passion and transformed challenges into opportunities. 

We want to congratulate all of our GC scholars 2020! We are immensely proud of the results of your hard work and look forward to seeing what you do next! Additionally, we want to thank our partners RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux again for their wonderful support and collaboration for the program this year! 

University of Bordeaux confers an honorary doctorate degree to Ban Ki-moon

On December 17th, 2018, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Bordeaux in France. At the degree conferring ceremony, President Manuel Tunon de Lara of the university conferred the degree and a badge to Ban. It was to acknowledge Ban Ki-moon’s commitments to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including achieving gender equality along with women’s empowerment and adapting to climate change.
“I just wanted to lead by example,” said Ban.
During the ceremony, an academic conversation was conducted between Professor Anne-Marie Tournepiche of Public Law at the University (a specialist in international and European law, law of armed conflicts and law relating to refugees) and Professor Sébastien-Yves Laurent of Political Science (a specialist in security matters and international relations). Also, a master’s student, Chayma Koucha, gave a speech which was followed by the degree acceptance speech given by Ban. Photo: University of Bordeaux