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Nigerian groups named finalists in UN SDG action awards

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Follow The Money founder, Hamzat Lawal in the middle with other young global leaders at a conference in Bonn, Germany. PHOTO: UN


Two Nigerian groups have been announced among the 21 finalists’ for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Action Awards. The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General to scale up, broaden, and sustain the global movement to take action for the SDGs. The Action Campaign aims to mobilize and inspire individuals and organizations to take action and join the global movement for the SDGs, whilst connecting people’s actions and perceptions with decision makers in SDG planning and review processes at all levels.

The UN SDG Action Awards recognize individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, and private sector leaders who are advancing the global movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most transformative, impactful and innovative way.From more than 2000 applications from 142 countries, three finalists have been selected for each of the seven categories: mobilizer, storyteller, campaigner, connector, visualizer, includer and creative. The finalists are now being reviewed by a judging panel of over 20 experts that will select the top initiative in each category. Everyone has the chance to act by supporting their favourite entry for the People’s Choice Award. 
 
The categories represent initiatives based in all world regions: Arab States, Lebanon, Africa Malawi, Nigeria (2) South Africa (3), the Americas (Peru, Brazil, Haiti and USA), Asia (India (2), Malaysia, and the Philippines (2) and Europe (Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland).The 21 Finalists’ initiatives show how innovation, creativity and commitment can lead to impactful SDG actions around the world. These initiatives serve as an inspiration to the growing community of SDG change-makers and influencers taking action for the Goals.

The winner of each category, along with the People’s Choice Award, will be announced at the SDG Action Awards Ceremony, on May 2 at the SDG Global Festival of Action.  
Accordingly, the Abuja-based group – Follow the Money were listed in the Mobilizers category for mobilizing individuals organizations or networks for collective action for the SDGs while another group – Almajiri Child Education and Social Inclusion were listed on the Includers  – Ensuring that excluded groups become part of the SDG dialogue and decision making in their community or at international levels.

Follow the money is a pan-African movement that started in Nigeria with chapter in Kenya, Liberia, Kenya, Cameroun and growing interest in Malawi. The organization has been nominated for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) award that is given to organisations around the world.The organization attracts over $10million and has worked in over thirty-six states and the FCT in Nigeria impacting directly over two million lives. It also provides a benchmark to access public officials on how they are utilizing public money.

The Almajiri Child Education and Social Inclusion inspires policy change through evidence-based advocacy and wide stakeholder engagement campaigns that leverage new media to force and endear government at all levels into decisive action.The group mobilizes traditional and faith leaders, social influencers and other citizens as well as Boko Haram victims to stand up for rights.

Speaking on its nomination for the award, the founder, Follow The Money”, Hamzat Lawal said, “We are excited by the nomination because we believed that it is recognition by United Nations. What this means is that people are watching us and noticing our impacts and campaigns.”According to him, if the organization emerge winner of the award, it would show excellence and portray that the young people are resilient, innovative and full of idea.“Follow the money, has showed that we are about innovations and by dedicating the award to young people if we win, it would inspire them to do more,” he added.


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