The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may have created additional challenges for disadvantaged communities during 2021, but focused partnerships between Old Mutual, its partners and stakeholders has helped sustain and build communities in need. The third annual Old Mutual Partnership Awards ceremony was held this week to honour and celebrate those partners who have risen to the occasion, bringing change and hope to many across Africa.
Tabby Tsengiwe, Old Mutual Limited GM Public Affairs & Sustainability, said that this year’s awards strongly emphasised that where partnerships are solid, focused, and innovative, not even a pandemic can stop determined people and organisations from conquering complex social issues.
“Today, we are proud to honour all those who have worked with us to positively impact the lives of stakeholders, customers and various communities across the African continent. Our Partnership Awards offers us the opportunity to recognise those who have helped build positive futures, despite the complexities involved in working around restrictions and regulations imposed during the year.”
“Africa is a continent of promise. We have the economic and social foundations in place to reinforce our standing as a leading force in the family of nations. However, we also have to acknowledge that we have long-standing as well as new issues that have to be addressed before we can reach our full potential”.
Identifying and reacting to needs meant that partnerships, to be effective, had to be diverse and composed of dedicated team members working together to achieve a common objective. Old Mutual, as an institution that has been part of Africa for 176 years, recognises that although it can be a catalyst for change, its strength to effect change is tied to the partners with whom it works, Tsengiwe said.
This year, Old Mutual received more than 100 entry nominations from employees nominating the work done by this year’s finalists hailing from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
The ‘Top-Three’ winners were selected from an initial list of 18 finalists in six partnership categories, namely:
- Small to medium-enterprise
- Corporate social investment
- The private sector
- The public sector
- Industry bodies, and;
- Strategic initiatives
The three winners are:
Overall winner and Old Mutual Limited’s Partner of the Year:
Octogen, an Old Mutual Finance partner since 2009 which is now represented by Financial Wellbeing Officers in 39 of Old Mutual’s retail branches across South Africa. Since 2014 Octogen has assisted 179,010 customers referred to them for guidance on financial wellbeing.
The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) who have partnered Old Mutual in two vital areas: the Old Mutual Education Flagship Project (OMEFP) and the Covid-19 Response Plan of the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The OMEFP supported several NECT programmes, including the School and District Improvement Programme and the National Reading Coalition.
Old Mutual’s partnership with the African Leadership Institute (ALI) empowers school leadership with the skills and knowledge to develop human and social capital, increase productivity and improve the delivery of education. Since 2007, 411 leaders of 14 regions in Namibia completed the training to be transformational leaders within the Ministry of Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.
“As we celebrate these achievements, we must also acknowledge that making a sustainable difference depends on continued efforts being made to improve the circumstances facing challenged communities and individuals.”
“We need to enter 2022 realising that the Covid-19 pandemic could remain part of our lives for some time to come. Working around restrictions imposed by this reality will involve seeking out innovative ways of delivering solutions that can make a difference,” says Tsengiwe.
“As a financial services provider we are 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,” says Tsengiwe.