South Africa celebrates inauguration of the first SEED office on the African continent
In 2010 SEED established its first pilot country scheme in South Africa, which fell under a larger, substantially EU funded, focus of SEED on Africa. The aim was to support African countries in their efforts to refocus policies and investment in green economic sectors and to enhance eco-inclusive entrepreneurship, strengthen local capacities, create green jobs and help to alleviate poverty.
In South Africa, SEED had been privileged to be anchored from the beginning to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), which has always been a forerunner in the field of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in the African continent through programmes like the Green Fund that early on supported green initiatives to assist South Africa’s transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient development path.
Building on several years of successful work in the country, SEED is now taking the promotion of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in South Africa to the next level and inaugurated its first office on the African continent in South Africa, at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. As part of these developments, the newly established non-profit company Indalo Inclusive South Africa entered into a partnership with SEED and was officially registered as Hosting Partner of SEED South Africa. The setup of Indalo Inclusive was facilitated through pro-bono legal support from SEED’s partner Hogan Lovells and the national programme will be run by current SEED South Africa Coordinator Rest Kanju and SEED’s South Africa Liaison Officer Jona Liebl.
Established and registered in South Africa as a non-profit company in November 2017, the official launch of Indalo Inclusive took place on Friday, 19 January, in its offices at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The launch is a milestone in providing direct support to South African enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs that thrive at the intersection of the green and the social economy.
Indalo – which stands for “creation”, “nature” and “ecology” in isiZulu – will implement SEED projects as well as other projects that strengthen a more environmentally friendly and socially inclusive economy in South Africa through capacity building, dialogue and policy consulting. The launch of Indalo Inclusive aligns with the new overall SEED strategy: expanding the focus on local capacity building that has been a major building block in the SEED programme for many years already by creating local collaborating centers to further strengthen the presence and local ownership of SEED activities in key target countries.
“We are very excited about Indalo”, said Geraldine Reymenants of the Government of Flanders, which has supported the work of SEED in South Africa since 2013. “SEED has proven its impact on the ground, on real people, through training and personal commitment. SEED is more than just supporting, it is inspiring people to become entrepreneurs.”
Cecilia Njenga of the UN Environment underlined that “it is the people who drive institutions” and congratulated the international team for taking this important step.
Indalo Inclusive will be governed by a board of three directors: Mr. Rest Kanju as Chairman and SEED South Africa coordinator, Ms. Candice Pillay of the international law firm Hogan Lovells (Company Secretary), as well as Mr. Jona Liebl of SEED’s global Hosting Partner adelphi research (Treasurer).
The next important date to mark in the calendar for SEED South Africa is the South Africa Symposium 2018, taking place from 13th – 14th March in Pretoria. It will bring together around 150 enterprises, financial institutions, policymakers and business development service providers to develop approaches and partnerships around the topical issue of climate-smart entrepreneurship.
Indalo Inclusive is also already implementing its first national project. A series of workshops for high school learners from various PASCH Schools in South Africa and Malawi for the Goethe Institute START-UP! project, training the youth in how to turn an eco-inclusive business idea into reality and pitch it in front of an audience.