200mn saplings planted by Greening Ethiopia Initiative in one day
The nationwide reforestation program, which started on Monday morning, had the goal of breaking the world record by planting 200mn sapling trees on a single day. Staff and representatives from the UN family, African Union, Diplomatic Corps and Ethiopians gathered at the Gullele Botanical Gardens and a park in Central Addis Ababa to plant the trees as well as planting additional trees at the Economic Commission for Africa compound.
Established in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) aims to promote economic and social development of its current 54 state members, foster intra-regional integration and promote international cooperation.
ECA’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe highly praised the planting efforts of those involved and urges more countries to do so. “By greening the country, Ethiopia is leading the Continent in achieving SDG 15 to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and strengthen natural resources management. It is also doing so to increase overall productivity of both land oceans.”
Back in May the program was officially launched by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and its overall aim is to recover the trees and forests lost over the years. According to the ministry of agriculture there will be continued monitoring and targets “to identify which seedlings have grown and been nourished by those who planted them; and where and which ones have died.”
Most of the seedlings being planted are said to be indigenous tree species, with the long-term target being 4 billion trees nationwide, according to the ministry.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.