May 19, 2020

SkyPower Lights the way for Students

Skypower
SkyPower Cares
Together We Give
Ed Fast
Kgothatso Kage Kgiba
2 min
SkyPower Lights the way for Students

SkyPower, the world’s largest solar developer, is launching SkyPower Cares, one of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, through an inaugural contribution of 5,000 solar-powered lights for South African students.

The announcement of the new initiative was made during the Canada Trade Mission to South Africa led by Canadian Minister of International Trade, the Hon Ed Fast.

Through the SkyPower Cares initiative, SkyPower draws on its global success and expertise to share the gift of light to help empower communities around the world, promoting access to sustainable energy for all.

Portable solar-powered lights are distributed to schoolchildren who live in remote communities with limited access to electricity, allowing them to study during the dark evening hours.

Kerry Adler, SkyPower’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “SkyPower is proud to officially launch SkyPower Cares.

 “This inaugural contribution is just the beginning. Our vision is to inspire and encourage other caring corporations and individuals to help us make a difference for schoolchildren in unelectrified communities worldwide and help them break the cycle of poverty through personal empowerment.”

 In rural regions of Africa, approximately 600 million people live without access to electricity and often rely on highly flammable, expensive and polluting kerosene lanterns as a source of light.

The durable, portable solar-powered lights will provide schoolchildren with over four hours of safe lighting each evening. These additional hours of lighting give students the opportunity to further study and read at night.

The solar-powered lights will empower students to further their education and assist them in developing skills to contribute to continued economic growth in South Africa and the rest of the world.

 The Canadian Minister said: “These solar-powered lights are a shining example of a leading Canadian-managed company’s international contributions through corporate social responsibility,”

“Canada has a long-standing commitment to ensuring girls, boys and youth have access to quality basic education and I commend SkyPower on making a difference through the SkyPower Cares initiative.

 Laura Catherine Marks, Executive Director and Founder of Together We Give, a Kenhardt, South Africa-based not-for-profit agency that responds to locally-identified needs of socio-economically challenged communities, said the organisation was proud of the efforts SkyPower was making.

She said: “The lights will help empower the kids to study and live up to their potential.”

As part of the SkyPower Cares launch, the solar-powered lights will reach 5,000 school-aged South African children and their siblings and have a considerable social impact, creating nearly 7.3 million hours of reading light each year, which will translate into productive study hours. Each light has a life expectancy of 10 years.

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Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
Sustainability
G7Summit
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

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