TOTAL’s quest to nip poverty in the bud

The UN Economic Commission for Africa says that hunger, poverty, unemployment and inequality remain severe and pressing problems despite the continent having recorded impressive growth rates over the past decade.
TOTAL, a player in the oil, gas and chemical industries, in a quest to balance the equation, wants to change this, through the TOTAL Startupper of the Year Challenge, which has been running simultaneously in Namibia and 33 African countries.
The challenge was launched in Windhoek last year in November and currently new and budding entrepreneurs are submitting their projects in enterprise creation and development.
The programme seeks to identify, reward, mentor and promote the best new enterprises in these 34 countries and wants to use its reach and financial strength to enable or help entrepreneurs fulfil their potential.
The Startupper is part of TOTAL’s global initiative of supporting the socioeconomic development of all the countries where they operate. “We believe that by supporting the most daring and innovative entrepreneurs we will help build the continent’s industrial fabric and generate employment opportunities,” TOTAL said.
“We envisage a future where there are strong industries as well as service organizations with increasing levels of effective and efficient small enterprises where citizens have options for formal employment or self-employment and have social conditions that are acceptable and promote human dignity,” TOTAL added.
“By doing this, we at TOTAL, believe that we will play a role in changing the continent’s economic trajectory so that its impressive growth rates can benefit a broader range of its people.”
Meanwhile the winning projects following the final selection phase, which will end by 15 March will be granted the Startupper of the Year 2016 Total title and will enroll in professional business coaching and stand a chance to win a share of N$500,000 in prize money.