By Nnamdi Odumody
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a strategic initiative by an organization to invest a certain amount of capital gained in its host community or society to improve the lives of the citizens. Various organizations across the globe engage in CSR projects, spanning education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, entertainment, environmental sustainability, and food security. The Nigeria banks, oil companies, real estate, manufacturing companies are not left out of this element of capitalism as well.
Access Bank which is one of the top tier financial services providers in Nigeria has embarked on several strategic CSR initiatives which have made tremendous impacts in the lives of the average Nigerians and Africans as well.
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In promoting a healthy and fit society which is essential for wealth creation, it partnered with the Lagos State Government in 2015 to launch the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, a bronze level race across Lagos which has grown to become the largest and number one annual sports tourism project, featuring about 100,000 participants not only from Nigeria but several other nationalities across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has made people see the essence of sports as a recreational exercise which is important for health. The four editions of this event have been filled with fun and excitement.
To promote the Nigerian Entertainment and Creative Arts Industry, it sponsored the Made In Lagos which showcased the best of Afrobeats and other creative talents which have projected the positive image of Nigeria to the global audience. Also its Accelerate TV is trying to promote upcoming filmmakers to become the next Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Hype Williams. It hopes for the talents to become legends as a result of the movies and videos they will produce
Recognizing the importance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the need for Africa to participate in it as the next gold rush, it launched The Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), an accelerator for disruptive innovations from this part of the world. These innovations are expected to redesign the financial services industry just like Kenya’s Safaricom did with mobile money. The AFF has not only supported financial tech innovators in Nigeria but has also become a must attend converge point through its annual Disrupt program for those looking forward to the next disruption, not just in financial services, but several other industries as well.
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