On April 25, the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge held its first Changemaker Series event at the Arizona State University Barbara Barrett and Sandra Day O'Connor Washington Center. This event celebrated Habiba Ali, the competition’s 2018 winner, who founded a Nigerian company called Sosai that brings renewable energy technologies to the most rural of users, improving access to clean, affordable energy and providing clean water and better health outcomes.
At a related event the evening before, Ali was awarded the 2019 Economic Empowerment Award through Vital Voices’ Global Leadership Awards Honoree Program. Vital Voices and ASU's Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability are lead partners of the WE Empower Challenge.
During ASU’s event on April 24, Ali was honored for her work and was presented with a SolarSPELL — a Solar Powered Educational Learning Library developed by ASU that provides relevant, localized educational content to resource-constrained locations around the world.
The celebratory luncheon featured several WE Empower Challenge leaders including co-chair Annette Dixon, Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group, and representatives from partners Salesforce (Global Strategic Advisor Julie Hansen), WEConnect International (President, CEO and Co-Founder Elizabeth Vazquez), GroYourBiz (Founder and CEO Barb Mowat) and the International Leadership Association (President and CEO Cynthia Cherrey).
In addition to hearing from these leaders, 2018 WE Empower Challenge awardee Hadeel Anabtawi presented about the Alchemist Lab, her company advancing STEM education for girls in refugee camps.
Take a look at the photos below for a recap of the celebration:
Top photo: We Empower Challenge 2018 Africa regional awardee Habiba Ali with Amanda Ellis, ASU Wrigley Institute Senior Special Advisor for International Diplomacy, Sustainable Development and Inclusion