By Asmau Ahmad
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has appointed Hajiya Maryam Uwais and seven others as Advisory Group members to accelerate progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The foundation announced the appointment in a press statement e-mailed to newsmen on Thursday.
Maryam Uwais is the Special Adviser to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments.
The foundation stated that the group was formed to help shape the direction of ‘Goalkeepers’, an initiative dedicated to accelerating progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).
“The Goalkeepers initiative uses powerful stories, data and partnerships to highlight progress achieved and bring together a diverse range of leaders to address the world’s major challenges.
Members of the group are drawn from Nigeria, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Other members of the group are: Hervé Berville, member of the French National Assembly; Kathryn Finney, founder and Managing General Partner, Genius Guild and Kristina Lunz, co-founder and co-executive director, Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.
Also on the board are Prajakta Koli, content creator and actor, MostlySane, Shan Huang, Deputy Managing Editor, Caixin Media, Thoko Elphick-Pooley, Executive Director, Uniting to Combat NTDs and Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, medical doctor, OurEquity.
“The Advisors will serve for a period of two years. This group follows the inaugural Goalkeepers Advisors, who served from 2019 to 2022.
“The Gates Foundation is honoured to have these leaders join the Goalkeepers Advisory Group,” said Blessing Omakwu, Goalkeepers Lead, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“As an advisor emeritus, I’m excited to pass the baton to an inter-generational group of creative and inspiring change-makers working across countries, issues and sectors, who share the same passion for driving progress on the Global Goals.
“I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together.”
The Advisory Group will contribute to key components of the Goalkeepers initiative, including engaging the Goalkeepers community at events and online, elevating community voices across the Goalkeepers platform and providing strategic advice to inform community objectives.
The Goalkeepers community is a global collective of collaborative and diverse change-makers.
Members live all over the world and represent an eclectic range of cultures, professions and interests.
As a community, they are committed to achieving the Global Goals; as individuals, they develop fresh ideas and drive innovative work to accelerate progress across their region, the statement added.
Advisors also nominate community members from their regions and participate on the judging panel for the Goalkeepers Global Goals Progress, Campaign, and Change-maker Awards.
The awards are an annual recognition of remarkable individuals who are taking action to help achieve the Global Goals by 2030.
Existing Goalkeepers community members were invited to join the Advisory Group based on their mix of skills, community focus, experience and sector and issue areas.
They were selected by the Goalkeepers team in partnership with the foundation’s regional office leadership.