Tshepo Mahloele, co-founder and group executive director, was announced as the new Patron in Africa for the Global Citizen movement. The announcement was made at launch events for the 2022 Global Citizen campaign in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria on 29 March.
The Global Citizen is an international advocacy group that brings together world leaders, celebrities and philanthropists from around the world to lead campaigns that address socio-economic challenges in the developing world.
This year the focus will be on fighting extreme poverty. The End Extreme Poverty NOW – Our Future Can’t Wait campaign – will feature a calendar of major global events focusing on three critical issues:
- Empowering adolescent girls across the world;
- Breaking systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty; and
- Taking climate action now.
Harith, a leading Pan-African infrastructure investor that Mahloele co-founded 16 years ago, is ideally positioned to partner with the Global Citizen movement having unlocked billions of dollars’ worth of investments for investments in signature infrastructure assets such as Lake Turkana Wind Farm in Kenya, the largest wind farm in Africa; and the Henri Konan Bridge in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, among others.
Those that have already thrown their weight behind the movement include the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, Foreign Minister of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Environment of Rwanda Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Former Executive Director of UN Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,and many other presidents of nations around the world.
As the patron, Mahloele will be the leading voice in rallying millions of citizens to demand that the world’s top political and business leaders stop delaying action with longer-term timelines and focus on what we need to do here and now.
Accepting the responsibility, Mahloele pledged to work hard to mobilise governments, corporations, and other influential players to commit their support to the campaign fighting extreme poverty in the continent, as one of a number of priorities.
He will serve alongside Sandiaga Uno, Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia, the new Patron of the Campaign in Indonesia as part of this year’s G20 summit. The campaign will involve multiple major global events, including the Global Citizen Prize; Global Citizen NOW: Leadership Summit; the Global Citizen Festival 10th Anniversary in New York City and Africa; and Global Citizen at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. Mahloele will occupy the office for the next three years.
Speaking in Johannesburg in a speech that was streamed live to audiences across Africa, Mahloele said he was proud to have been selected to be part of a call to take immediate action on extreme poverty, climate change and to empower girls across the world. “I support the concept of being a global citizen – that we are in this together and we all must contribute to the positive changes needed. It has been said over and over again that Africa is sitting on a ticking time bomb – poverty, inequality and unemployment of mostly the young. That if we don’t do anything material to alter the prospects of African citizens, this massive social bomb will explode on all of us. We are starting to experience the ramifications of the neglect to attend to this situation, especially in South Africa, where we’ve seen unprecedented unrest and sporadic social instability,” said Mahloele.
Global Citizen said Mahloele is ideally placed to mobilise capital and big business to join hands in supporting the movement as he leads two platforms – Harith General Partners and Lebashe Investment Group – that have Pan-African assets in media, technology, infrastructure development and financial services.