Lafarge Africa Plc has cemented its place as one of the major sponsors of literary events on the continent. The cement company commenced its Fourth Annual National Literacy Competition targeted at primary school pupils in Nigeria.

The competition began with state run-offs, which were held in September. In October, regional finals will take place across Nigeria and the grand finale will be in November in Lagos. At the grand finale, the national prizes will be awarded to six winners; three boys and three girls.

In a press statement, Lafarge stated that the literacy competition is held to support government’s efforts in raising the standard of English Language in public primary schools. The competition is in line with Lafarge’s 2030 plan, which is part of the company’s sustainability strategy.

Read: Nigeria has the world’s highest number of children that are out of school

The competition has been running for four years and has benefitted over 200,000 pupils. The competition targets students who are between the ages of 9 to 13. A recent statistics from the United Nations (U.N.) placed Nigeria with the highest number of children that are out of school.

Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development  said: “We want to help create more literacy enhancement opportunities for several indigent students across Nigeria. We have been doing this successfully for the past four years and we are quite pleased with the positive impact we have made so far. It’s all about touching the lives of all our diverse people in a sustainable way.”

From Left:Ini Abimbola,CEO, Thistle Praxis Consulting; Temitope Oguntokun, Head, Sustainability and Corporate Brand Lafarge Africa Plc and Adeola Awogbemi,Executive Director Ovie Brume Foundation, at the flag off of the Lafarge National literacy competition in Lagos. Photo: Lafarge

Ambrose- Medebem added that Lafarge Africa Plc understands the key role education plays in the development of any society hence the need to engage the leaders of tomorrow on critical literacy skills at an early stage.

Read: Universal education: how to move from talk to action

Situating the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition in the overall sustainable development strategy of the company, Ambrose Medebem said: “this initiative is in line with the LafargeHolcim 2030 Plan, which articulate our efforts to improve the sustainability performance of our operations focusing on developing innovative and sustainable solutions for better building and infrastructure”.

The State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Lafarge Africa’s implementation partner, the Ovie Brume Foundation are supporting the competition.