One of the candidates participating in the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme, Sonkita Conteh, has been selected by the Schwab Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year awardee for 2016. The Schwab Foundation drafts the list annually from a global pool of candidates. The annual selection usually comprises about 20-25 people who join the 260 social entrepreneurs in a global network that fosters the peer-to-peer exchange of ideas. The foundation works closely with the World Economic Forum to integrate their awardees into regional and global meetings of the WEF.
The goal of the foundation and the WEF is to ensure ideas generated from the group can be integrated and replicated for greater impact. Among forum initiatives in which the awardees participate, one is working with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and another is the WEF's Global Agenda Councils. Schwab describes social entrepreneurs as people who drive social innovation and transformation in fields such as education, health, the environment and enterprise development.
Sonkita was selected for his work as a co-founder of Namati, which is based in Sierra Leone. With as many as four billion people living outside the protection of the law, Namati trains and supports local paralegals to help communities uphold their legal rights on three main justice challenges: land and environment, accessing decent healthcare, and citizenship rights. The organisation is active in eight countries and supports 54,000 clients. By granting access to the law, people who otherwise would have little recourse are better able to understand and exercise their rights and even be active in changing the law.
The full list of 2016 Awardees can be seen at the WEF website.