Gong wins at 2023 Sabre awards for third consecutive year

Gong Communications was delighted to win two Certificates of Excellence at the 2023 Africa SABRE Awards, which recognise superior achievement in branding, reputation, and engagement.

This year, Gong’s corporate communications team, which operates out of its London and Nairobi offices, was recognised for its work across Africa with two international clients, the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) and Aon, the multinational financial services firm.

Gong’s international development communications team has worked as GLIDE’s PR partner since 2021 and received recognition within the SABRE award’s Central Africa category for its media relations support, naming and launching its inaugural Falcon Awardsas well as developing and managing the content for GLIDE’s Webisodes Campaign, “Building Awareness to End Diseases of Poverty”.

As D&I communications experts, the Gong Communications’ Aon team was commended once again this year, alongside its local partners Phyllion & Partners Limited, within the Superior Achievement in Research and Planning category for their work on Dive In Nigeria. The 2022 event was Gong’s third year in a row supporting the insurance giant’s Nigeria event, which is part of the global Dive In Festival – originally developed with Gong and the largest diversity and inclusion employee engagement brand platform of its type in the world. This year’s Dive In Festival will be held between 26th-28th September 2023 and will include branded events across the globe.

In 2021 the Aon team won a Certificate of Excellence in the Financial and Professional Services category within the Research and Planning and Public Education categories, and in 2022 the corporate communications team won both the Central Africa and Media Relations categories for its work with African private equity firm, Birimian Ventures.

The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of industry leaders, with this year’s winners announced at the Africa SABRE award ceremony on 18th May, as part of the 2023 African Public Relations Conference in Lusaka, Zambia.

East Africa’s climate tech innovators

By Janet Ndugire & Sarah Horsley


Just as COP27 began in Egypt, the UN reported that the past eight years have been the warmest on record. Nowhere is this more evident than here in Africa. Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are entering their fifth year of successive droughts. Across the Horn of Africa, 36 million people are affected by drought and that will rise to 80 million people by the end of the year if the rains are insufficient, according to the UN. At the same time, flooding in South Sudan, Uganda and Burundi have destroyed homes and crops and displaced millions.

Climate disasters are having a dire effect on the continent’s ability to produce food. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that $30 billion was lost in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa from 2008 to 2018 due to declines in crop and livestock production in the aftermath of drought, floods and storms.

Research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s most food insecure region. Climate-resilient infrastructure, such as solar power to run irrigation systems, is the key to protecting food production and distribution in Africa, according to the IMF. Digitalisation is also important, allowing farmers access to early warning weather systems, mobile banking and platforms to buy seeds, fertilisers and connect them with wholesale buyers.


Innovation hub


East Africa is fast being recognised as a hub for such agriculture and climate tech innovation. Research from Fitch Solutions this year identified Kenya as Africa’s top destination for agri-tech investment.  Agricultural insurance and technology company Pula helps smallholder farmers insure their crops and livestock against a wide range of climate risks, including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and disease. Pula’s partner, Apollo Agriculture, uses satellite imagery of farms and machine learning to guide with credit decision making. It also helps farmers diversify to high-yielding crops, providing access to wholesale orders on its checkout app.

While start-up Neruva Technologies has come up with a particularly innovative product: the ecocapsule. Powered by solar energy, this pop-up pod allows farmers to rear 2,000 fish every five months and 1,000 heads of crops every four months.  There are no harmful by-products as plant roots absorb the fish waste, avoiding the need for fertilisers and ensuring all yields are organic.

In Tanzania, EEP Africa funded ENdep is reducing post-harvest losses through the provision of solar-powered cold storage for fish traders around Lake Victoria. These shared cold storage rooms will also be used to store meat, dairy and crops, with women and youth prioritised on rental space to encourage them into this sector and boost livelihoods.  According to ENdep’s projections, the system will generate 105 MWh of clean energy per year.

Rwandan-based Shambapro, founded in 2018, is a next generation agtech start up which helps small scale farmers to develop their farms into sustainable businesses. The company has created a platform, accessible via an App, with simple-to-use farm management tools that enable them to maintain financial and production records, manage inventories and obtain access to financing.


Where is the support?


Early-stage climate-focused start-ups in East African countries face distinct challenges and barriers such as poor internet connectivity, an unreliable power supply, and a lack of access to funding making it challenging for climate tech start-ups to achieve scale.

Initiatives such as the EU funded Uganda Green Enterprise Accelerator provide some much needed support. SMEs, drawn from a broad range of sectors including eco-tourism, clean energy, sustainable transport, waste management, green manufacturing, and agro-processing are assisted through the early growth stage of their business via the sharing of skills and partnering with financial institutions to facilitate access to loans. One such enterprise is Nampya Farmers Market a food sourcing and distribution company aiming to improve transparency and protect precious food resources by reducing waste.  It has developed a digital platform for a formal agri-food marketplace connecting stakeholders throughout the supply chain thereby increasing affordable, quality, fresh and safe food access to urban populations in Uganda whilst improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods.

The Kenya Climate Innovation Center backs local entrepreneurs looking to tackle climate change through technology, acting as an incubator and supporting with skills development and financing. The organisation, which has mobilised USD 44 million in financing for climate change and has incubated around 300 SMEs to date, is on a mission to deliver innovative climate change solutions through an empowered private sector.

Africa only accounts for two to three per cent of global emissions, according to the UNFCCC, but it is the most vulnerable region in the world to climate change. With COP27 now behind us, alongside the broad agreement on the climate and loss fund, another key takeaway from the talks is potential changes coming to the mandates of multilateral lenders so that financing flows more easily to energy-transition and climate adaptation projects. But for now, and for the foreseeable future, east Africa’s innovators will continue to play a crucial role in helping the region to withstand some of the worst impacts of climate change.


For international communications support in East Africa and beyond, please do get in touch with our sustainability team at: gongkenya@gongcommunications.com. From its Nairobi base, Gong Kenya has delivered communications assignments for clients in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is part of a network of agencies operating globally.

Gong wins Sabre awards Africa for second year

We are thrilled to announce that we have won the Central Africa geographic category of the SABRE Awards Africa 2022, our second SABRE trophy in two years recognising ‘Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation, and Engagement’ for our client  Birimian Ventures‘ Launch & Accelerator Programme.

Last year, Gong won the Superior Achievement in Research and Planning category and received a certificate of excellence in the Financial and Professional Services category for our work in delivering the Dive In Festival in Nigeria, the international festival for diversity and inclusion, which we have delivered for three years in a row, working alongside Aon and Lloyd’s and our Nigerian partners Phyllion & Partners Limited.

We are grateful to our clients for trusting us to tell their stories and connect with their audiences, and we look forward to delivering more award-winning comms work for our clients in the future.

Gong appointed as media relations partner to support Grundfos SafeWater

Gong has been chosen to support Grundfos SafeWater with a media relations brief aimed at increasing visibility of its water projects in sub Saharan Africa, including an innovative smart tech clean water pilot project in rural Ghana, an ambitious solar-powered handpump initiative in Zambia, and new irrigation projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania working with local partners to improve climate adaptation for smallholder farmers.

SafeWater is a strategic business unit in Grundfos, a leading global pump and water solutions company, creating a lasting impact by transforming underserved communities through commercially viable and sustainable smart water solutions. Collaborating with some of the world’s leading humanitarian and development aid organisations, SafeWater is working towards Grundfos’ ambition of reaching 300 million people by 2030 with access to drinking water.

To learn more, visit https://www.grundfos.com/ke