Ghana’s Chef Elijah Addo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Food for All Africa has been named the 2019 recipient of MSU Transcendence award by the Global Youth Advancement summit currently been held at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, USA.
The Transcendence award seeks to identify and celebrate young social entrepreneurs around the world who sacrifice their comfort and resources to solve problems in their communities.
At an awards night held at the Kellogg’s Hotel and conference centre, Dr. Chinwe Effiong, Assistant Dean of Youth Empowerment Programs at Michigan State University recognized the efforts been made by young people around the world in finding solutions to problems and for their contribution towards the UN SDGs. Most youths in attempt to solve problems faced by their communities go through a lot of challenges.
She explained the rationale behind instituting the Transcendence award as a way to motivate young people around the world. “Abraham Maslow’s new hierarchy of needs identifies self-transcendence as the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the world. Transcendence is the art of feeling part of something bigger and to develop joint strategies as humans is essential for our life today. It is what inspires people to fight climate change, hunger or poverty. It is our ability to not only look after ourselves but see that we are part of something bigger.”
Chef Elijah Addo was chosen as a recipient of the 2019 award due to his resolve towards creating efficient and sustainable means of nutrition for all through his Food for All Africa initiative. In 2015, he had to resign from his job as Head Chef of a high earn restaurant in Accra to start the Food for All Africa initiative, after he came into contact with a mentally challenged man who picked leftover foods from trashbins to feed other mentally challenged people on the streets. Food for All Africa works with businesses within the food supply to recover excess food and connect to over 5,000 individuals and vulnerable communities across Ghana.
In 2017, Chef Elijah Addo together with his team created Food for All Mobile Technologies Ltd. to leverage on technology towards creating efficient food supply chain across Africa. The venture today runs the Okumkom community food distribution app and Chefs on Wheel Company in Ghana. The Okumkom app distributes local food products sourced from small holder farmers and processors to communities at affordable prices through a mobile app and community stores.
Chefs on Wheel Africa train and provide its customers with professional chefs and waiters to cater for their dining experience at the comfort of their homes.
Receiving the award, Chef Elijah thanked the organizers for identifying the challenges he goes through to provide solutions within Africa’s food supply chain and instituting an award that recognizes such efforts.
He dedicated the award to his team and two mentors, Mr. Fadi Wolley, MD of Kwatsons West Africa/Maxmart family shopping centre and Dr. Richard Swannell, Development Director of UK based Waste and resource Action programme (WRAP UK) for their support and mentorship towards his vision.
He ended by encouraging young people across Africa to learn how to seek mentorship and asked businessmen and successful people to open up in mentoring young people finding solutions to challenges in their communities.