Past and Present: The Ele Festival, A Celebration of Tradition and The Future

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Past and Present: The Ele Festival, A Celebration of Tradition and The Future

07/26/2022

MSC Pirogue Team_Ele Festival 2021
MSC and MSC Foundation sponsor the 6th edition of the Ele Festival taking place 27-30 July in Adiak√©, Ivory Coast. 

MSC is proud to sponsor the Ele festival for the 6th consecutive edition. Taking place in Adiaké, in the South-East of the Ivory Coast, and created in 2017, the festival hosts more than 20’000 visitors seeking to explore the culture of the region – food, traditional dances and ceremonies, and of course, the pirogue race. The festival also serves to promote regional and local environmental preservation initiatives and ensure that the department of Adiaké prioritises sustainability. 

This year’s edition will take place 27-30 July, under the high patronage of the Prime Minister, Patrick Achi and under the co-presidency of the Ministers of Sport, Tourism and Culture and Francophonie.

MSC and MSC Foundation are bronze sponsors of the event, alongside other industry bodies and NGOs. MSC believes that sponsoring events such as this is critical to build trust within the spaces where we operate, as well as provide an opportunity to showcase the local initiatives to local communities.  

MSC and the MSC Foundation are working to advance key sustainability goals all over the world, and the Ivory Coast is no exception. 

In 2019 MSC, as part of its policy of sustainable development and support for populations exposed to coastal erosion on the West African coast, decided to carry out a mangrove reforestation project in the Adiaké area. Twice a year, MSC organises the maintenance of the mangrove forest, and it’s carried out by locals: villagers, planters, and forestry agents.
 
Since 2019, the MSC Foundation has also taken part in an initiative supporting UNICEF in the Ivory Coast to remove plastic waste from the environment, foster women’s empowerment and help provide quality education for children. The Foundation’s project with UNICEF aimed to lift women waste collectors out of poverty by creating a recycling market to make 880,000 kg of plastic waste into innovative bricks and build 152 modern classrooms for over 8,350 out-of-school children by 2022.

With the goal to foster a women empowering recycling market that transforms plastic waste into safe, low-cost bricks to build classrooms, this stood out as a critical opportunity to deliver an environmental impact by addressing the plastic waste problem while at the same time improving education quality. This outlook convinced us to become the first corporate foundation to support this programme. 

The Foundation provided catalytic funding by pre-ordering construction kits for classrooms - allowing the first plastic bricks plant in Africa to be built in Côte d’Ivoire. MSC Foundation thus created the basis to provide better learning conditions for 8’350 children by 2022. The "Plastic Waste for Schools" project received the UNICEF Global Inspire award and helped build more classrooms in the Ivory Coast using eco-friendly bricks made from recycled plastic waste. 

Supporting the scale-up of sustainable plastic waste recycling is something we see as a strong initiative and worthy of notable support, which is why we’re engaging in it. We are striving to make a sustainable investment model based on this project and feel that we are making an important contribution to address the global waste management problem.

At the same time as the Ele Festival, we are organising a plastic collection initiative – the Plastic Waste project. The project was born out of our intention to support the Foundation's "Plastic Waste for Schools" project and thus reinforce MSC/MSCF's commitment to supporting the development of local populations as well as environmental protection and sustainability.

The plastic collection will take place on 31 July 2022 in Adiaké on the shores of the Aby lagoon.

Sponsoring a festival that pays such respect to the regional traditions and culture in this part of the Ivory Coast, while also being aiming to create new sustainability initiatives is an honor for us. We see our engagement in this community as building for the future, and hope to keep engaging on important issues such as these going forward. 

To learn more, visit the MSC Foundation website: mscfoundation.org or download MSC’s sustainability report here: msc.com/sustainability