On Sunday February 6th 2005, an air of uncertainty swept over the nation of Togo. Gnassingbe Eyadema, Africa’s longest ruling president, was announced dead and millions took to the streets in protest for change. This was followed by controversial presidential elections that sowed seeds of distrust between nationals and foreigners. Against this backdrop, we find Mr. Dosse Soussuga, the founder of NGO: ADET. ADET stands for “Amis des Etrangers au Togo” (“Friends of Foreigners in Togo”) and it expresses Dosse’s belief that peace is key to the country’s sustainable development.
To this end, NGO: ADET has put the inclusion of all members of society at the heart of their sustainable development agenda. As Dosse explains, “if the government does not know these marginalized groups exist, they cannot take care of them.” For this reason, NGO:ADET has partnered with international organizations such as GAROP and UN Women to help women, migrants, disabled people and the elderly find their place in the economy and in society. “We strive to leave no one behind”, explains Dosse.
Of course, NGO: ADET has not only cast a vote for peace, they’ve also cast a vote for the environment. The organization is working with REN21 and Power for All to promote access to renewable energy in Togo and beyond by 2030. More specifically, NGO: ADET is creating multi-sector training programs to tackle unemployment and distribute clean energy in the form of solar kits, clean cookstoves and electric cars. Just as mobile phones leapfrogged landlines, Dosse and his team believe that decentralized clean energy can leapfrog centralized energy systems to drive sustainable development.
In 2016, Dosse was awarded the World Prize for Sustainable Development by the Togolese government for his impactful work with NGO: ADET. Even though more than 20 years has gone by since the organization’s inception, he is far from done. NGO: ADET is currently involved in both clean energy and sustainable agriculture programs, but in the future, Dosse wants to contribute to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “For young entrepreneurs, I tell them and I will say it again: it is necessary to have the spirit of creativity, vision, courage and faith.”