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Pioneering Sustainability: the APA Tool’s Visionary Approach to Environmental, Social and Economic Prosperity


In a world eagerly searching for sustainable solutions, the APA Tool emerges with groundbreaking approaches. Spearheaded by Dr. Karamo Sonko and Ms. Mariama Sonko, this tool is not just about environmental stewardship, it's also about integrating sustainability into business operations globally. Sveta and Ben Banerjee, the founders of Impact Investing Solutions and hosts of the Swiss Impact TV show, hosted the APA Tool architects, about their profound understanding of the interplay between economic activity and environmental responsibility.

Dr. Sonko, a world leading social scientist with extensive experience in economic empowerment and environmental oversight, along with Ms. Sonko, a renowned sustainability and management consultant, leverage their deep knowledge to tackle sustainability with innovative ideas and unique experiences. Together, they've authored significant works on finance and holistic ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), marking them pioneers in their field.

Dr. Sonko’s early life was marked by a unique blend of cultural and economic experiences. Waking up at dawn, he traversed village to village selling colanuts, when he was not farming, fishing, in the forest or at school.  These activities instilled in him the value of hard work and the importance of sustainable living. These experiences provided the foundation for his professional journey across the globe, where he has now over three decades of experience in economic empowerment, social inclusion, and environmental stewardship.

Jula Consultancy was born out of Karamo’s desire to make a significant impact in the fields of sustainability and economic development. Named after the Mandinka word "Jula," meaning trader, the consultancy (wholy owned by him) embodies the spirit of its namesake, emphasizing robust, ethical trade and economic practices that benefit all stakeholders. From its humble beginnings as a small consultancy, Jula has grown into a world-renowned management consultancy, attracting attention  and collaborations from around the globe. It stands as a testament to Karamo and Mariama’s dedication to blending traditional wisdom with modern economic practices, with their hearts for humanity and ears for earth. 

As part of his pioneering vision and research, Dr. Sonko developed the APA Tool, which is inspired by the resilience of women observed first in the African context. These experiences provided the founders with firsthand insights into the effectiveness of grassroots economic strategies, which are central to the APA's methodology. The APA Tool is designed to help users systematically assess and respond to environmental, economic, sociological, technological, legal, and political factors. This holistic approach ensures that sustainability is woven into the fabric of business operations, helping companies navigate the complexities of modern environmental challenges while pursuing economic profit. It goes much further, through its capacity to cater for other entities (including governments and individuals) in searching for and addressing their organizational or personal challenges.

The future envisioned by the APA is one where businesses across the globe understand and implement sustainability not just as a policy, but as a core aspect of their operational philosophy. By using the APA tool, companies can holistically achieve a balance between their economic objectives and the urgent need for environmental preservation.

But its impact stands beyond the management world and now has been extended to academic studies. In August 2023, Palgrave MacMillan (one of the Top 5 scholarly publishers in the world) published a groundbreaking book co-authored by Karamo and Mariama on Environmental, Social, and Governance, marking a significant milestone in the field of sustainable development. The publication, titled "Demystifying Environmental, Social and Governance: Charting the ESG Course in Africa" explores a subject that is at the forefront of global business and development. It takes readers on a captivating journey through the evolution and strategic importance of ESG. These include unraveling the history of ESG, its contemporary relevance, strategic management, how to design reports, regional case studies, empirical analysis, and proposals for the future. The book’s launch was held on December 12, 2023, during the COP28 Summit in Dubai, the biggest COP ever held. The launch was attended by  a very large and influential audience, including dignitaries such as the Vice President of the Gambia and other high-ranking officials and business executives.

As the sun rises each day, it reminds us of the endless possibilities for renewal and change on earth and in our personal lives. Jula Consulting and the APA Tool stand at the forefront of this change for good, offering a tool and strategies that promise a healthier planet and a prosperous human society. Their journey from the villages of West Africa to the boardrooms of the global economy highlights the universal hopes and efforts of two ordinary human beings, a father and daughter, a man and woman, the youth and the elder! Join them! Visit: https://apatool.com/

Watch Sveta and Ben Banerjee's full interview on Swiss Impact:


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