PEFA Solutions was inspired by the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics (CSAAE), an international non-profit dedicated to harnessing the potential of young people and providing the kinds of tools and trainings that endow them with the capacities, competencies, and character necessary to sustain themselves, create opportunities that help others sustain themselves and embrace their roles as critical actors in building a better Africa.
The Founder of CSAAE, Dr. Godswill Agbagwa, a Catholic Priest and University Professor, grew up in Nigeria. While studying abroad as a college student, he was struck by the contrasts he saw between the levels of poverty and under-development in Nigeria compared to Western countries he visited. That experience became the genesis of CSAAE, its programs, and the core values at the foundation of his work, which include: accountability, solidarity, integrity, creativity and punctuality.
CSAAE focuses in an integrated way on three programmatic areas designed to channel young people into activities that develop leaders of character; cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship; promote ethics, anti-corruption, rule of law and human rights. The Centre’s 3-year Emerging African Leaders Program (ELP)prepares youth ages 16-21 for moral leadership and good governance. Focus is on leadership positions critical to development including political, media, religious, business, and judicial leadership. Graduates of ELP form a life-time Network of Effective African Leaders (NEAL) committed to using their influential leadership positions to facilitate development and end poverty in Africa. Its Career Building and Entrepreneurship Program (CBEP)provides the kinds of trainings and extended mentoring on career direction that allows youths ages 18 – 35 land dream jobs, initiate enterprises in areas of market demand or get the education they need and contribute to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria. The Youth Ethics and Anti-Corruption Program (YEAP)is raising the consciousness of youth to the importance of transparency, accountability, respect for human rights and rule of law in the work world while teaching them how to identify, resist and fight corruption hindering development in Nigeria. Though distinct in their areas of focus, they share the common goal of creating positive social, economic and political change one youth at a time. All CSAAE programs challenge youths to seek solutions to Africa’s problems through social and business enterprises (SBEs).
In December 2014, 17-year 100 Level Economics major, Samson Ifeanyi Okolinta, now Founder and CEO of PEFA Solutions was accepted into CSAAE’s Emerging African Leaders Program (ELP) after rigorous application process and background check. As part of the three-year ELP training, he was required to initiate a project that tackles specific problem in Africa. He initiated Pragmatic Economic Forum (PEF) in 2016 to tackle nagging economic problems in Nigeria. The project trained over 250 undergraduate and graduate students in different Nigerian universities, hosted a national economic conference in Owerri, Imo State and developed economic, financial and accounting modules that have the potential to help grow the Nigerian, nay, African economy. One of such modules is the Error Corruption Index. This corruption index was developed in June 2017 and is the basis upon which PEFA Solutions’ Fraud Analysis and Performance Appraisal Services are being built.
In 2019, with support from CSAAE, Samson scaled up PEF to PEFA Solutions, an independent business enterprise that provides professional business and career development services to individuals, organizations and the government. The firm also provides tax consultancy services, project management services, fraud analysis and performance appraisal services.