Stakeholders have flayed the growing pressure of legalising Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR in the statutes books to make companies more socially responsible to their communities.
They castigated this call in Lagos last week during the 2016 annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, ICSAN, Lagos chapter.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Corporate Social Responsibility, a veritable tool for governance”, the keynote speaker and Managing Director of Platinum Corporate Solutions, Accra, Ghana, Catherine Engmann, said, CSR in Africa is gradually assuming importance and getting fused into companies’ corporate governance practices.
Engmann, who supported her point with a Zulu proverb, “I am because you are, you are because we are,” traced origin of the CSR to Quakers of the 17th and 18th centuries.
She maintained that CSR as being practised currently among companies in Africa is based on the concept of self governance but related to external legal and regulatory mechanisms.
She stressed that discussing the emergence and impact of CSR, it’s important to place a company within its socio-economic environment to understand how its operation redounds to the benefit of society as a whole, which may differ greatly as between a company in the west and developing worlds.
Engmann who confined her talk to English speaking Africa countries, noted that relevant characteristics of the African corporate governance is the widest control mechanism within which companies take management decisions and the socio-economic conditions within which those firms operate.
“As we are aware, our corporate governance framework is derived from the colonialists and what they left behind; they left behind their concept of a company and its role in society, and all the laws and the regulations flowing there from.
“On the socio-economic front, African countries are made up of tribes and clans. Socially, we organised within tribes. We also have natural resources -some countries more than others- and these have been exploited. But the common thread in all of these African countries are issues of education, poverty, health and so on,” she noted.
She pointed degradation effects of oil exploration and exploitation in the Niger/Delta area, which has boiled down to the crisis in the past and led to the death of prominent people like Ken Saro-Wiwa.
“The question we need to ask is, how should companies manage their business processes to produce and overall positive impact on society? Companies need to be aware of the effects that their activities have on communities and the environment, they have to be seen to be doing what is right, and they have to obey the laws of the land,” she cautioned.
Also speaking on the Socio-economic value of Corporate Social Responsibility, the Executive Secretary of the MTN Nigerian Foundation, Nonny Patricia Ugboma, said in recent years, CSR has become a fundamental business practice and has gained much attention from the management of large international companies.
She said, companies understand that a strong CSR, programme is an essential element in achieving good business practices and effective leadership.
Ugboma, who is responsible for overseeing MTN Nigeria’s N18 billion CSR investment, said most companies in Nigeria have explored that their impacts on the economic, social and environmental sector directly affect their relationship with investors, employees and customers.
She stressed that although the prime goal of a company is to generate profits, but as company assess their brand in the context of globalization, they are increasingly aware that CSR can be of direct economic value.
Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) to Kick Off Its 10th Anniversary with 2021 Global Summit Series
Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) is set to mark its 10th anniversary with the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series, which kicks off August 3, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm EDT, in the U.S. with virtual events continuing in Africa, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, and worldwide. The series will culminate on August 31st with Reunity, an international Black women funders power and wellness summit in collaboration with the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University.
Featured speakers include Ford Foundation president Darren Walker; CNN political analyst and former member of South Carolina House of Representatives, Bakari Sellers; ABC News senior legal correspondent and co-host of The View, Sunny Hostin; Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of Gbowee Peace Foundation, the Honorable Leymah Gbowee; and faith leader and activist Reverend Naomi Tutu.
Registration is open. Sign up and see the global keynote speaker line-up at bit.ly/FundBlackSummit2021.
Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland, founder of BPM, Reunity, and Women Invested to Save Earth (WISE) Fund says, “Our 10th anniversary is a testament to the tenacity of Black people worldwide. Our resolve is strong to advance our culture of giving and promote fair access to private capital, including philanthropy and venture investment. Economic justice is the last frontier in the Civil and Human Rights Movement. We hope the U.S. and the entire world will join the celebration in August and press on to make equity real, starting by signing the Black Philanthropy Month Global Black Funding Equity Pledge.”
With recognition at the outset from the United Nations as part of its Global Decade for People of African Descent and with proclamations from 30 governmental bodies, BPM has built momentum, having been celebrated by 18 million worldwide across 60 countries since 2011. Valaida Fullwood, creator of The Soul of Philanthropy and a BPM co-architect notes, “BPM has used the power of social media to celebrate the community giving that binds Black culture everywhere, while also calling on the ‘powers that be’ to institute principles and practices that accelerate funding equity.”
The BPM 10th anniversary continues its tradition of using high-impact technology to convene influential Black civic, business, and funding leaders with people from all walks of life to build community and practical action plans for funding equity and impact. BPM co-architect, Tracey Webb, founder of the pioneering giving circle Black Benefactors, emphasizes that “BPM brings together Black and allied leaders of all backgrounds to remind the world that we too are philanthropists and that our giving traditions matter. We need funders from foundations and corporations to see and fund us too.”
BPM stands out for the diversity of Black people, worldwide, integral to its leadership and summit series. BPM Africa Chair Thelma Ekiyor, founder and chair of Afrigrants Foundation states, “Even though they manifest differently in the Motherland than in our Diaspora, anti-Black racism and neocolonialism on the continent still pose barriers to funding for effective recovery and development in our communities. We are proud to join with our brothers, sisters, and allies worldwide to celebrate our collective potential and call for Black funding equity. We are fortunate that the Nobel Peace Laureate, the Honorable Leymah Gbowee, is our BPM Africa keynote speaker to inspire a new vision for 21st century Black funding equity.”
Reunity – the only global Black women’s funders network that inspired BPM and organized its first summit—has played a critical role in advancing the global Black philanthropy movement. Although not always acknowledged or written into the funding field’s history, Black women have been at the forefront of Black philanthropy as well as leading calls for racial and gender equity and intersectional funding. Mojubaolu Okome, City University of New York professor and African diaspora giving scholar, asserts “From esusus to the new Black-led venture funds, people of African descent throughout the U.S. and world continue a rich tradition of finance innovation that benefits all of society.” Okome, an original Reunity leader, adds, “As Reunity marks its 20th year of Black women’s innovation for all, we hope the world will join us as we work to build better from the continuing devastation of the COVID era.”
The Reverend Naomi Tutu, faith leader and activist, has long participated in the summits and will return in 2021 with a session on spiritual wellness for women leaders. “When a crisis hits, women are often hit first and hardest, as we give everything we have to care for our families, communities, and the world. Reunity is a time for us to be well, while doing good and to strengthen the global sisterhood as we work to advance humanity in this time of struggle and hope.”
Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) is supported by a growing list of sponsors and partners, including our Signature Charity Partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; event talent partner, The b’elle group; Indiana University’s Women’s Philanthropy Institute at The Lilly School of Philanthropy; and global regional chairs, Foundation for Black Communities (Canada); Afrigrants Foundation (Africa); The Puerto Rico Community Foundation (Caribbean); and The Bãobá Fund (Brazil). The full sponsor and partner roster list will be released in early July. Registration for the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series opens today!
Nissan South Africa rolls out COVID-19 vaccines to its employees and service providers
Nissan South Africa employee (Image & release: Nissan South Africa)
Nissan South Africa (NSA), in its bid to help curb the spread of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in parts of the country, the automotive manufacturer will vaccinate its employees and service providers at its Rosslyn-based plant.
The free vaccination rollout plan is line with the South African Department of Health’s national programme, which aims to achieve population immunity by the end of 2021.
Nissan South Africa’s Country Director Kabelo Rabotho said the automotive manufacturer has always placed people first and continues to be committed to keeping their employees and families safer from the impact of the virus.
“I am pleased that our Nissan South Africa medical station has been registered as a COVID-19 vaccination site, allowing us to vaccinate employees and service providers on-site. Vaccination on-site will follow the same phases as the national government in terms of the age groups permitted to register and be vaccinated over a specific time period,” he said.
To ensure proper storage, handling and administration of approximately 5 000 COVID-19 vaccines, NSA has partnered with Dis-Chem through OHS Care to secure and store the vaccines for us and deliver the required quantities to our plant,” explains Shafick Solomons, NSA Plant Director and COVID-19 Task Team Chairperson.
In complying with the South African national vaccination rollout plan, NSA has also applied for access to register interested employees on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) for their convenience. This move will allow NSA to register as many employees as possible.
“Our medical team has been trained on how to use and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to the vaccination rollout, Nissan will continue to support employees with COVID-19 information awareness, providing basic hygiene tools such as face masks and personal hand sanitiser,” confirms Shafick.
“To date, all our COVID-19 countermeasures have been grounded on information from credible resources and partners. To this end, we stand with the Health Ministry in encouraging everyone to get vaccinated when the opportunity arises. Mass vaccination will ensure that we better manage the spread of the virus in our community and country,” concluded Kabelo.
Kudoti, South African Recycling Platform recognised as one of the global winners of the Nestlé’s 2021 Creating Shared Value Prize
Kudoti, South African recycling company, was announced in the top five winners of Nestlé 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, for their innovative recycling impact through technology.
The CSV Prize has been running for over 10 years and has identified multiple initiatives for some of today’s most critical environmental and social issues around the world. This year’s competition, conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization, Ashoka, was entitled ‘How do we create a waste-free future?’, It aimed to identify and award innovative solutions with a system-change approach and a strong growth potential, or a replicable model for other social, cultural or geographical settings.
Kudoti (meaning trash in Zulu) is changing business perspectives of waste into recovered materials through supply chain solutions. The company’s digital approach helps track recyclable waste in real-time and matching it to demand. The use of technology improves market conditions for waste materials, which drives up recycling behaviour.
Matthieu de Gaudemar, one of the founders of Johannesburg-based Kudoti, expressed gratitude to Nestlé and Ashoka for this CSV initiative. “Businesses and individuals have a concept of waste as waste, when we should have a concept of waste as a resource. With new business models, we can change the way that waste is viewed.”
De Gaudemar adds that their platform’s success was collective team effort. “It truly takes everyone to address systemic environmental issues. Through this financial investment and technical resources, we will amplify our impact by scaling up our solution in South Africa.”
“When people speak of the future, a world of hover crafts or holograSaint-Francis Tohlangms may come to mind. But at Nestlé, we are seeking a more environmentally futuristic landscape. Through these Awards, we are on a mission to identify and empower market disruptors in the hope of accelerating a waste-free future”, says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).
As one of the winners, Kudoti will receive a cash prize of $40 000 and will benefit from Ashoka’s online resources and workshops to explore potential collaboration with Nestlé and a mentoring programme.
“Innovations such as Kudoti not only help reduce waste but also drive consumer behaviour change which is key to achieving a waste free future and takes us closer to a circular economy”, concluded Tohlang.
By Weber Shandwick