UN Global Compact XII Annual Local Network Forum & UN System Private Sector Focal Points Meeting: statement by Carlos Lopes UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ECA
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Lopes, Carlos;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa.;
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A study on “Reputation and Corporate Social Responsibility”, published by Reputation Institute in 2013, indicates that within the fifteen largest markets in the world, only five per cent of companies are seen as making a real impact in corporate social responsibility. Apart from a few corporate beacons, such as Anglo-American, home-grown African companies perform a lot worse on corporate social responsibility than foreign multinationals. Many may have experience with Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), either as part of the Global Compact or directly with your own governments. It is also high time for the private sector to take a more proactive role in shaping development policy aimed at improving the business climate. If the private sector has a frank and regular conversation with government, it will be easier for the public sector to know where best to channel public investments. But, here too, the private sector as well as governments may have some homework to do as, too often, the process of policy formulation is hampered by the lack of organisational and analytical capacity within the private sector. One way to raise the profile and developmental impact of corporate social responsibility in Africa is to set up PPPs. In this way, governments and the private sector can set agreed targets that encompass socio-economic and environmental concerns that can be addressed through corporate social responsibility. These targets should necessarily be aligned to current national development goals and backed by clear and uniform standards on reporting. This would allow companies and corporations to go beyond perfunctory corporate social responsibility and might also open up opportunities for companies to partner on a bilateral or industry and sector level to meet CSR targets.