Corporate social responsibility for sustainable development
Title: Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Sub-Saharan Africa; located in South Africa
Partner: Corporate initiatives and competence centres on CSR in sub-Saharan Africa
Overall term: 2002 to 2013
Private companies play a crucial role in the overall development of societies. Not only do they generate growth and create jobs, but they also have an influence on people’s wellbeing and an impact on the environment.
Responsible action on the part of companies, that is to say action that considers the economical, environmental and social implications of their business, is referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Companies that structure their activities in a sustainable manner along the entire value chain not only contribute to the wellbeing of their employees, society and the environment, but can also improve their own financial stability and competitiveness.
The private sector in sub-Saharan Africa contributes towards sustainable development by adopting responsible business practices.
Since 2002, GIZ has supported responsible business practices worldwide. Since 2005, the Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS) has promoted Corporate Social Responsibility throughout sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, CCPS:
cooperates with national and regional private sector initiatives on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR);
assists non-governmental organisations and academic institutions as local CSR competence centres; and
promotes an enhanced understanding of CSR in Africa and the adaptation of this concept to local contexts.
Results achieved so far
Since 2005, the Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector has supported a number of private sector CSR initiatives in Africa. In Liberia, it helped ArcelorMittal, other companies and the government to set up the Corporate Responsibility Forum Liberia (CRFL). Today, the Forum has 37 members and helps to build companies’ CSR competence through training workshops and other measures.
In Kenya, CCPS has supported the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in developing a voluntary energy agreement, the Energy Efficiency Accord. Companies that sign the Accord make a commitment to the government to increase their energy efficiency so as to meet agreed targets. During the first year, the participating companies were able to achieve energy savings worth more than EUR 450,000. The quantity of energy that has been saved would be sufficient to provide roughly 30,000 Kenyans with electricity for a year.
Furthermore, CCPS contributes to the creation of local CSR competence centres in Africa. One such example is the practice-oriented Centre for Corporate Responsibility (CCR), which was set up in cooperation with the University of Ghana Business School and has since established itself as a service provider on the market. Five CSR training modules for companies have been developed and implemented. The Centre’s expertise is also used by other actors. In June 2012, an anti-corruption training course was organised for 200 recruits from the Ghana Police College.
The information gathered on the practice of CSR in Africa is processed and made available to the public. Examples include the Guidebook for the Facilitation of Multi-Stakeholder Processes or the analysis of the CSR landscape in 12 countries of sub-Saharan Africa.