Strengthening CSR – The GIZ Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector
The GIZ Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS) has been working from Pretoria to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) throughout sub-Saharan Africa on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 2005. It has been doing this in the following ways:
- Establishing and supporting private sector CSR initiatives and related themes;
- Supporting local CSR competence centres (NGOs and research institutes);
- General deepening of the understanding of CSR and strategies for CSR in Africa.
In order to receive support, stakeholders need to demonstrate ownership of the initiatives. Together with the partners, CCPS helps identify relevant issues, such as tackling corruption, CSR in local supply chains, responsible business investment in post-conflict zones, food security, human rights and energy efficiency. CCPS also works closely with GIZ structures both in Germany and countries in sub-Saharan Africa (for example the programme on Regional Resource Governance in the Extractive Sector in the Fragile States of West Africa and the Africa Facility for Development Partnerships with the Private Sector).
South Africa, where the CCPS office is located, offers reliable infrastructure and a diverse range of opportunities for cooperation with the private sector. Two examples are outlined here.
CCPS has been cooperating with the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA), based in Pretoria, for more than three years. In the course of this cooperation EthicsSA has built up local anti-corruption structures in eight African countries and established itself as a highly qualified service provider in the fields of corruption prevention and business ethics. Today the services of EthicsSA are also enlisted by the private sector, for example by Siemens, in several African countries.
In 2010 the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC) joined forces with CCPS to hold a series of workshops on CSR in order to raise awareness among German companies operating in South Africa. The topics of these workshops were specifically geared to SAGCC member companies and South African context in particular. The workshops provided platforms for debate and learning, and offered the opportunity to introduce South African service providers and to discuss CSR instruments and the possibilities for development partnerships with the private sector.
Following on from the series of workshops, the SAGCC – with support from GIZ – is establishing a CSR competence centre for its member companies.