Business Action For Africa, the Harvard Kennedy School and the Partnering Initiative have released a new report entitled “A new global partnership with business: building a post-2015 development framework to achieve sustainable prosperity in Africa”. It examines the interdependent and dynamic business and development landscapes in Africa, and uses case studies to guide future endeavours. The post-2015 framework is seen as a chance to establish a framework to embed and mainstream transformative, cross-sector partnerships in the development-field. Read extracts from the executive summary below.
“In 2000, Sub-Saharan Africa was deemed to be too risky for many to invest in. Today, the continent has entered the investment mainstream. Africa’s growth is increasingly broad-based and domestically driven. Around a third of GDP growth is generated in the natural resources sector, with the rest coming from a range of other sectors such as manufacturing, construction and services. Growing domestic consumption and a burgeoning middle class are creating a boom across the retail, technology and financial services sectors, further enabling economic diversification, job creation and growth.
As policy makers and businesses intensify their focus on encouraging more inclusive and sustainable growth across the region, a growing number of businesses are moving beyond traditional philanthropic and social investment approaches to doing their core business in ways that directly benefit both the poor and their own strategic and competitive business goals.
For companies already well established in the region, there has been a long-held understanding that the primary contribution business can make to local development priorities is through core business operations. For newer entrants, the business case for engagement in Africa’s development has never been stronger. Depending on the individual company, this may include: ensuring the sustainability of operations and supply chains; access to vital resources such as water and energy; accessing new markets and developing new base-of-the-pyramid products and services; and earning social and legal licenses to operate.
At the same time, businesses operating in Africa increasingly understand that growth opportunities will not be sustainable if they fail to create shared value through the provision of employment and livelihood opportunities; through social investment to foster healthy, educated and stable communities; through effective stewardship of natural resources and efforts to improve resilience to climate change; and, above all, through ethical and responsible operations.”
Click here to access the full report.