A new global partnership with business: building a post-2015 development framework to achieve sustainable prosperity in Africa

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.

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