CSR in Sub-Sahara Africa

One of the mean reasons of rise of CSR in SSA is the emergence of Regional Learning Forum by the Global Compact in April 2005. Main purpose of RLF is to encourage people in regional membership group, exchange information between the local networks formed by the group and learning CSR initiatives in context specific manner which resulted in sustainable development across the areas improving living conditions for employees.

To keep a track of happenings, RLF set an assessment tool which consists of four mechanisms:

1. Half-yearly database report.
2. Regulating framework within the perspective of CSR and GC.
3. Bottom-line investigation around private sector for CSR initiatives.
4. Individual case studies with the level of implementation focusing GC aims.

Even though, with the rise of CSR, some companies argue, why to implement an overhead business which is directly not responsible to profit and growth. Some organisation quote they already implementing CSR implicitly so practicing structured CSR are not required. They also believed that because of CSR activities there was less commitment to management and internal support, inhibition of monitoring and evaluation of projects ending into insufficient of financial resources. According to Milton Friedman's notion, ‘corporate social responsibility has no place in business is a phrase that is quickly becoming moot' (Matthew Groch, 2008 p.60).

Today, Corporate Social Responsibility has been an essence of doing business over past few decades. On one facade is sort of philanthropy towards needy society and other facet aids to boost the company reputation. Multinational companies always need to at-least keep up their pace or augment in their growth and development around the world and it depends upon organisation-to-organisation how they improve their prospects. Every company meets the requirement or serves the purpose of their customers and these customer altogether form a society in the world in which they dwell in. Coagulate these conditions however, one of the vital reasons of doing so, is through CSR.

There are many supportive reasons which direct to CSR in SSA that not only help the backward class people in attaining their needs and resolving problems but also helped in improving the society. One of the well-known projects in SSA is of Chad-Cameroonian pipeline which was cognition of Exxon, Chervon and Petrona who worked in hand with World Bank who only contributed mere 4%. So, by the end of 2006, Chad has donated $440 million for socio-economic development while in Cameroon, the project funded the government and also opened small business sector.

Furthermore, in Cameroon, Swiss Re, leading reinsures, aided Cameroon with $50,000 of watershed management; this helped to lessen the fight between native people for grazing their cattle.

One of the remarkable exciting achievements in Gugulethu, Cape-town, was of Tamar, a dedicated IT search engine conversion agency in south-west London. 750 children corresponding to 9 classrooms were not enough. Entire staff travelled to accomplish a charity project by constructing two classrooms, a toilet and a play-ground for children of age's 4-8years within a week. They had tough challenge as weather played the hindrance in building the project. Finally, after few days of week, they provided new learning dreams of Gugulethu.

A major problem occurring in Ghana was people suffering from Iodine deficiency, especially children they were born with lower IQ which lead to social & economical implications. Unilever in corporation with UNICEF found out that, it was expensive for local people to buy iodised brands, Unilever, thus promoted Annapurna-low cost iodised salt which assisted people in their growth. They cited that ‘one of the best and most sustainable ways it can help to address global social and environmental concerns is through the very business of doing business in a socially aware and responsible manner'.

In terms, CSR is meeting the public demands and expectations of society which has diverse perceptions of individuals. These individuals include common man, tax collectors, procurement specialist or regulatory officials which are uprooted of the basic amenities encourage corruption environment across Sub-Saharan Africa. This is obviously undesirable. One of the measures which can be highlighted to conquer corruption in Tanzania is through MMC (Millennium Challenge Corporation). In Tanzania, the government received the financial support from MMC which helped to break down the corruption programs through investigation. Since 2006, number of corruption cases has also been increased from 30 to 120 per month which makes clear to eradicate corruption.

CSR has resulted in inappropriate consequences because of current economic collapse. In South Africa, running with mediocre corporate clients, there has been slow-down in corporate & personal giving. ‘One car manufacturer went so far as to take back all sponsored vehicles without much notice from six children's homes!'(Mari Lee, n.d).

Companies also have threat to do business in SSA. One of the reasons is Goldenberg Scandal, 1990, in Kenya, billionaire Kamlesh Pattni, exploited Kenyan government of $1 billion counterfeiting with gold and diamond deals. He was reported by the Goldenberg commission after investigation and he has accused by the government.

Nigeria is one of the largest sources of oil and gas in Africa and across the world. Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco, Agip and TotalFinaElf are the main oil processing companies in Nigeria. Due to oil processing, there has been tremendous amount of gas flaring which has increased the green house gas emissions and ultimately has affected environment. Also, it has violated the human rights significantly as people are suffering from health, physiological and physical hazards. This is result of being ignorant of the environment.

Good ethics are aimed at the communication from the companies and their relationships with the society which effect in overall positive outcome. Community relationships are vital in today's business world. It's a bidirectional vision, in which company's gets renown in world while the societies excel in their lifestyle. This can be achieved through awareness, campaigns in developing society and launching projects with the government.

Allen White said: “Distilled to its basics, the CSR story is a chronicle of gradual redefinition and expansion, ranging from “must do” legal compliance blended with traditional philanthropy, to “should do” based on traditional benefit/cost analysis, and to “ought to do” based on emerging global norms of integrity, ethics and justice.”

Bibliography

Corporate Social Responsibility - Why bother? http://www.yorwaste.co.uk/downloads/Greener%20Business%20Social%20Responsibility%20Why%20Bother.pdf

Fortified foods improve health in Ghana http://www.unilever.co.uk/Images/es_Fortified_foods_improve_health_in_Ghana_tcm28-5527.pdf

Impact of Voluntary CSR Initiatives http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/networks_around_world_doc/Regional_Meetings/Africa/Handout_Summary_of_MxE.pdf

Maneewan Chat-uthai, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility': From Initiation to Celebration http://journal.nida.ac.th/nidajournal/submissions/a224.pdf

Tanguy, Elisabeth, Jarre, Pietro, Thuije, Larisa, Lee, Mari, Paredes, Graco, ‘Communication World' (2009), Vol. 26 Issue 3, p15-15, 1p

Matthew Groch (2008), ‘Corporate Social Responsibility In Sub-Saharan Africa's Development', The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. p.60
http://www.metrocorpcounsel.com/current.php?artType=view&artMonth=May&artYear=2008&EntryNo=8252

Doris Popp (2009), ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa',
http://www2.gtz.de/dokumente/bib/gtz2009-0279en-sub-saharan-africa-csr.pdf

Anti-corruption program exceeds targets http://www.one.org/c/us/progressreport/777/

Business Anti-Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa http://www.smetoolkit.org/smetoolkit/en/content/en/2731/Business-Anti-Corruption-in-Sub-Saharan-Africa

Tamar Project in Cape-town http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVJfN122CJg & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vywZNjkxqg

Peter Roderick (2005), ‘Gas flaring in Nigeria', A Human Rights, Environmental and Economic Monstrosity, http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/gas_flaring_nigeria.pdf

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