Akhila is a Justmeans staff writer for CSR and ethical consumption. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she i...
African CSR Conference in Lagos
The first ever Africa Roundtable and Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility (ARCSR) is scheduled to take place in Lagos, Nigeria between June 15-17, 2011. Attendees will include Ireland's first woman President, Mary Robinson and Professor Craig Smith as well as other seasoned CSR professionals across the continent and beyond.
The ARCSR conference will focus on the theme 'The Business Case for CSR and its Impact on African Economies'. The event is aiming to be an industry flagship event attracting Africa's leading figures and decision- makers. It is thought that this will spark off conversations and discussions about CSR in Africa. It will also bring counterparts from Europe, UK and the USA for peer reviews and best practices.
One of the biggest organizers of the event include ThistlePraxis Consulting, a multi-disciplinary CSR and Management Consulting firm. The Lead Consultant and CEO of the firm, Ini Onuk stated that, "TPC has identified the needs and gaps and therefore provides this platform to engage professionals, stakeholders from all over Africa working on issues of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility with a view to creating an operational framework as well as set an agenda towards achieving best practice models that organizations in Nigeria and other African countries can ascribe to."
There are a series of events that are scheduled to take place and they include a high-level roundtable session strictly for CEOs, CSR/CSI and External Affairs Directors, Captains of Industries and Key Public Officials around the continent. This will be followed by a two-day conference that will be open to participation by all interested professionals.
The response according to the organizers so far has been overwhelming and this could signify a change in the African business climate. Ini Onuk also re-iterates that, "we are presenting a platform to engage professionals, stakeholders from all over Africa working on issues of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Corporate Social Investment (CSI) as a concept is still grossly misunderstood in Africa. As a result, the evolution of CSR and the emphasis on sustainability in business enterprises has elevated the desperate need to move from doing business for the sake of profit margins alone to doing business with an underlying aim to achieve social impact - which in turn affects the profit bottom line."
It is hoped that the conference will boost the profile of CSR in Africa as well as attract new business with a CSR focus. The fact that Africa is working towards boosting CSR within the country means great things for the advancement of the principles of ethical business.