Commercial growth, socio-economic development and the conservation of environmental resources were for a long time viewed as mutually exclusive in the business world. Fewer businesses today hold these views. That is because the arguments in favour of an integrated view of development are being better understood. In this new paradigm, business increasingly takes to heart the simple equation: commercial growth + socio-economic improvement + environmental caretaking = sustainable development.
Companies depend on their social and ecological surroundings to conduct their business. At the same time, they are responsible for their actions and their consequences on them. Thus, the very fact that success is increasingly because of corporate social responsibility (CSR) implies that such responsible business behaviour is a sine qua non of doing business in current times.
Nowhere is the need for inclusive socio-economic development coupled with the protection of ecological systems more pertinent than in sub-Saharan Africa. As the continent stabilises and develops economically, its governments, civil society and the private sector share the responsibility to ensure that value is created in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner and benefits are shared equitably.
To be successful in understanding and integrating CSR, businesses have to learn to draw on the experiences of entities that have already developed expertise in the field. This is an area that requires patient endeavour, and where it is fruitful to engage in wide-ranging discussion with partners. One such partner is the GIZ Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS).
Who we are
Since 2002, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH ( GIZ) has supported Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) worldwide on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development ( BMZ). The BMZ defines CSR as the responsible activity on the part of businesses to take the impact of their operations into consideration and to use their available leeway to foster sustainable development (BMZ 2010).
Consequently, GIZ’s Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS) opened an office in Pretoria in 2005 to foster such responsible business practices in sub-Saharan Africa.
What we offer
The CCPS offers three main services. It
· supports CSR initiatives led by the private sector in targeted countries and regions;
· cooperates with NGOs and academic institutions to bolster their CSR competency;
· deepens the understanding of CSR in the specific context of Africa via lessons already learned and additional research.
The CCPS fosters an environment where solutions to both socio-economic development and the protection of ecological systems are discussed and developed. Strongly supportive of a multi-stakeholder approach, the CCPS facilitates the establishment of dialogue platforms where private sector companies, industry associations, the public sector, academia and non-governmental organisations come together to debate and learn (For more information on the example of the CSR Roundtables in South Africa follow these links: English or French). Through these consultations the partners may jointly translate their ideas and deliberations into concrete action. A case in point is the role the CCPS played in bringing Kenyan manufacturers together to commit to an energy efficiency accord with the Kenyan government and the subsequent energy and cost savings afforded as a result. For more information follow these links: English or French.
The CCPS functions as a neutral facilitator, bringing in technical expertise and helping to develop capacity. It provides support for concept development, engagement with other stakeholders and networking. Critical issues for consultations and potential concrete action are always jointly identified with the partners.
As part of GIZ, the CCPS is able to draw on a worldwide network of specialised technical programmes implemented on behalf of the German government; and is able to leverage this to the benefit of those companies who participate in its initiatives.
The purpose of this website is to document and share the experiences and learning outcomes of our various initiatives and encourage the private sector and other stakeholders to implement innovative CSR initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with the CCPS.