As African continent continues to grow and develop, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and citizen engagement will play a significant role in fostering Africa’s development.
Experts who spoke at the 2023 Africa NXT forum in Lagos agreed that CSR and citizen engagement are important to developing a sustainable economy.
Experts noted that CSR and citizen engagement can be useful in creating meaningful partnerships between private and public sectors, as well as in leveraging resources to drive positive change in Nigeria and other African countries.
The session was put together by digital charity platform, ProjectGiiV, and had its founder, Olamide Jasanya, and other professionals like Ifesinachi Okpagu, Chief Marketing Officer, Heirs Insurance, Olapeju Ibekwe, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, Ken Egbas, Chief Executive Officer, TruCSR and founder of Chess in Slums, Tunde Onakoya, as discussants.
Jasanya noted that CSR involves companies taking responsibility for their actions and considering the impacts of their decisions on society and the environment, and citizen engagement involves the public having a say in the decisions that affect them and their communities.
By combining both elements, he said companies can work together with local communities to develop sustainable solutions to common problems.
“CSR and Citizen Engagement CSR are key factors in developing sustainable local economies and communities. Companies can use CSR to invest in local communities and create jobs. This can help to reduce poverty and provide economic opportunities for people. Companies can also use CSR to help protect the environment and promote conservation. By investing in renewable energy sources and other green initiatives, the effects of climate change can be reduced and a healthier environment, created for people to live in. Citizen engagement is an essential part of developing sustainable local economies and communities.
It is important for citizens to have a say in the decisions that affect them and their communities,” Jasanya said.
Okpagu spoke about the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors as well as efforts made in achieving social impact through the empowerment of African entrepreneurs.
She added that CSR is critical to the economic development of Nigeria and Africa at large.
To corroborate Okapagu’s statement, Ibekwe mentioned that the government must collaborate with the private sector to identify existing solutions and drive an efficient partnership towards the same goal of CSR. Egbas spoke from the direction of measuring the impact of CSR.
He stated that companies must consider why they invest in CSR to effectively measure its impact on the community and how it benefits both the public and private sectors.
In terms of impact metrics, Onakoya added that CSR should be seen from an end-to-end perspective where companies are deliberate about their efforts and the expected outcome it will generate.
Reference: THE NATION