Transformational Business Day Targets African Businesses to Address Big Challenges
IFC and the Financial Times summoned African businesses to Nairobi in March to discuss regional solutions to today’s environmental, social and corporate governance challenges, and announce this year’s FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards being awarded in June 2014.
The FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference and Awards: Sustainable Solutions to Today’s Development Challenges builds on the FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards, established more than eight years ago to honor environmentally and socially responsible banking and investment.
The new awards aim to highlight innovative, economically viable, replicable products and services that address development needs in areas such as infrastructure, energy, food and water, social services. They recognize the use of technology to empower the poor and efforts to reverse environmental and social degradation.
Private sector participants from six countries across the continent heard about innovative ways transformation already occurring in infrastructure, financial institutions, agribusiness, and social services.
Oumar Ousman Jobe set the challenge to participants. ,
Jobe, Director of the Africa Competition Forum, a network that encourages competition laws, building the capacity of new authorities and assisting in advocating for the implementation of competition reforms that benefit African economies, said, “Yes, growth in many countries has exceeded five to six percent per annum, but when we calculate the growth, it has been a jobless growth which has not resulted in any significant transformation. And transformation is what Africa needs at this hour. The future of the African continent is not written in stone; it depends largely on the choices we make in agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy, governance and social economic protection.”
Persistent economic instability, social inequalities, natural resource constraints and the impact of climate change underlie the enormous social and environmental challenges facing the continent today. Companies which are finding ways to incorporate sustainable solutions are not only increasing profits, but also their ability to survive long-term.
Sara Clancy, IFC’s Regional Manager for Sustainable Business Advisory said, “There is a growing trend in Sub-Saharan Africa for companies to find innovative ways to integrate social, environmental and corporate governance considerations in their operations to help address Africa’s development challenges. Through these awards we want to see African institutions recognized for putting sustainable practices to work and set a positive example for future investors in the continent.”
Watch a brief video summary of the IFC/FT Transformational Day here.
For more information on sustainable and responsible agribusiness, banking and mining, please see the following getting started guides: