UN Global Compact announces new Africa Strategy to accelerate principled business, climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals

Launched at Uniting Business LIVE Private Sector Forum, the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy aims to accelerate and scale the impact of the private sector across Africa 

The United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, today announced its new Africa Strategy to advance corporate sustainability and scale up responsible business practices across the continent in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

With 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion dollars, Africa is the world’s biggest growth market and its businesses are primed to play a pivotal role in the corporate sustainability movement.

Aiming to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business, the UN Global Compact Africa strategy 2021-2023 aims to galvanize large and small companies across Africa to uphold the Ten Principles. The UN Global Compact principles-based approach means that businesses operate in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. 

The strategy is released ahead of the Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 27) in Africa in 2022, and as countries on the continent begin implementing the African Union’s Agenda 2063 — a collective blueprint for transforming the African continent into a global powerhouse of the future. 

Announcing the Africa strategy, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, said: “The private sector plays a critical role in the development of Africa and in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our new strategy for Africa will ensure businesses across the continent have access to the tools and partnerships they need to play their part in creating a resilient future while adhering to responsible and sustainable business practices.”

The UN Global Compact Africa Strategy seeks to engage and recruit the top 100 companies across the continent, while also expanding its value propositions to SMEs, a crucial part of Africa’s economy. By 2023, the UN Global Compact aims to have reached one-third of African businesses with more than $25 million in turnover and increased its SME membership by 50 per cent.

The UN Global Compact will develop a customised program offering that caters to the needs of African companies of all sizes, prioritizing five thematic areas: Gender Equity, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Partnerships.

See the Africa Strategy:  UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021–2023 | UN Global Compact