Double Standards In Csr May Impede Africa’s Development, Confab Warns

Rising from a two-day Africa Conference on Business and Human Rights, the third in the series, stakeholders and experts on corporate social responsibility (CSR) warned that Nigeria and Africa’s drive to achieve sustainable development may remain elusive, if foreign investors and corporate organisations continue to apply double standards in implementing CSR on the continent.

They also decried the non-conformity of corporate organisations with regulations and policies, saying this had undermined the progress of CSR in Africa.

At the event themed, “Exploring the Relationship Between CSR and Sustainable Development in Africa,” organised by the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (INCSR), in conjunction with Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Canada, Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, and Zenith Bank Limited, stakeholders agreed that companies would continue to take advantage of the citizenry unless there is a working CSR policy and plan in the country and Africa at large.

 Experts at the event held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Garki, Abuja, observed that many African countries were struggling to locate the right balance between the different approaches to CSR regulation, which is a major task for the states and their regulatory agencies.

For instance, participants at the conference observed that Nigeria in particular is lagging behind as the largest African economy considering the fact that South Africa, through the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) introduced the voluntary reporting for all listed companies in 2002, and the integrated reporting in 2010.

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