The Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, West Africa has welcomed the announcement of a National Corporate Social Responsibility Policy for Ghana. The Centre believes the Policy will help harness the different level of efforts at getting the private sector commit to standards relating to the environment, people, sustainability, development goals and best practices in social responsibility.
According to the Lead Project Manager of the Centre, Mr. Kojo Williams: ‘For many years now, we have advocated for a set of principles that should guide the discharge of social responsibility in Ghana. Since CSR is not entirely a legal, but an ethical and social obligation or mandate, it was necessary to ensure that it was not expressed in a vacuum.’
He continued: ‘At our recent CSR and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Conference co-chaired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), it became very obvious that the private sector needed to harness its CSR initiatives and projects and aligned it to a national framework to create equitable development and prevent multiplicity of interventions targeted as same beneficiaries. We realized that there was the need for a strategic CSR direction and guidance for the country now than ever.’
The Centre for CSR West Africa, a leading CSR advocacy organisation, has been at the forefront of promoting and creating awareness about corporate social responsibility in Ghana through stakeholder conferences, one-on-one engagements, training programmes and its signature CSR Awards scheme, the Ghana CSR Excellence Awards, which is being replicated in other parts of West Africa. The Centre’s activities and advocacy efforts are largely supported by stakeholders from the private sector, business associations, academia, civil society and the media. Notable among these stakeholders are the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), JICA, UNDP, Plan International, University of Applied Management, some local and international media organsations, among others.
Reviewing the National CSR Policy, Mr. Williams opined that: ‘The consolidation of efforts that produced the Policy is laudable and many thanks to the German government for providing the support that birthed it. If you are looking for a set of direct rules or definitive strategies, you may not find it in the Policy, because it is not a legally-binding instrument that whips anyone into line. However, in it, you will find underlining CSR principles drawn from many internationally recognized conventions, practices and standards. You will also find a proposed oversight structure to guide the discharge of CSR in Ghana.’
The Centre admonishes the private sector to ensure that their CSR interventions align to international best practices, are people-centred and environment-conscious while urging government to provide attractive incentives for organisations that are very socially-responsible and helping contribute to the overall achievement of the national development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.