On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), West Africa – a leading CSR and sustainability advocacy organisation, in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries, brought together many leading socially responsible companies and organisations who rendered accounts of their impressive and excellent social stewardship, demonstrating a stellar commitment to their impact on the broader society and environment within which they operate.
Prominent sustainability-inclined businesses and organisations, such as PwC, RYTHM Foundation, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), World Vision, Volta River Authority, Vodafone and VIVO Energy, delivered speeches and presentations about how they imbibe the tenets of social responsibility and ultimately, contributing their quota to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They gave vivid examples of projects they are implementing in health, education, community development, human capital development, volunteerism and other areas. Prof. Martin Gyambrah, Director of the University of Applied Management, Germany (Ghana Campus) delivered a practical and scholarly presentation on a new world imperative for business sustainability, post-pandemic.
He encouraged businesses to re-think, re-align and commit to sustainable business practices so they can cope with the challenges of a new fast-paced world. He advised that a company that cannot imagine or plan for the future would not be around to enjoy it.
GOIL, Ghana’s leading marketer and distributor of oil and petroleum products, represented by its Public Relations Manager Robert Kyere and Jamilatu Mohammed; RYTHM Foundation represented by the Head of the Foundation, Santhi Periasamy; PwC, represented by one of its partners, Richard Ansong; World Vision represented by Agnes Obeng and Joseph Appiah, supported the conference as lead sponsors, creating a platform that enabled businesses to give account of their societal stewardship, network, partner and collaborate for business sustainability and the greater good of society.
Other notable companies and organisations that participated in the conference include Toyota Ghana, Promasidor, Republic Bank, CBL West Africa, Imperial General Assurance, SIC Ghana, Ghanaian German Economic Association, Société Générale, Consolidated Bank, Blay and Associates, Fruveg, Rivella Enterprise, J.A. Abrahams & Sons, Bosomtwi Industries, Amla Foundation, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and many others.
According to Richard Ansong, a Partner at PwC: “As the largest provider of professional services in Africa, we are a forward-thinking, forward-looking, sustainability-conscious organisation. We specialise in providing industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for our clients globally and in Ghana. We ensure that sustainability is engrained in our service delivery. Companies can no longer operate without strong commitment to values that promote, support and protect people and the planet. We take pride in the fact that our services add value by helping to improve transparency, trust and consistency of business processes in Ghana and across the world”.
The Head of RHYTHM Foundation, the CSR arm of QI Group – Santhi Periasamy, said: “Over the years, RYTHM has made considerable strides in ensuring Education for All (SDG 4), encouraging Gender Equality (SDG 5), safeguarding Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), providing access to Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), promoting Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), helping Reduce Inequalities (SDG 10), and strengthening Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17)”.
She revealed: “More than 80,000 beneficiaries have been impacted by RYTHM-funded community projects in approximately 30 countries over the last decade. We have implemented around 75 projects focused on sustainable community development globally. Across the world, we have partnered 135 organisations, and more than 17,000 youths and 155,000 women and young females have been assisted through our flagship initiatives and community programmes”.
Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said: “We are glad that corporate members of our association are well-represented at this conference. As a leading business association, we encourage and help our members to be socially responsible. We remind them that though making profit is important, they need to put sustainability first. A company can only make profit if it is in existence and in good relations with internal and external stakeholders”. Nathaniel Quarcoopome, Director of Finance and Administration of the AGI, was also present.
The Chief Representative of JICA Ghana, Madam Suzuki Momoko, revealed that JICA has been working with Ghana since 1963, supporting the Government of Ghana’s development agenda.
“JICA is one of the world’s largest official development assistance executing agencies, taking an integrated approach to development cooperation by combining technical cooperation, finance and investment cooperation and grants. Our extensive interventions in Ghana cut across many sectors – including, health, education, private sector development, agriculture, infrastructure and governance.”
Speaking at the conference, John Kojo Williams, co-Founder of the Centre for CSR, West Africa, said: “Since 2013, we have been at the forefront of creating awareness on CSR and sustainability issues, and matchmaking companies to create sustainable impact.
“We are happy that this conference is a huge success and that companies were provided the much-needed platform to render their CSR account, network and partner for more sustainable projects that will keep their businesses alive and make society better. This conference brought together companies, business associations, regulatory agencies, international aid organisations, academia and the media.”
Mr. Williams announced that a magazine to compile CSR activities of companies in Ghana would soon be published. He also announced that entries for Ghana CSR Excellence Awards 2024 are now officially open. Enquiries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. More than 30 media houses attended the conference.