African Approach to Corporate Citizenship

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AICC is currently implementing a continental programme called  African Approach to Corporate Citizenship. From the perspective of AICC, Corporate Citizenship refers to all the impacts that business enterprises have on society and the influences that affect the business institutional processes (the policies, legal and ethical frameworks that society adopts to license, govern and regulate business conduct) the mechanisms for organizing and managing the production of wealth; and the procedures for holding to account all types of business enterprises regardless of whether or not they are incorporated, formal or informal.

In African societies, it was the common good that inspired the creation of economic, legal, political, and social systems for enhancing the well-being of people in a community. In turn, and because it is the individual human being as a member of society that matters and counts most, all the individuals and the institutions in the community have moral obligations, commitments, duties and roles to be fulfilled in pursuit of the common good for each and every member. This is to ensure that the desires of every  member of the community to attain the deserved peace, security, freedom, dignity, respect, justice, equality, and satisfaction are achieved.

The objectives of the programme is to build and strengthen the continental capacity and capability to adopt, promote, apply and implement the highest standards of corporate citizenship based on the African approach (at continental, regional, national, community and corporate levels) through:

  • Research and development programmes that aim at the development, enhancement, refinement and improvement of methods, principles, and codes of best practice in corporate citizenship in all sectors of the economy; on how best to evaluate and assess the impact of good corporate citizenship practices on the wealth creation capacity of countries and the quality of life of citizens. It also seeks to develop appropriate methods for institutional networking as would promote partnerships for progress between the public sector, the private sector and the civil society to enhance better understanding of the role of business in society and corporate citizenship.
  • Training and education targeting development of training materials, testing and validation of the training materials and training of a critical core of trainers to train government officials, directors and officers of corporations, civil society organizations activists in the relevant aspects of responsible corporate citizenship in consultation with institutions of higher learning and professional associations.
  • Establishment of a data bank, resource and knowledge centre on corporate citizenship to serve as a depository, dissemination and networking centre on all matters relevant to corporate citizenship- competitive excellence, governance, responsibility and sustainability- initiatives in Africa and with other regional and global initiatives including through electronically accessible dynamic and interactive website.
  • Communication and advocacy programmes that would motivate, influence and otherwise excite the public sector, civil society and policy makers to understand the benefits of responsible corporate citizenship and otherwise excite and incite the people of Africa to actively demand the implementation and application of the highest standards of corporate citizenship for the greatest benefit for the people of Africa.
  • Partnership and collaborative programmes with like minded institutions, development agencies and collaborative partners to facilitate implementation of the highest standards of corporate citizenship based on the African approach to ensure the sustainable creation, management and distribution of wealth for the greatest benefit for the people of Africa.
  • Strengthening the institutional capacity, competence and capability of AICC to put in place appropriate mechanisms to promote implementation of responsible corporate citizenship based on the African approach in the whole of Africa.

Strategies of the Programme
The programme has four main components; namely

  • Working to bring together key continental players {from the public & private sectors and civil society} and development partners interested in the implementation of good corporate citizenship in Africa to facilitate agreement on an African approach and the priorities of the continent; and to seek agreement on the technical and financial support necessary to ensure that those priorities are addressed in the implementation process and so as to build sustainable capacity to do so. This will involve
  1. Agreement on a framework to facilitate the coordinated implementation of harmonized standards of corporate citizenship in Africa through collaboration, cooperation and consultation;
  2. Agreement and establishment of a catalytic policy think tank (continental platform) to facilitate implementation of harmonized corporate citizenship standards that respond to the needs of the continent, promote continental integration, encourage coordinated, collaborative  & consultative programs;
  3. Strengthening the technical and professional capacity of the AICC enabling it efficiently and effectively play its role as the Continental Centre for corporate citizenship through;
  4. Procurement and deployment of key critical resources- human, financial, technological, reputational -;
  5. Putting in place appropriate governance and management structures and practices with enhanced planning, coordination and management capacity as will make it gain global recognition, reputation and image as the efficient, effective and technically competent institute that spearheads responsible   corporate citizenship in Africa.
  6. Facilitating the development, formulation and design-through diagnostic and design methodological approaches-of generic toolkits and procedures -that analyze the constraints to, problems and limitations experienced by business enterprises in the creation of wealth, corporate competitiveness, corporate governance, social accountability, and enhanced sustainability in Africa-; generic solutions, standards and programmesthat are practical and appropriate to the needs and circumstances of Africa in order to form the basis upon which to embark on a harmonized and coordinated approach in the implementation of responsible corporate citizenship in Africa based on the African Approach.
  7. Facilitating the implementation and application of the harmonized and coordinated standards through collaborative programs to build institutional and technical capacities at the national and sub-regional levels enabling the respective nations or sub-regions adapt the generic guidelines

Anticipated Benefits 
It is anticipated that over the next five-year period to 31st March 2019, the following outputs would be generated:

  • A critical mass of skilled and committed professionals- knowledgeable in the principles, practices  and benefits of corporate citizenship  based on the African approach within the public and private sectors and civil society -built through rigorous training  and education programmes, workshops, seminars and conferences.
  • Development of simplified and harmonized framework that integrates the various strands of corporate citizenship competitive excellence, corporate governance, responsive responsibility, corporate and environmental sustainability -into an understandable and usable instrument for policy makers, corporate boards, leaders of  civil  society  organizations and other community leaders.
  • A continental team of qualified and competent trained trainers to undertake training, build skills and knowledge in good corporate citizenship.
  • A range of training materials and manuals, toolkits, compendium of codes and case studies developed for use by trainers, consultants, evaluators, researchers and regulators, others involved in training, promotion, implementing, regulating and policing good corporate citizenship
  • Detailed reports from case studies and policy studies, highlighting good and bad citizenship practices in public and private corporations, cooperatives, municipal corporations, and not-for-profit organizations to serve the needs of researchers and development practitioners as well as individuals interested in matters relating to responsible corporate citizenship in Africa.
  • Development of mechanisms, criteria and systems for the identification, evaluation, monitoring and reporting on good corporate citizenship
  • Established and strengthened a regional pool of experts and institution networking  to facilitate the flow and sharing of information and experiences on practice  of corporate citizenship  within the sub- region and the continent
  • Development of an interactive website and the setting up of continental resource/referral centre and data base on corporate citizenship in Africa.
  • Developed and putting in place operational partnerships and platforms between public, private and civil society institutions for the efficient and sustainable creation, responsible management and equitable sharing of wealth based on responsible corporate citizenship and social accountability in Africa.
  • Established a well-equipped coordinating secretariat staffed by competent professionals recruited on a competitive basis to address capacity needs for the effective implementation of the principles, standards and practices of good corporate citizenship in Africa.

AICC will play a leading role in ensuring the coordinated and harmonized development and implementation of responsible Corporate Citizenship based on the African Approach in Africa

© 2016 Charlie Maere and Dennis Lupenga Designs


African Institute of Corporate Citizenship,
Area 47/5/394
Off Bwanje Road,
Private Bag 382,
Lilongwe 3,

Phone: +265 310 001 396 (Administration)

+265 310 001 394/395 (Technical Staff)



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