Ivory Coast: with support of the UN, the private sector wants to combine SDO and CSR

A workshop of the Ivorian employers' association, which focused on the contribution of the private sector to the implementation of sustainable development, has just ended in the city of Abidjan, with a view to pooling efforts to accelerate the ecological transition.

The economic operators of Ivory Coast promise to be strongly involved in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. This was at a forum to raise awareness among business leaders in this West African country of the need to take the environment and social well-being into account in their management policies. Thus, the Ivorian private sector is committed to aligning corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies with the requirements of the SDGs.

“Many companies are still reluctant to commit to CSR programmes, which are the best way to prevent social and environmental risks but also to increase their performance and market share,” said Vallassiné Diarrassouba, vice-president of the Confédération générale des entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI). The initiative of the institution based in the economic capital Abidjan will benefit from the technical support of the UN through its Global Compact. Since its creation in 2000, this mechanism has been offering green practices and capacity building workshops to entrepreneurs around the world.

“At least 18,000 companies worldwide, including 800 in Africa, join and make commitments each year regarding their contribution to achieving the SDGs. So, in terms of CSR, agribusinesses, for example, must play a crucial role in the achievement of MDG2, which advocates the strengthening of food security,” explains Philippe Poinsot, the resident coordinator of the UN system in Ivory Coast. This initiative is in line with the National Development Plan (NDP2021-2023) which advocates climate resilience, among other things.

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Indeed, the country of elephants has been confronted over the past decades with drought, which increases deforestation and atmospheric pollution. To remedy this, private companies and multinationals are multiplying eco-responsible actions. It is in this context that the Ivorian branch of BGFI Bank mobilised civil society in 2022 to plant 300 trees in Duibo and Kpato in the town of Divo, located three hours’ drive from Abidjan.