Responsible businesses are principle and value-driven, demonstrating in addition to profit-making activities, consideration for employees, customers, suppliers and the wider society. The ARB Forum will showcase how African businesses are attempting to be responsible, and provide an avenue for collaboration, innovation and learning for responsible business practices in Africa. While the primary focus of The ARB Forum will be on the role of the private sector, it will also include considerations of how the public sector and civil society can work with the private sector to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa.
Africa is transforming, and as the continent experiences change including an increase in the rate of urbanisation, and an expansion of the working population, the level of consumption and the scale of industrialisation will change. But to what end is the industrialisation and expansion of Africa? There is an opportunity for the continent to channel its economic and industrial development to ensure that businesses operate responsibly and contribute to the holistic vision of economic, social and environmental development. Businesses in Africa are strong, resilient and entrepreneurial. They strive to succeed, notwithstanding the number of challenges encountered. In many instances, businesses have stepped in to address infrastructural and other developmental challenges in their communities, seeing themselves as responsible for, and to the society from which their businesses emerge, exist and thrive. As such businesses are critical change agents, well-positioned to be at the helm of the transformation of Africa.