The 2019 forum builds on the conversation during ARB Forum 2018, which highlighted the reality of extreme poverty, environmental degradation, unemployment, inequality and poor access to healthcare and education in sub-Saharan Africa. With a mere 17 per cent of the world population, Africa alone harbours 43 per cent of the world’s extremely poor. Clearly, too many Africans have been left out of the development process and for many, life is often nasty, brutish and short. Businesses are among the most informed and influential institutions the world over with revenues and operations sometimes outstripping those of national governments and with real power to affect society positively.
Businesses must appreciate that profitability, while still important, cannot be the ultimate bottom-line alone. Increasingly, societal problems are becoming central to businesses and only businesses who dedicate themselves to solving these problems can ultimately be successful and sustainable in the long term