UN Global Compact launches Africa Business Leaders Coalition to advance climate action and sustainable growth across the continent

The Africa Business Leaders Coalition brings together CEOs from across the continent to advance Africa’s sustainable growth, prosperity and development

New York, U.S.A., May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Convened by the UN Global Compact, Chief Executive Officers from across Africa today announced the launch of the Africa Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC).

The Coalition will provide a platform for African business leaders to have a unified private sector voice as they actively and meaningfully engage to work on the continent’s most pressing issues through an organized, forward-looking, principles-based approach.

The Africa Business Leaders Coalition is a CEO-led initiative emanating from the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021–2023, and is committed to advancing sustainable growth, prosperity and development in Africa by bringing measurable impact to its most pressing issues. The ABLC will work closely with the UN Global Compact Hub in Abuja and 10 Global Compact Local Networks operating across Africa.

Ahead of COP27 to be held in Egypt in November 2022, the ABLC will focus its efforts on sustainable development and ambitious climate action by bringing the perspectives of dozens of leading African CEOs and Board Chairs into the global conversation. This will culminate in an ABLC Climate Statement in support of COP27, anchored in the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact Ten Principles. ABLC members will be invited to sign on and announce credible commitments and actions through this Climate Statement.

Welcoming the founding members of the Africa Business Leaders Coalition, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed urged them to use their influence to drive change across the continent.  “This is  an opportunity to establish a holistic dialogue to reconcile the development needs of the continent with the need for ambitious climate action, jumpstart the renewable energy transition, and build resilience across the continent,” she said.

Launching the ABLC, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact Sanda Ojiambo said: “Climate change presents a $3 trillion investment opportunity in Africa by 2030. But this potential will not be realized unless the private sector is involved. This Coalition has a critical role to play in ensuring the voice of Africa’s private sector is heard on the global stage to ensure the continent’s growth is not only sustainable but also green.”

The 11 founding members of ABLC include Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank, Nigeria; Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, Chairman, Bank of Africa, Morocco; Hichem Elloumi, Chairman and CEO, COFICAB; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe; James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director, Equity Group, Kenya; Karim Bernoussi, CEO, Intelcia Group, Morocco; Phuthi​ Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO, Naspers, South Africa; Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis, CEO and Chairman, Oriental Weavers Carpets Co., Egypt; Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom, Kenya; Fleetwood Grobler, President and CEO, Sasol, South Africa; and Amir Barsoum, Founder and CEO, Vezeeta, Egypt.

Members of the ABLC commit to upholding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and becoming a UN Global Compact participant within six months of joining.

During today’s  launch, the founding members shared their commitment to sustainability across the continent, focusing on potential company commitments, the sustainability efforts they are making across their communities, a move towards more innovative and robust methods of climate finance, and a call to action for the global community.

The virtual launch event was also attended by leaders from the United Nations, including Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly; Collen Vixen Kelapile, President, United Nations Economic and Social Council; Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations; Cristina Duarte, Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary-General and Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact. They  joined together today to launch the ABLC with Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-level Climate Champion for Egypt.

Boston Consulting Group is providing strategy and implementation support to the UN Global Compact for the Africa Business Leaders Coalition.  Today’s inaugural  meeting was Chaired by Sanda Ojiambo with support from Patrick Dupoux, Managing Director, Senior Partner, and Head of Africa, BCG.

Today’s  launch will be followed by six regional roundtable meetings in Abidjan, Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi in June and July to discuss, shape and mobilize principled and sustainable business in Africa.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 15,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org and Africa Business Leaders Coalition | UN Global Compact

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