Companies across Africa have taken rapid and significant steps to initiate community emergency relief efforts in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, the private sector has focused on business continuity - securing the supply of essential products; protecting workforces; and engaging customers.
While relief efforts to date have been largely socially driven, there is also a long-term business motive – only through healthy, economically active communities can business ensure its own sustainability.
“Our 2020 Shared Value Vision for Africa is for communities and business to find pandemic-spawned opportunities amidst the hardship. Going forward, we hope collaborative efforts spanning economic sectors and geographic borders become a way of doing business, benefitting all on the continent,” says Tiekie Barnard, CEO and Founder of the Shared Value Africa Initiative and Shift Impact Africa, the organisers of the eSummit.
This vision will be front of mind for a network of purpose-led African business leaders, who will participate in the continent’s first ever virtual Shared Value event from 2-5 June. It was originally scheduled as a physical event, which was to take place in Rwanda on 4-5 June as the fourth edition of this Summit.
The virtual event, aptly named Beyond Borders: 2020 Africa Shared Value Leadership
, will continue the Shared Value conversation, albeit in the context of Covid-19 experiences. The aim is for speakers and participants to share insights and identify solutions that can lead to inclusive economic growth for the continent. The core focus remains the same: Organisations focused on ‘profit with purpose’ can contribute and collaborate to reducing inequality and building economic prosperity.
“The pandemic has changed our world and the degree to which governments and businesses are working together is unprecedented. There is immense power in joining forces to create collective impact at a scale far beyond what any one company could achieve alone,” says Barnard.
Barnard adds that event sponsors, Old Mutual Group, Abbott and KCB Group are key examples of companies that have moved rapidly to bring relief to stakeholders. “Old Mutual’ s set of initiatives, for example, includes assistance for business and individual clients, as well as work with partners to provide funding for healthcare workers. Abbott Laboratories has launched a rapid test kit that could take as little as five minutes. KCB Group has contributed funds towards interventions to cushion citizens from the economic hardship brought by Covid-19.”
The different webinar sessions during what is now a “Shared Value Week” will focus on finance, healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship – the key building blocks for Africa’s economic revival in a post-pandemic world. Also, as with previous years, the UN Sustainable Development Goals will remain a core thread throughout the sessions and topics.
The aim of the organisers is to draw a global audience, to provide sessions and discussions that will be easily accessible and that will motivate companies and individuals to take action, re-look current strategies and operations in order to contribute to Africa’s economic recovery. A summit with a difference
The eSummit format includes keynotes, fireside chats, panels, roundtable and fishbowl discussions.
The first day’s session, sponsored by Old Mutual, features a keynote address by Harvard Business School Professor and Co-Founder of the Shared Value Initiative, Mark Kramer, on creating Shared Value in a time of crisis. Discussions will lead into a CEO’s lunch attended by 10 chief executives from the African business community who will offer insight on purpose-led leadership during a time of crisis.
Day two, sponsored by Abbott, will give attendees an opportunity to hear the Rwanda Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije talking about the model to decentralise health care in Rwanda, followed by a discussion on the challenges the continent faces in funding and building healthcare solutions for the benefit all.
Day three, sponsored by the KCB Group, gives attendees the ability to interact with a range of Africa’s entrepreneurs who will be sharing their experiences as young leaders and how they see the business after Covid-19.
Immaculata Segooa, Shared Value Africa Initiative Steering Committee member, is confident that the Shared Value narrative emerging through the pandemic will prevail and benefit attendees.
She says: “Everyone coming together through surreal global activism to share the value we have amassed respectively for so long, in order to serve humanity. Countries are collaborating; scientists are sharing findings in search for a vaccine across geographies; presidents are making tough calls for the welfare of its citizens; political parties are transcending their differences; educators going beyond the call of duty to teach hygiene and prevention and so much more.” Visit www.africasharedvaluesummit.com
for more information.About Shared Value Africa Initiative:
The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI), is a pan-African organisation and the custodian of the global Shared Value movement on our continent. The SVAI is the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative, and the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative started by economists Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer of the Harvard Business School. The SVAI’s objective is to create ecosystem and orchestrate, convene, motivate, create collaborative private sector relationships that as a collective when working together can bring about change at scale. About Shift Impact Africa:
Shift Impact Africa, the organisers of the e-Summit, is a Shared Value advocacy, training and consultation firm assisting businesses to find the Shared Value strategy that works for them. Frequently, companies are not sure how to move from purely profit-focused to demonstrating their responsibility towards their environment and society. Shift Impact Africa assists clients to identify social challenges relevant to the business, and to implement the Shared Value enterprise where growth opportunities lie.