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African Regional Learning Forum Launched

2005-06-29

With support from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and the German Development Agency GTZ, the Global Compact Regional Learning Forum for Sub-Saharan Africa was launched in Midrand,South Africa on 22 June. More than 70 participants attended the event at the University of South Africa’s (UNISA) Graduate School of Business Leadership. The UNISA Centre of Corporate Citizenship (CCC) is the official partner of the Regional Learning Forum.

Professor Nyameko Barney Pityana (see picture), Principal of UNISA, delivered the keynote speech and stressed the relevance of the Global Compact and its principles in the African context. He emphasized “that the ethos and principles embedded in the Compact should be filtered into teaching, training and learning” and called for more joint efforts to spread the message of corporate responsibility.

Ellen Kallinowsky, Head of the Regional Learning Forum, presented the objectives and the strategy of the Forum and invited participants to share experiences and engage in learning activities. She underlined the importance of professional service providers in the field of corporate citizenship in Africa and said that the Regional Learning Forum will support such organizations in their efforts to build competencies and increase access for managers to such services.

Vassi Naidoo, the CEO of Deloitte Touche South Africa, stressed the strategic importance of good corporate citizenship for any company aiming for long-term success. Vassi underlined the need to stimulate CEO leadership to promote the Global Compact in Africa and to translate commitment into action. Vassi encouraged participants to send employees to the training courses offered by the CCC, as he saw the availability of corporate citizenship training in South Africa as vital to the success of African companies.

During the event, several partner organizations of the Regional Learning Forum shared their expertise on the Global Compact principles. Representatives from the WWF, the Ethics Institute of South Africa, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the National Business Initiative, the South African Human Rights Commission, and the Department of Public Service and Administration challenged participants to identify future opportunities for learning.

On 23 June, representatives from the African Global Compact networks in Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Cameroon and Zambia convened in Pretoria to share their experiences and to identify future strategic actions in support of the Global Compact in the region.

For more information, please contact Ellen Kallinowsky, Head of the UN Global Compact Regional Learning Forum (+27-(0)12-429-3701; kallinowsky@un.org).
Download Prof. Pityana's speech (PDF).
Download Vassi Naidoo's speech (PDF).