More than 1,000 companies and non-business private sector stakeholders are participating in the Global Compact across 45 countries in Africa. Our reach is further growing with the Africa Business Leaders Coalition, which now counts 65 members that operate across 51 countries on the continent. The region is poised for invigorated sustainable growth buoyed by several factors including: continental agreements like Agenda 2063 (The Africa We Want) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (One Africa); the African Union’s admission into the G20 in 2023, an intergovernmental group representing 85 per cent of global GDP and 75 per cent of global trade; robust digital and technological innovations; abundance of renewable energy resources; a demographic dividend presented by a youthful population below 25 years of age being about 60 per cent of 1.3 billion people; and a vibrant SME sub-sector. The region, however, continues to grapple with challenges relating to limited access to favorable sustainable finance, global competition, large informal economy, limitations of infrastructure, negative effects from climate change and, most notably, the COVID-19 crisis that has contributed to the deceleration of progress towards Agenda 2030.

Anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Commitment and international human rights covenants, the private sector has a primary role in rebuilding towards positive social and environmental impact and accelerating sustainable development. The Ten Principles of the Global Compact provide the cross-cutting, objective and pragmatic framework for businesses, large and small, to adopt sustainability and responsibility at their core and to drive similar action along their value chains.

At the country level, the 10 Local Networks and four Expansion Countries of the UN Global Compact across the continent help to accelerate and scale up sustainability action and responsible business in Africa by implementing context-specific programmes, initiatives and outreach. Local Networks work in collaboration with key stakeholders including governments, regional institutions, UN partners, business associations and providers of capital to enhance 'Partnerships for the Goals' (SDG17).

The UN Global Compact is guided by our refreshed Africa Strategy for the period 2024-2025, which builds on our prior 2021-2023 Strategy to further mobilize businesses for impact in Africa with a particular lens to measuring progress.

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