Our Work in Africa

With 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion dollars, Africa is the world’s biggest growth market. African businesses are primed to play a pivotal role in the corporate sustainability movement.

The UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021-2023 provides a roadmap to galvanize large and small businesses across Africa to uphold the Ten Principles. The UN Global Compact principles-based approach means that businesses operate in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The Africa Strategy anchors upon the ambition of the UNGC Global Strategy 2021-2023 - to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the SDGs through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.

The Africa Strategy acknowledges the critical issues for the private sector in Africa and recognizes the immense opportunities under the SDGs, Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and other regional sustainable development initiatives within the regional economic blocs, the Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 27) in Africa in 2022, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 - a collective blueprint for transforming the African Continent into a global powerhouse of the future. The UN Global Compact will contribute to momentum building efforts by the private sector towards these opportunities to drive sustainability.

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The UN Global Compact Africa Strategy has three objectives to accelerate and scale up sustainability impact in Africa. We will:

  1. focus on the largest economic centers and companies in Africa for their ability to drive impact throughout their value chains.
  2. include companies of all sizes and sectors - legacy and emerging - in all parts of the Continent, and; ]
  3. leverage the influence of associations for their collective affiliations, supply chains for their holistic coverage of value creation, and sources of capital for their power to influence principles-oriented business practices. 


The UN Global Compact will offer customized programs that cater to the needs of African companies of all sizes, prioritizing five thematic areas: Gender Equity, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Partnerships.

Several impactful delivery mechanisms ensure that Global Compact participating companies gain necessary knowledge and tools to adopt the Ten Principles and SDGs. 

  • The Academy of the UN Global Compact offers training and master classes to provide participating companies with the knowledge and skills they need to meet their sustainability objectives.
  • Think Labs serve as incubators for future-oriented programs and themes and provide thought leadership for the ambition of the Global Compact. 
  • Accelerators help companies make rapid progress on specific sustainability goals in their operating context. 
  • Peer learning groups bring together companies and stakeholders to share best practices and challenges on an ongoing basis at the global, regional, and local levels. 
  • Policy advocacy enables companies to support policy development and ambitious local action. 
  • Events connect participants and stakeholders across programs and ecosystems.

Value for businesses:

The private sector is a crucial actor to accelerate sustainable recovery and growth in Africa. Adopting sustainable and responsible business models in line with the Ten Principles not only drives competitive advantage but also contributes to the creation of equitable and resilient societies, social good and climate resilience. By participating in the Global Compact, principled companies and SMEs are more likely to enhance internal innovation, de-risk their investments, gain a positive impact on performance, and become market and investor ready. Resultantly, businesses enjoy loyalty from increasingly conscientious stakeholders including clients, employees and communities they serve.