Saturday, December 2Inside Business Africa

Africa’s business leaders canvass ‘common good, capitalism

With the role of capitalism sparking intense debate around the world, the need to boost impact of African business operators for common good of the people, regional growth, and continental development has been advanced.

Experts, who ahead of the Africa business leaders’ forum to be hosted in Ivory Coast, expressed concerns about growing inequality, advent of climate risk, technological revolutions and resurgent protectionism, which are the four major disruptions turning the global private sector upside down and pointing to urgency for capitalism’s fundamental transformation worldwide.

Besides, they said focus must be shifted to a well-functioning market that offers lower prices and higher quality products for the people.

The Executive Chairman, BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, said the world’s major companies must, and can bring about a paradigm shift in doing business right by creating a new movement that promotes ‘common-good capitalism’.

Rabiu said painting a new horizon for the African private sector requires a strategic priority at a time when the inequality gap continues to widen, imbalances remain significant, and environmental risk grows.

He said: “I am convinced that the world’s major companies can bring about a paradigm shift in doing business right. The initiative would create a new movement promoting common-good capitalism.”

According to Abdoul Maiga of the Jeune Afrique Media Group, the leaders of Africa’s economy and largest companies have been slow to participate in the topical discussion surrounding “capitalism and the common good, hence innovative solutions are needed to help the continent and its companies move forward.

Maiga in a statement stressed that the need to “do good” becomes increasingly pressing in Africa, adding that 1,800 leading decision-makers from industry, finance and politics will come together in Abidjan to boost the impact of African companies for the people.

“There is the urgent need to drive public-private dialogue forward by providing a platform where economic leaders in the continent and public sector representatives can discuss key sectoral challenges, as well as stimulate significant transactions in favour of the regional and pan-African growth of the private sector and the development of the continent in general. This, they believed could be achieved through the forum.”

She added, “Telecom providers are promoting financial inclusion, investors are developing distributed solar energy facilities, and agribusiness is prioritising on-site supply and processing: such examples of ‘business for good’ are gradually becoming commonplace in Africa.”

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