Building Cooperation in Africa Report - an account of the most-comprehensive
meeting ever held between business, the United Nations and NGOs on the subject
of Africa, details how the private sector can help solve the continent's
conflicts, fight its pandemics and ease its refugee crises.
meeting, held at ICC headquarters in December and jointly staged by the
Business Humanitarian Forum (BHF), brought together aid agency workers and
United Nations officials with representatives of more than 50 companies and
business groups who have operations in Africa.
of the conference - now available on the ICC website, www.iccwbo.org - says
that companies agreed they should make the fight against HIV/Aids a core
business priority because the disease threatens the bottom line.
Maresca, President of the BHF said business self-interest should be enough to
see it become involved in Africa.
definitely has a role to play in humanitarian problems in Africa," he
sub-Saharan Africa are everyone's problems. It is in the business world's
self-interest to address humanitarian challenges."
also quotes Maria Livanos Cattaui, Secretary General of the ICC, who reminded
participants that businesses have many management skills and a vast store of
knowledge to help solve Africa's problems.
understand costs," she said. "Investing in Africa is not philanthropy
- it's a business investment. But businesses must be very clear about their
capacities. Afterall, business is not government."
Cattaui's sentiments, UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan is quoted in the
reported as saying it made good business sense for companies to help solve some
of the continents most pressing humanitarian crises.
societies are to prevent or overcome humanitarian disaster, business stands to
gain and should be on hand to assist," he said. "Busines s has a
clear stake in ending conflict and in alleviating the suffering caused by
humanitarian emergencies. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the private sector can make an
enormous difference responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis and the United Nations
welcomes their involvement."
Building Cooperation In Africa Full Conference Report