By Amechi Obiakpu
The Ghanaian government has launched a National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy to encourage and promote the contribution of firms to the socio-economic development of the country.
The policy according to a report by a Ghanaian news portal, B&FT online, is expected to yield positive and sustainable impacts towards the achievement of the principles of the millennium development goals and sustainable livelihoods.
The reports stated that the policy development process is underpinned by seven principles namely: Accountability; Transparency; Ethical Behaviour; Respect for Stakeholder; Interests; Respect for the Rule of Law principles, Respect for International Norms of Behaviour and Respect for Human Rights.
This, it says will provide framework and guidance to facilitate the effective collaboration of all stakeholders which will yield economic growth, competitive advantage and social benefits.
Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said, “The concept of CSR is not entirely new as it has been in existence for over a century. It overlaps other disciplines and its continuous increase in importance has led to the proliferation of names such as corporate governance, corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, sustainable development among other things.”
“CSR goes beyond donations to cover vital areas including; human rights, welfare of workers, the safety of the environment in which the company is operating in, the health and safety of workers and customers, the issue of child labour in the supply chain, community-company as well as government relationships, transparency and accountability, tax governance and legal issues,” he stated.
“When a company is given a legal contract to operate in any community by the government or relevant institution, it needs a “social contract” from the community to operate.
“Investors need to look beyond short-term financial performance and look into how businesses are run. We need business to give practical meaning and reach to the values and principles that connect cultures and people everywhere,” he remarked.
*Adapted from a report by B&FT online (www.thebftonline.com). photo shows Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.