BrandArena: Abey Tau: Corporate Citizens Need to Make a Real Impact on Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals

Friday 24 June 2016

Abey Tau: Corporate Citizens Need to Make a Real Impact on Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals

Prepared to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unveiled with the aim of taking steps towards building a better world in the next 15 years.

This is no easy target. The UN has spent significant time analysing the successes and failings of the MDGs in order to apply the learnings to the SDGs. The MDGs did produce some good outcomes, such as contributing to decreasing the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 from 47% in 1990 to 14% in 2015. However, it is also acknowledged that progress has been limited, with many being left behind.

According to reports, the SDG strategy will require an annual outlay of $2.5 trillion for it to be implemented successfully, which will need to come from private investment. It’s certainly something the private sector wants to get involved with in an effort to show support for sustainable development.
The SDGs hone in on growth as the main solution to poverty, but we are still in a position where most of the global GDP growth remains in the upper echelons of society, rather than having an impact on the poor. The amount of growth needed to truly end poverty would also have a significant impact on environmental issues such as climate change.

So this leaves the corporate sector, called on to make the investment needed to achieve these goals, in a tricky situation. Where do we invest to ensure we aren’t encouraging one area of growth at the expense of another?

Corporate investors play such a central role in the roll-out of the SDGs, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to our specific commitments and accountability mechanisms.

The roll-out of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comes with a “leave no one behind” strategy that moves from reducing to ending poverty, and one that puts sustainability and growth at its core, believes Abey Tau, Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Manager for Samsung Electronics Africa.

With this framework, Samsung’s aim is to make a positive contribution towards the SDGs by positively impacting the lives of people. The company continues to inspire the world and create the future through innovative technology that enriches people’s lives and contribute to social growth.

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