CORPORATE INVESTMENT PROGRAMS PLAY KEY ROLE IN ADVANCING ATTAINMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TARGETS

AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE private sector has long played an integral role in the effort to eradicate poverty and economic development.

The private sector is the engine of economic growth-creating jobs, increasing trade, providing goods and services to the poor and generating tax revenue to fund basic public services such as health and education.

It provides nine out of 10 jobs in developing countries and has an important role to play in achieving sustainable development goals and addressing global problems by facilitating improved efficiency, technological adoption and innovation.

In a Webinar session titled ‘Private sector resilience: Looking at how collective leadership can reverse nature loss’ held in Dar es Salaam recently, panelists were in unison that individually, most corporations have an environmental agenda attached to their corporate social investment programs.

During the session, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director, Hisham Hendi said the telecom’s philosophy and contribution towards attainment of Sustainable Development Goals on the environment.

“Responsible corporate citizenship through sustainable practices is an important element of what we do at Vodacom Tanzania,” he said.  He added, it guides all aspects of our investment, expansion, growth and service delivery.

On the part of our Vodacom Tanzania Foundation, our midterm strategy perfectly aligns with the national development plans for 2016/2021 and the sustainable development goals that are geared to propel Tanzania to realize her ambitions to becoming a middle income society by 2025.

For example, Vodacom Tanzania has invested over 1.6tri/-from 2012 to-date putting it at the front seat of development and innovations in mobile services in the country.

The investment made the largest telecom one of the major taxpayers after paying about 1.9tri/-various taxes to the government in the past five years.

Vodacom Tanzania’s contribution in terms of taxes and fees as well as other charges and how they translate into public goods and services.

During the period under review, Vodacom grew at an impressive average rate of 8 percent to record annual total tax contribution of 435bn/-in 2020.

“Our work in driving financial inclusion through M-PESA and working with various community groups, women and youth groups also support the achievement of SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities),” he noted.

Apart from paying various taxes, Vodacom Tanzania has contributed immensely into job creation to over 550 employees and more than 100,000 Wakala’s countrywide.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Country representative to Tanzania, Sergio Valdini called for strengthening partnerships with the private sector in financing and facilitating green technologies and practices.

For her part, the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania Elizabeth Jacobsen underscored need for concerted efforts involving multiple actors to strengthen responsible business practices.

“We need to promote an open society with multiple stakeholders playing their part in dialogues on environment consideration in order to adopt best ideas on green technologies and innovations,” she said.

Reiterating on that, Managing Director for Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL), Mr Philip Redman said that sustainability must be a core part of businesses and not add-ons in order to ensure that sustainable initiatives are ingrained as part of the business philosophy.

Another contributor AngloGold Ashanti, the Vice-President, Mr Simon Shayo commended for an open dialogue of stakeholders and collaboration with expert organizations to support Tanzania government efforts in ensuring equitable socio-economic growth for all, thus contributing to attainment of all 17 SDG goals.

The private sector continues to play a pivotal role in financing and facilitating many sustainability initiatives bringing positive changes in communities including social, economic and environmental gains.

The session brought together industry leaders from a cross section of businesses and development partners to strengthen collective efforts and is an example and great lesson on how it can leverage on its accelerator functions in achieving business targets and advance ethics, eco-friendly practices and financing green initiatives geared towards achievement of SDGs.

Practical experience in many African countries have also proven that an opened  business operating environment with attractive legislation incentives offered by government can also facilitating more investment from private sectors for economic development.

As well as stimulating growth, new thinking within the private sector, shaped by the market, can also offer insights in to how to ensure better access to vital services or goods such as medicines or information.

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