CEO Dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals
About The Event
(L) Ms. Lise Kingo (R) Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, Ms. Olajobi Makinwa
9th November, 2017, Nairobi: UN Global Compact CEO and Executive Director Ms. Lise Kingo hosted a CEO’s Dialogue with business leaders in Kenya on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to identify untapped opportunities for companies to deliver accelerated impact on the SDGs.
Speaking during the event Ms. Lise Kingo called on business to implement the SDGs and look at the global goals as a way of turning risks into opportunities. “The SDGs present 1.1 trillion US dollars potential for business in Africa and creation of up to 85 Million new jobs. There is so much that business can do to implement the SDGs,” said Ms. Kingo.
The SDGs launched in 2015 seek to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. They call on companies everywhere to advance sustainable development through the investments they make, the solutions they develop, and the business practices they adopt.
A survey conducted by the United Nations Global Compact targeting over nine thousand participating companies worldwide reveals that 85% of African companies are already taking action on the SDGs. With key focus on SDG 8 to provide decent work and economic growth, SDG 5 to achieve gender equality and SDG 3 to provide good health and promote well being. Globally, sustainability is gaining strategic ground and Africa as the hub of innovation and entrepreneurship is expected to play a key role in delivering on the global goals.
(L) Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee (R) Participants of the CEO Dialogue
Speaking at the session, the Kenya UN Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee pointed out that the main movers of an economy are access to health and basic education. “Health & Agribusiness are the two turning points to deliver the world we want in Africa & in Kenya. These two are sectors are expected to provide the greatest potential for Socio-economic transformation.” He added.
Speaking during the dialogue, the Global Compact Kenya Network Representative and Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chief Executive Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga noted that Kenya possesses numerous untapped opportunities in reference to the SDGs.
“This dialogue session seeks to explore opportunities to deliver accelerated impact on the SDGs. We’re glad to see that our members have identified and continue to implement the goals, we will continue to build their capacity and we call on other businesses to implement the goals,” added Ms. Wakiaga. Kenya currently has over 700 signatory companies committing to responsible and sustainable business practice and will require a national movement to deliver transformative change.
The event drew participants from various sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and the service sector. The participants shared their companies' implementation of the SDGs, with key goals being: SDG 3 to provide Good health and ensure well being for all, SDG 5 to achieve gender equality, SDG 7 to provide affordable and clean energy, SDG 8 to promote sustainable economic growth and decent work, SDG 13 to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, SDG 15 on Life on Land.
The participants shared the challenges encountered in the implementation of the SDGs, they include:
- Localizing and actualizing the opportunities presented by the goals
- Inclusion of the private sector in the implementation and reporting on the SDGs
- The representation of men professionals in the healthcare and recycling sectors
- Corporates take on issues like tree planting like Publicity stunts
- Corporates fail to talk about the future and set short term goals
- Lack of Security in the Oil and Gas exploration sector
- How to deal with controversial issues such as piracy while respecting Human Rights
- Lack of co-operation when dealing with government on implementation and reporting on the goals
- Corruption when dealing with government agencies