UNDP Supports Tanzania Chamber of Commerce on UN Global Compact
On 6 June, 2014 the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce with support from UNDP and the Association of Tanzanian Employers, organized and hosted a Stakeholders Forum to introduce the UN Global Compact to the national business community. The aim of the Global Compact is to help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.
With UNDP support, the Chamber of Commerce will lead the next stage of national efforts to launch the UN Global Compact Local Network. A growing number of Tanzanian business leaders are committed to introduce the UN Global Compact with an aim to promote human rights, labour rights, environment protection and anti-corruption in the private sector. Kenya and Uganda have already established the local network stage of the Global Compact implementation, a situation that can leave the Tanzanian private sector at a disadvantage in the global market place and in the fast integrating East Africa Community. Increasingly, the Tanzanian private sector is keen to move forward.
The UN Global Compact was first launched in 2000 and has over 12,000 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 145 countries. It is the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Daniel Machemba, encouraged business to join the initiative. “We invite more companies and businesses to join the UN Global Compact as we need business to give practical meaning to corporate social responsibility.”
The Director of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Dr. Gideon Kaunda said, “as TPSF we express our thanks to UNDP because it has developed a UN Global Compact system that will help us exercise ethics at high levels. This is a new initiative developed to create stability, promote social equity and employment to people.”
Attended by more than 70 representatives, the Forum helped bring awareness to the business community in Tanzania on the ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption . The Forum organizers called for companies to voluntarily align their operations and strategies with the ten principles and to take actions in support of UN goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
Speaking on behalf of UNDP, Senior Governance Advisor, Steve Lee, noted, “the private sector is the leader in the development of business and increasingly it is an essential player in the business of development. As UNDP we are pleased to be your partner in this journey so far and we pledge continued support to you so that you can meet your planned activities in the national context.”
At the end of the Stakeholder Forum, 15 companies signed a commitment to join the UN Global Compact and to become the founding group for a Tanzania Local Network. They are: Techno Brain, Scan Tanzania, CAPS Ltd., Kwanza Collection Ltd., AFREXA, Tembo Beach Hotel, VA Business Assurance, Community Development Copr. Ltd., Kamtech Enterprises, ASEKI Co. Ltd., TANPRO Investment Limited, Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce, Intermech Engineering Ltd., CFAO Motors (T) Ltd., and Pangae demntis (EA) Ltd.
With UNDP support, the Chamber of Commerce will now facilitate registration with the Global Compact in New York and expanded promotion across the country, leading to formal launch of the Tanzania Local Network of the UN Global Compact.