The Managing Director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base, LADOL Dr. Amy Jadesimi has urged African private sector the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs as a template for their new economy business models.
She gave the advice in her speech at the Women Working for Change (WFC) virtual Summit held on the 24th November, 2020.
“African private sector is largely unencumbered by legacy non-sustainable businesses and investments. This means that these African companies are set to flourish if they build businesses with new economy sustainable plans and targets. There is now no doubt that sustainability equals profitability, as proven in the Business and Sustainable Development Commission’s (BSDC) publication “Better Business Better World”, launched in 2016. The BSDC’s report identified USD 12 trillion in market opportunities for companies that focused on sustainable business models.
“The demographics of Africa offer a substantial opportunity for global wealth creation. However, we should recognise that the playing field is still tipped against local private companies. Organisations and investors that want to grow with and benefit from job and wealth creation in Africa, while ensuring that Africa industrialises sustainably, should ensure that they put their support and money in the hands of sustainable African companies. Most of the current investments / support coming into Africa now is still being channeled into large monopolies and companies that maintain the status quo,” she said.
Dr. Jadesimi harped on the importance of removing bottlenecks and hurdles deliberately put in the place of indigenous private companies, whose growth was essential for continental prosperity, “roughly 80% of the jobs in Africa will be created by SME’s”.
“It’s as if instead of funding mobile phone companies thirty years ago – investors instead funded land line companies in the hope that they would develop mobile technology. A step change is needed, and as it happens it will result in a win, win for everyone – as prosperity in Africa will drive global peace and wealth creation,” She said.
Amy explained that women consistently lead on sustainability and the evidence clearly shows that companies with women in leadership positions significantly perform creditably more than their male counterpart.
In achieving SDG Goal 5, She stressed that female equality, and empowerment, was necessary to achieving all the other goals, adding that for the continent of Africa, given the huge market opportunities, there is need to create new local companies, grow old ones as well as ensure that women are given the support, they need to take leadership positions in the private and public sector.
The Managing Director spoke alongside, Stephanie von Friedeburg (Acting Chief Executive Officer, IFC), Myriam Brigui (Head of International Network Department, Proparco) and Manon Karamoko (Chief Executive Officer, Unilever Côte d’Ivoire) in a panel on the topics such as “Coming Out on Top of the Crisis: Towards a More Sustainable Growth Model; By 2100, average temperatures in Africa will rise by 1°C to 4°C, while episodes of flooding and drought are set to become more common place.
Over the same period, Africa’s population is expected to nearly triple in size. With companies looking to reinvent themselves and find new business models, isn’t it time to build back better?; Can Africa’s private sector make a substantial shift towards sustainable growth by focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience to climate change, preserving biodiversity, and developing the circular economy?