The Lead Project Manager of the Ghana Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Awards, Mr. Kojo Williams has commended the media for helping propagate the concept of CSR in Ghana. According to him: ‘It is very important that businesses understand that CSR is not just obligatory, it is a business concern that must be embedded in the business plan of every company. Many businesses think they understand CSR, but in reality, they have skewed or misconceived understanding about it. It is not limited to donations to the less privileged and the needy as many believe, it involves putting good corporate governance systems in place at the workplace and conducting business in strict compliance with required legal, ethical and social obligations.’
More than 44 media organisations spanning print, television, radio and online attended and reported on the third edition of the coveted Ghana CSR Diary & Awards this month at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra, when leading socially-responsible companies in Ghana were awarded. A total of over 120 pre-event, event and post-event local and international media reportage and mentions were recorded. The Awards is endorsed and supported by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Ministry of Trade & Industry and organised by Integriti PR.
The Ghana CSR Diary & Awards was launched in 2011 by the former Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Hanna Tetteh and the former President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Nana Owusu-Afari. Since 2011, more than 40 deserving corporate organisations that submitted their CSR activities annually and allow them to be subjected to verification and impact-assessment have been awarded.
Mr. Williams intimated that: ‘External forces such as globalisation, privatisation, competition and civil society exert pressure, leading to the emergence of new approaches to business-society relations. Improving operational standards, subscribing to acceptable or international best practices and addressing broader social and environmental challenges of communities where businesses operate are elements of CSR and they are crucial to business lifeline sustenance.’
He continued: ‘The media is playing a key role in helping demystify the concept of CSR in line with acceptable international practices. Some business owners believe that CSR is performed once a year or when their business is in crisis, while other believe it is the duty of multinational companies. Some believe that since they pay tax to the government, they need not do anything else for society or if they failed to make profit, CSR should be consigned to the back-burner. These are all misconceptions.’
The Ghana CSR Diary & Awards remains Ghana’s foremost and biggest scheme to identifying, interrogating, propagating and rewarding CSR initiatives and projects implemented by corporate organisations across the country. This year’s edition was chaired by the President of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr. James Asare-Adjei and was attended by captains of industry, civil society organisations, international development partners and the media.