UN Global Compact launches Africa Business Leaders Coalition to advance climate action and sustainable growth across the continent

New York, U.S.A., May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Convened by the UN Global Compact, Chief Executive Officers from across Africa today announced the launch of the Africa Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC).

The Coalition will provide a platform for African business leaders to have a unified private sector voice as they actively and meaningfully engage to work on the continent's most pressing issues through an organized, forward–looking, principles–based approach.

The Africa Business Leaders Coalition is a CEO–led initiative emanating from the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021""2023, and is committed to advancing sustainable growth, prosperity and development in Africa by bringing measurable impact to its most pressing issues. The ABLC will work closely with the UN Global Compact Hub in Abuja and 10 Global Compact Local Networks operating across Africa.

Ahead of COP27 to be held in Egypt in November 2022, the ABLC will focus its efforts on sustainable development and ambitious climate action by bringing the perspectives of dozens of leading African CEOs and Board Chairs into the global conversation. This will culminate in an ABLC Climate Statement in support of COP27, anchored in the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact Ten Principles. ABLC members will be invited to sign on and announce credible commitments and actions through this Climate Statement.

Welcoming the founding members of the Africa Business Leaders Coalition, UN Deputy Secretary–General Amina Mohammed urged them to use their influence to drive change across the continent. "This is an opportunity to establish a holistic dialogue to reconcile the development needs of the continent with the need for ambitious climate action, jumpstart the renewable energy transition, and build resilience across the continent," she said.

Launching the ABLC, Assistant Secretary–General and CEO of the UN Global Compact Sanda Ojiambo said: "Climate change presents a $3 trillion investment opportunity in Africa by 2030. But this potential will not be realized unless the private sector is involved. This Coalition has a critical role to play in ensuring the voice of Africa's private sector is heard on the global stage to ensure the continent's growth is not only sustainable but also green."

The 11 founding members of ABLC include Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank, Nigeria; Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, Chairman, Bank of Africa, Morocco; Hichem Elloumi, Chairman and CEO, COFICAB; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe; James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director, Equity Group, Kenya; Karim Bernoussi, CEO, Intelcia Group, Morocco; Phuthi" Mahanyele–Dabengwa, CEO, Naspers, South Africa; Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis, CEO and Chairman, Oriental Weavers Carpets Co., Egypt; Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom, Kenya; Fleetwood Grobler, President and CEO, Sasol, South Africa; and Amir Barsoum, Founder and CEO, Vezeeta, Egypt.

Members of the ABLC commit to upholding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and becoming a UN Global Compact participant within six months of joining.

During today's launch, the founding members shared their commitment to sustainability across the continent, focusing on potential company commitments, the sustainability efforts they are making across their communities, a move towards more innovative and robust methods of climate finance, and a call to action for the global community.

The virtual launch event was also attended by leaders from the United Nations, including Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly; Collen Vixen Kelapile, President, United Nations Economic and Social Council; Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary–General, United Nations; Cristina Duarte, Under Secretary–General and Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary–General and Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary–General and CEO of the UN Global Compact. They joined together today to launch the ABLC with Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High–level Climate Champion for Egypt.

Boston Consulting Group is providing strategy and implementation support to the UN Global Compact for the Africa Business Leaders Coalition. Today's inaugural meeting was Chaired by Sanda Ojiambo with support from Patrick Dupoux, Managing Director, Senior Partner, and Head of Africa, BCG.

Today's launch will be followed by six regional roundtable meetings in Abidjan, Cairo, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi in June and July to discuss, shape and mobilize principled and sustainable business in Africa.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary–General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti–corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 15,000 companies and 3,000 non–business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative "" one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org and Africa Business Leaders Coalition | UN Global Compact

Media Contact

Alex Gee

gee@unglobalcompact.org


Sudden regulatory changes are “challenging” but will develop the region into a first-class business destination, say experts

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to a report released this week, "challenging" or "extremely challenging" is how 51% of legal decision–makers surveyed describe sudden changes to regulatory policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The new report also highlighted, that it is not just the pace at which new regulation is being introduced that provides a challenge, but decoding and then enforcing it.

The report, entitled "Legal Leaders in MENA," was commissioned by Al Tamimi & Company to investigate, and lift the lid, on what is keeping the region's legal decision–makers awake at night, and what are the emerging risks and priorities challenging the legal sector across the region. The report captured the views of 700 legal decision–makers across nine countries and 13 industry sectors in the MENA region.

The Legal Leaders in MENA report acknowledges that, while the regulatory environment continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the initiatives being put in place will continue to develop the region into a first–class business destination. The report further identifies that the frequent introduction of new regulatory policy has challenged businesses to stay abreast of legal change. This is reflected by the emphasis businesses are placing on the role of legal decision makers within their organisations, with 54% of respondents stating they now have a seat on their board of directors, or equivalent. Furthermore, 90% of legal decision–makers surveyed revealed that they are now advising on corporate strategy.

The report examines a number of pertinent areas that are high on the legal agenda, including the rise of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). The growing importance of ESG is highlighted within the report, with a massive 94% of legal decision–makers occasionally, or regularly, assessing ESG risk and compliance within their role. Unsurprisingly, 80% of legal decision–makers expect ESG considerations to become more important to their work in the coming years. As ESG transitions into the realm of legal and compliance, the report makes it clear that legal decision–makers will play a central role in the implementation of future ESG policies.

"We welcome the progress being made in the regulatory landscape across the region," said Samer Qudah, Managing Partner at Al Tamimi & Company. "The Legal Leaders in MENA report has highlighted a fast–changing environment, implementation of modern technology, and prominence of ESG as key factors to which the legal community must pay close attention. We will act on this information and ensure our legal teams are regularly upskilled to handle the progressive legal landscape in the region. This will in turn ensure we are equipped to meet the growing demands of our clients and fulfil our evolving role as advisors."

Commenting on the launch of the 2022 Legal Leaders in MENA report, Essam Al Tamimi, Chairman, Al Tamimi & Company, said:
"The regulatory changes and updates being implemented are positive and will align the region with international standards. It is clear, that against a challenging backdrop our role as legal decision–makers is growing in importance, and this can be seen by our increasing influence on corporate strategy. As we navigate our way through a rapidly developing legal landscape, clients will look to us for guidance, answers, and advice more than ever before. We will ensure we are prepared and stand ready to support our clients."

Legal Leaders in MENA – Other key findings:

  • Covid fails to deter investment
    • 43% of legal decision–makers say their companies are planning to increase future investment in the growth of their company, with another 35% holding investment firm.
  • Africa is the investment destination of choice
    • legal decision–makers we surveyed looking to enter new geographies, 81% are looking to expand their operations in Africa.
  • Technology and innovation will underpin growth
    • 48% of the legal decision–makers surveyed have increased their investment in digital capabilities in 2021 compared to the year before.
    • 69% see business model innovation as important, while 39% of legal decision–makers see innovation as core to their business.
  • Legal under the spotlight
    • The top three most pressing risk and compliance issues that legal decision–makers need to address in 2022 are – new financial standards and taxation, changing ownership regulations and new health and employee welfare/employment standards.

A copy of the 2022 Legal Leaders in MENA report can be downloaded here

Amit Joshi
Al Tamimi & Company
A.Joshi@tamimi.com
+971 (0) 525581217

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c17bb6e7–544c–4430–b7ea–71b595ba01d9

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3b39f69b–facd–4473–827a–1f514d98d5f1


Sanctions Now Weapons of Mass Starvation

By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram
SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 2022 - US and allied economic sanctions against Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine have not achieved their declared objectives. Instead, they are [...] Read more »