• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

LADOL boss seeks implementation of SDGs by private firms in Africa

LADOL celebrates five years of ISO 9001 compliance

Amy Jadesimi, managing director of LADOL Free Zone, has called on real private sector companies in Africa to take the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a manual of best practice.

According to her, following the United Nations, 17 SDGs will make African companies more resilient and profitable, and also give them access to a new $12 trillion market for sustainable businesses.

Jadesimi said this at the United Nations Global Compact CEOs Breakfast Roundtable in Lagos. The UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021-2023 provides a roadmap to galvanise large and small businesses across Africa to uphold the 10 principles and by extension the SDG goals.

While noting that LADOL’s transition and net-zero plans make it an industry leader in tackling Goal 13, she said that Africa would industrialise through a network of the sustainable industrial special economic zone like LADOL.

Matthias Schmale, the resident and humanitarian coordinator of the UN in Nigeria, said Africa’s strategy is about galvanising the private sector to own and invest in the UN system’s sustainable development goals in a sustainable manner.

“We know that the private sector is not just an engine for growth for economic development, but an opportunity enabler. The strategy is about businesses signing up to that aspect of how to treat the labour force, look into human rights issue, environmental sustainability and, we are hoping through this strategy we will be able to engage more private sectors in Nigeria,” Schmale said.

Read also: Forum targets $10bn yearly to bridge Africa’s infrastructure gap

Continuing, he said: “Businesses in Nigeria must protect the environment, protect the resources and use the resources in a more sustainable manner. We also want investment into initiatives such as the jubilee fellowship that the UNDP manages within the UN family, which is promoting opportunities for young people to work with companies. The idea is to give them the exposure, to work with private sectors that will become more attractive as a part of the future.”

Flora Mutahi, a board member of the UN Global Compact, said it is important to localise because Africa has its unique set of challenges, which also bring out a unique set of opportunities.

“So, for the Africa strategy, we chose five of the SDGs that will make a change for the African continent. When we talk about inequality, it is actually worse in Africa and this is something we need to lend our voices to make a difference,” Mutahi said.

BusinessDay understands that with 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion dollars, Africa is the world’s largest growth market. Consequently, African businesses are primed to play a pivotal role in the corporate sustainability movement.