The year 2019 marks the culmination of over two years of continuous work to lay the foundations for Africa’s most powerful Shared Value business network, the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI). After officially launching the Initiative at the 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit it felt as if our work had just begun.
Our year started with the inaugural SVAI Strategy Session on 21 January, which took place at Liliesleaf in Johannesburg. It felt like the most fitting location for us to make our own mark on history, like those before us – beginning and amplifying a revolution in African business that will drive both profit and progress on our continent. We brought together our members for the first time, including representatives from each of our Founding Members. Absa, Safaricom and Discovery are proudly African businesses that has been recognised as Shared Value Thought Leaders that has integrating Shared Value into their core business framework, showing those who follow the way forward to profit with purpose.
The event also featured the debut of our SVAI Africa Council of 8. The council gathers some of Africa’s young trailblazers to tackle the continent’s biggest problems from a business and social perspective. With the emphasises on the necessity for Africa to find solutions from within. Each councilmember has been recognised for their achievements, their business success in a home-grown African business, and their commitment to creating both economic value and social value. The rigorous selection process aimed not only to prioritise business acumen, but also seek those who advocate for new, purpose-driven ways of doing business. For more information on the council members,visit the Africa Council of 8 page here.
The morning proceedings were followed by a closed session with the council and our members to determine the SVAI agenda for 2019/20. Our primary goal remains the expansion of the SVAI business network and membership across the African continent, with the objective to work together to create economic value for business and value for society. We focus on education – creating awareness of Shared Value through engagement, events and our newly-announced Shared Value short courses – and the drive to expand the body of African research, about Africa with the support from our world-class African institutions. In addition, it is our commitment to investigate how businesses across the spectrum can best contribute to Powering Africa, with a view to creating future initiatives to facilitate the vital electrification of our continent.
I look forward to connecting with you all during 2019 to build a business network that at its core recognises that business can create and contribute to prosperity for all, if we collaborate. I hope to see you at the 2019 Africa Shared Value Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on 23-24 May 2019. It is a challenging and exciting time for our continent, and this year our Summit will be focusing on some of Africa’s most important industries – agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing and green energy – and, as with previous Summits, purposeful alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be a major theme. Take advantage of our early-bird discount and book your ticket before 28 February!
Onwards and upwards!
CEO, Shared Value Africa Initiative