More than 1000 companies and non-business private sector stakeholders are participating in the Global Compact across 45 countries in Africa. The region is poised for invigorated sustainable growth buoyed by several factors including: Continental agreements like Agenda 2063 (The Africa We Want) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (One Africa); robust digital and technological innovations; abundance of renewable energy resources; a demographic dividend presented by a youthful population being about 60% of 1.3 billion people below 25 years; and a vibrant small and medium enterprise sub-sector. The region however continues to grapple with challenges relating to limited access to favorable sustainable finance, global competition, large informal economy, limitations of infrastructure, negative effects from climate change and most notably, the COVID-19 crisis that has contributed to the deceleration of progress towards Agenda 2030.
Anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Commitment and international human rights covenants, the private sector has a primary role in rebuilding towards positive social and environmental impact and accelerating sustainable development. The Global Compact Ten Principles provide the cross-cutting, objective and pragmatic framework for businesses, large and small, to adopt sustainability and responsibility at their core and to drive similar action along their value chains.
At the country level, the UN Global Compact’s 10 Local Networks across the Continent help to accelerate and scale up sustainability action and responsible business in Africa by implementing context-specific programmes, initiatives and outreach. Local Networks work in collaboration with key stakeholders including governments, regional institutions, UN partners, business associations and providers of capital to enhance 'Partnerships for the Goals' (SDG17).The UN Global Compact is guided by our Africa Strategy for the period 2021-2023 which aims to mobilize businesses for impact in Africa.