In ensuring business integrity amongst its network of partners, businesses and all relevant stakeholders, the Alliance for Integrity for the first time participated in the virtual West African Clean Energy and Environment Trade Fair and Conference (eWACEE’20). The conference themed “The Business of Sustainability” brings together businesses within the renewable energy sector with over 30 exhibitors.
eWACEE is recognised as the most relevant platform for clean energy, circular economy and water topics within the West African region. It provides a platform for exhibitors in the various sectors to showcase their inventions and new products to a broad audience.
In line with this, the Alliance for Integrity engaged relevant stakeholders in the clean energy sector in a four-day live event hosted by WACEE across countries in the West African region and beyond on the critical role of compliance in the sector.
Setting the tone for the event, the Director of Alliance for Integrity, Susanne Friedrich, presenting the work and impact of the network, welcomed participants to the conference. She reflected on the need of compliance in the renewable energy sector as a tool to harnessing great opportunities. “Businesses through their participation in the network’s compliance trainings have developed and improved on their code of ethics and processes”, she said. Throwing light on the initiative’s digital tool; TheIntegrityApp, she encouraged participants to download the app to build on their skill set in compliance.
Engaging the participants further, a panel discussion themed “Promoting Integrity in the Clean Energy Sector – Contributions of the Private Sector” was organised to tease out compliance hotspots within the sector from the experts.
The panellists being experts in the sector, highlighted on the need for intention to precede integrity. Thus, incentives should not be the lead motivation for engaging in the renewable energy sector. Rather, sustained conditions of impact, empowerment of business associations to promote integrity in the execution of their plans and good governance and collaborative action be considered as most relevant. These they stressed were critical to ensuring integrity in the energy sector.
Drawing on the discussions of the panel, the Advisory Group Chair of Ghana, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, re-echoed the contribution of the panel in her insightful keynote address on Integrity and Compliance in the Clean Energy Sector. She noted that business sustainability cannot be measured without ascertaining how it promotes a responsible business ecosystem that eschews corruption and promotes integrity. Highlighting that, corruption could be a major setback hindering the impact of clean energy on livelihood and the economy of Africa. “Energy sufficiency and efficiency can be improved if relevant policies are formulated”, she stated. She admonished businesses seeking to remain relevant in the clean energy sector to re-strategise towards sustainability and collectively join efforts with the Alliance for Integrity to promote Integrity.
The Alliance for Integrity continues to engage the business environment on ensuring that integrity is prioritised despite the challenges the global pandemic posed to businesses.
Authors: Christiana Gada & Abigail Gyabaa