The Alliance for Integrity and the Global Compact Network Germany have highlighted the topics of integrity and human rights in business during the Responsible Business and Integrity Week, which saw the participation of various business representatives, public sector officials as well as representatives of civil society organisations, in Ghana from 3rd to 5th September, 2018 in Accra, Ghana.
TheIntegrityApp, Alliance for Integrity’s mobile application and online platform designed to support companies prevent corruption, was also launched as part of the Responsible Business and Integrity Week. Other activities undertaken during the week included a training on “Putting principles into practices - Securing business success through enhanced social sustainability”; the “Compliance Training for Business”; and a Workshop on Integrity and Human Rights.
On the human rights front, participants from companies operating in various sectors had the opportunity to acquire knowledge on the relationship between human rights and responsible business conduct; managing sustainable supply chains; and how to respond to human rights-related risks in business.
Participants also learned about various frameworks for addressing human rights in business, such as the UN Guiding Principles, the German National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the topic of business integrity, company representatives from the agribusiness, logistics, telecommunication, education and legal sectors were introduced to corruption prevention in business as a tool for competitiveness. Internal measures, external measures and collective measures to prevent corruption, as well as various practical case studies on how to detect corruption and counter corruption risks were highlighted.
Participants also learned about the relationship between gender and corruption and how female-owned businesses should be supported to prevent corruption because of the societal prejudice for gender roles.
A number of the participants of the Responsible Business and Integrity Week commended both the Alliance for Integrity and Global Compact Network Germany for organising the events and called for similar activities in the future. One participant stated that he…liked the practical aspects of the events and that he could apply what he had learnt back in his company. Another participant stated that the inputs provided will help her work on a policy related to corruption prevention back in her company.
Susanne Friedrich, Director of Alliance for Integrity, noted that the Responsible Business and Integrity Week was relevant for the creation of an enabling environment for businesses. The German Embassy in Accra called for companies in Ghana to embrace Responsible Business and Integrity in order to increase their competitiveness at both the local and global stages, adding that to find and attract investors, Ghana needs to create the necessary ecosystem.
Ghana’s Minister for Business Development, Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, tasked businesses in the country with abiding by the rules and regulations guiding business operations and also honouring their tax responsibilities to the state. Dr. Awal also entreated business organisations to use TheIntegrityApp in order to enhance their compliance management systems.