Press Release On the Speech Delivered by Ogiame Atuwatse III At The African Summit London 2023

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Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri, delivered a powerful speech on the topic of Business Beyond Profits: Expanding the Frontiers of CSR and Community Development for Africa’s Development. The speech was presented at an African summit event organised by the African Leadership Magazine in London. As a respected leader and development ambassador, Ogiame Atuwatse III emphasised the importance of integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into business strategies. In order to drive lasting societal impact and foster the development of Africa.

Introduction: Redefining the Role of Business in Africa

In his speech, Ogiame Atuwatse III highlighted his role as the custodian of the culture and traditions of the Itsekiri people. However, he also saw himself as a development ambassador. Actively engaging with international, national, and subnational stakeholders to promote unity and socio-economic growth within the Warri kingdom and Nigeria as a whole.

The Olu of Warri expressed his passion for transforming African societies and ensuring future sustainability and development. He acknowledged Africa’s rich history of community-oriented business practises, where businesses and marketplaces were integral parts of the community’s heartbeat, promoting shared prosperity, cultural exchange, and social development. However, modern capitalism’s profit-first model overshadowed this community-centred approach, leading to growing inequality, environmental degradation, and missed opportunities for advancement.

Business Beyond Profits: Ogiame Atuwatse III on Rethinking CSR Strategies

Ogiame Atuwatse III questioned the effectiveness of traditional CSR approaches that treated corporate social responsibility as an act of philanthropy rather than an integral part of business strategy. He urged businesses to view CSR as an opportunity to create lasting, scalable impact. While strengthening their core operations and value proposition. By aligning business strategies with social and environmental goals, companies could become catalysts for societal transformation.

The Olu of Warri emphasised the need to bridge the gap between profit and community development. He shared his initiatives within the Warri kingdom. Which focused on sustainable impact through equipping people with resources, knowledge, and opportunities for long-term growth. These initiatives included skill acquisition programmes, teacher training and entrepreneurship support. As well as financial inclusion measures to address the root causes of underdevelopment.

A Uniquely African Model: Embracing Communal Traditions

Drawing inspiration from global examples of CSR and shared value, Ogiame Atuwatse III highlighted the importance of creating a uniquely African model. One that has its root in communal traditions and tailored to Africa’s distinctive challenges. He emphasised that businesses should leverage their resources, reach, and influence to drive significant changes in key areas. Such as education, health, the environment, and infrastructure.

While acknowledging that the journey towards community development would take time, the Olu of Warri urged businesses to start now and work together. He emphasised the influential role of communities and grassroots leaders in successful CSR initiatives. Underscoring their local knowledge, community influence, and ability to mobilise action at the grassroots level. Governments also play a paramount role in promoting CSR. By enacting supportive policies and providing incentives for socially responsible business practises.

Envisioning a Transformed Africa: Businesses, Governments, and Communities Hand in Hand

Ogiame Atuwatse III envisioned a future where business success and societal development are intertwined, with businesses, governments, and communities collaborating to lift Africa. He called upon business leaders to redefine success beyond the bottom line and embed social responsibility into their core strategies. Transparency and accountability were emphasised as crucial elements in fostering trust and driving sustainable change.

The Olu of Warri addressed government officials. Emphasising the need to create an enabling environment that rewards socially responsible business practises. By bridging the gap between the public and private sectors, a united approach to CSR and community development could pave the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future for Africa.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

In conclusion, Ogiame Atuwatse III inspired business leaders, government officials, and communities to work together. To achieve their vision of an Africa where businesses thrive, governments serve effectively, and communities are empowered. He equally stressed that the duty to create lasting impact extended beyond accumulating wealth to touching lives and uplifting communities. By embracing Business Beyond Profits, Africa could forge a path of sustainable development and leave a legacy for future generations.


























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