Lagos Business School (LBS) has received a research award to conduct an international study on sustainability for companies in selected parts of Africa.
The study, which will be carried out by the LBS Sustainability Centre, will focus on how businesses in Africa are responding to long-term development aspirations in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding for the study was provided by a consortium of international organisations who share common goals of advancing sustainable development and using business as a force for good. The organisations include B Lab, Sistema B, B Academic, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
The project will explore how companies in Nigeria, Mauritius and South Africa are integrating longer-term sustainable development objectives and targets into their strategies, and whether the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a helpful framework for this integration process.
It will further examine how the companies being studied are working to achieve these strategies, in addition to the role played by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Principal investigators on the project include Professor Chris Ogbechie, Lagos Business School; Professor Ralph Hamann, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town; Professor Kenneth Amaechi, Business School, University of Edinburgh; Dr Ijeoma Nwagwu, Lagos Business School; Neeveditah Pariag-Maraye, University of Mauritius; and Dr Judy Muthuri, Nottingham University Business School.
Professor Chris Ogbechie, the Director of the LBS Sustainability Centre says, “Responsible business practice is the only path for businesses that want to have a true and lasting impact on the continent. Through this research effort, we begin to map the landscape of responsible business across Africa more closely and provide leaders on the continent a roadmap to navigate these uncertain times. Insights from this research will help our business leaders build back better as we emerge from the pandemic”
Commenting further on the significance of the study, LBS faculty, Dr Ijeoma Nwagwu said, “This research project is significant because it explores the risks and opportunities confronting businesses that deploy sustainability thinking and tools to advance development in African countries as diverse as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Mauritius. There are a few studies of this nature. Our study illustrates the possibility of a shared vision and an aspirational narrative for a sustainable future in African countries.”
The project seeks to generate direct and tangible benefits for the participants, as well as other practitioners and policy-makers as they will be presented with opportunities for discussion. Findings from the study will be widely published as they emerge.
The LBS Sustainability Centre consolidates theory and practice on sustainability, builds leadership skills and supports constructive dialogue and collaboration between business, government, civil society, and academics to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges.
This research is in line with Lagos Business School’s commitment to developing responsible leaders and solving Africa’s business problems.