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Local business captains adopt climate change as a key agenda

Dar es Salaam. Business leaders in Tanzania are taking the fight against climate change to a new level as they seek to play an increasingly important role in environmental conservation.

Grouped under the CEO Roundtable (CEOrt) of Tanzania, the business leaders have included the war on climate change as a key aspect – Climate Action Agenda – in their new strategic plans for the period from 2022 to 2025.

Speaking during the launching of the new strategic plan on Tuesday, the CEOrt executive director, Ms Santina Benson, said that they did commit themselves to an agenda on climate action in November last year – and are now turning that commitment into “a movement and space that is tangible”.

“In light of the current climate crisis, we (at CEOrt) are boldly committed to challenging our members, our leaders and society at large to play an active role in reversing the damage being done to the environment,” said Ms Benson.

“After making the commitment last November, we now want to see the impact of it through driving responsive business by supporting our members to push the agenda forward.”

For this to work, Ms Benson said, they would do all that is in their power to look at ways on how they could help their members – especially Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) who have no financial muscle that is strong enough to support the Climate Action Agenda. Advertisement

The 170-member CEOrt is eagerly committed to helping the country achieve its plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly last September, President Samia Suluhu Hassan also drew attention to the challenges that climate change is causing nationally and globally.

In Tanzania, the global climate change crisis is adversely impacted agriculture and tourism, two of the most important sectors of the country’s economy, thus threatening incomes, food security and livelihoods in general.

The threat that climate change poses to the world calls for urgent and remedial action, as experts say that the effects of global warming could become irreversible by 2030.

The CEOrt executive director also said that the institution is looking forward to continuing to harness opportunities for greater impact within their key areas of focus.

“These include continued development of the CEOrt’s flagship leadership initiative, the CEO apprenticeship programme, and enhanced engagement on policy matters for an improved climate for potential investors”.

Ms Benson also said that CEOrt is currently running the second cohort of the Apprenticeship Programme – with the third one to be launched in August this year.

The programme will bring on-board 20 participants, 15 of whom will come from the private sector, while the public sector would account for the rest.

To-date, she said, 30 participants have gone through the programme which started in 2019, established with a view to identifying and attracting experienced Tanzanian executives within the public and private sectors with a career path towards becoming senior executives.

Some graduates of the programme who have moved to CEO positions include Mr Unguu Sulay – who is now the managing director (MD) of Coca-Cola Kwanza – and the Songas MD, Mr Anael Samuel.

CEOrt chairman Sanjay Rughani said “our new strategy is focused on unlocking the transformative potential of Tanzania, as leaders of CEO Roundtable will collaboratively pay attention to relevant impact and sustainability priorities dedicated to achieving positive economic, environmental and social change”.

He also said that, through its CEO Apprenticeship Programme, the CEOrt “would continue to strengthen their approach to elevating the capabilities and abilities of future Tanzanian leaders.

“For our objectives to achieve the desired outcomes we will count on strong and purposeful support from the government. I believe that, together, we can achieve a more resilient, prosperous and sustainable nation,” Mr Rughani – who doubles as the Standard Chartered Bank CEO – said.

He added that CEOrt “was keen to continue engaging with key government leaders from a thought leadership perspective in order to drive the country’s sustainable growth”.

Source: The Citizen