Is Corporate Citizenship making a difference?

Ralph Hamann

, by Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT)

Why the question is important? Corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility (CSR) may be defined in terms of proactive efforts by business decision-makers to contribute to sustainable development (WBCSD 2002). Many hope or even expect that such efforts will be decisive. For instance, the United Nations (UN) Global Compact argues, ‘Through responsible business practices, business is making a unique and significant contribution to implementing the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) (, accessed 16 September 2005).

Prominent business leaders are no less ambitious and optimistic (WBCSD 2005).

However, in a context of slow progress towards achieving the MDGs, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (UN 2007), we have little evidence that corporate citizenship efforts are indeed fulfilling their promise. Read more: