Strategic partnership between Social Solidarity Ministry and CSR Egypt in sustainable development forum

Shaimaa El-Badawi
11 Min Read
CEO of CSR Egypt Hassan Mostafa

CSR Egypt — a company specialised in the field of social responsibility and sustainable development — has joined with the Ministry of Social Solidarity in a strategic partnership to cooperate in the annual Egypt CSR and Sustainable Development Forum.

The company intends to launch a package of development projects during the conference’s activities in cooperation with its partners from civil society and the private sector under the umbrella of the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

CEO of CSR Egypt Hassan Mostafa said that his company started working in the file of development and corporate social responsibility seven years ago and has made it a point to attend the forum consistently as it is the largest platform that brings together stakeholders for sustainable development and social responsibility in Egypt since 2014.

He explained that the company’s main objectives focus on spreading awareness among companies and institutions about the importance of carrying out their responsibilities towards society and activating their role and contributions in line with the vision of the state to achieve real and tangible development and support the concept of corporate citizenship.

“In addition to unifying efforts and creating a state of integration between all parties concerned with development work — the government, private sector companies, and civil society organisations — instead of working on isolated islands that do not yield effective results,” he said.

He pointed out the company’s keenness to provide implementation mechanisms through technical and marketing consultations and training to achieve sustainable development goals, enhance development work, own tools and executive mechanisms, and provide the necessary support for initiatives and serious business models in the transition towards sustainability.

Mostafa also referred to the development and professionalism of the market in development work, which is evident in its increased flexibility and resistance to the climatic and sudden changes that we are all witnessing, especially in the face of a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the seriousness in adopting the principles of sustainability to achieve development in its three dimensions — economic, social, and environmental.

Furthermore, he explained that the company is cooperating with a number of private sector companies, banks, various agencies, and civil society institutions to implement development initiatives.

He added that social responsibility is the first step to achieving sustainability.

12th Egypt CSR Forum

Regarding the 12th session of the forum, Mostafa said that the event will be held in Luxor Governorate on 10 March under the title ‘Institutional development and capacity building as the main driver to ensure sustainability’, and under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Manpower, and the Ministry of State for Expatriate Affairs.

He added that the social solidarity ministry is the strategic partner of the forum for the current year, and all development projects that will be launched at the conference will be under its umbrella.

“The choice of Luxor is a belief in the vision and keenness of the political leadership and the Egyptian government to bring about balanced development in all regions of Egypt at all levels in order to achieve sustainability and ensure a fair distribution of the fruits of development and provide a decent life for current and future generations,” he said.

He pointed out that the forum aims to enhance capabilities and develop institutions to improve practices and accelerate the transition towards sustainability standards as well as support the efforts of the state to provide a decent life for the Egyptian citizen in all regions of Egypt, and work to create effective partnerships that provide the necessary funding to accelerate the localisation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and create a competitive advantage for Egyptian governorates to make the Egyptian economy more flexible and productive.

Furthermore, Mostafa said that the forum will discuss a number of important tracks that work to bridge the financing gaps and the equitable distribution of financing opportunities in a manner commensurate with the number of beneficiaries and their development impact, as development projects in the regions of Egypt will be reviewed.

“This is in addition to reviewing the presidential initiatives launched by the state to provide a decent life for the citizen, which creates opportunities for cooperation and unification of efforts among all parties.”

The forum will also deal with the role of effective partnerships in increasing the development impact of national initiatives, sustainable financing, its role in limiting the effects of climate change, and details of the most sustainable sectors.

He explained that the forum will discuss a number of issues of interest to the parties concerned with development as well, including the role of effective partnerships in increasing the core impact of national initiatives, the sustainability of sectors to achieve sustainable growth, sustainable financing, and limiting the effects of climate change.

The forum will also dedicate a day for Egyptian civil society organisations to present their experiences and success stories and to share their efforts that contribute to the development process and improve the quality of life based on the president’s declaration of 2022 as the ‘Year of Egyptian Civil Society Organisations’. Additionally, it will address the best experiences and practices of all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development.

He stated that civil society organisations have played a major role during the recent period to keep pace with changes and combat the pandemic, and they have also contributed to national initiatives such as the Decent Life Presidential Initiative.

Mostafa added that dedicating 2022 to civil society organisations is ample proof that the state recognises and praises the role, contributions, and activities of these organisations during the current crisis and its impact in advancing development and providing a decent life for the Egyptian citizen, which is the first and main goal on the agenda of the Egyptian leadership and government.

He asserted that the forum will organise eight workshops for civil society and the private sector and an exhibition on the sidelines of the upcoming conference in Luxor.

Training course on GRI standards

“It will also present a certificate through a training course on GRI standards. The course includes clarification of the concepts of sustainable development and the transition from 4G guidelines to GRI standards, in addition to reviewing the various tools for measuring impact and how to maximise value for stakeholders,” he noted.

The course will also provide knowledge and identification of the content of sustainability reports and the application of the technical protocols of the Global Sustainability Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Another important task force on climate-related financial disclosures training course will be organised as well in cooperation with Global Sustain as a unified framework for applying governance and preparing rich and effective reports to identify the effects of climate change, assess opportunities and risks, climate-related policies, and emerging technology in the financial market.

Furthermore, the forum will include an extensive set of workshops on important topics such as mechanisms for applying environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards to business models; resource development mechanisms; sustainability strategies; and community integration; in addition to the role of digital transformation in accelerating the achievement of sustainable development.

Mostafa explained that the sectors most in need of support during the coming period are health, small and medium enterprises, education, and training.

He also pointed to CSR’s participation in the first ‘Protection Initiative’ in 2020 to confront the repercussions of the pandemic, which aimed to provide medical assistance and support the irregular categories of workers most affected by the crisis.

He added that the private sector has a large and influential role in development and achieving sustainable growth, and through numerous global experiences it has proven that there is no better growth than the growth led by the private sector and development in which the private sector is owned with effective and positive participation.

Moreover, he said that the pandemic helped achieve the concept of “corporate citizenship”, as it contributed to transforming companies from a legal entity to an entity coexisting with society and its requirements and proved that countries that do not have a strong national civil society cannot continue development work.

“It also highlighted that concerted efforts and partnerships are the basis for achieving development and the desired goals, and also contributed to changing the form of development work and the concept of investment to be based on sustainability and responsibility.”

Mostafa also praised the efforts of the state in the development file and national initiatives, especially the Decent Life and Forsa Initiatives.

He explained that the requirements of the current stage require concerted efforts, establishing more partnerships, and achieving the required balance in tasks and responsibilities, as each party provides the necessary support and the requirements of the other party to facilitate work and precise coordination in goals and implementation to achieve the best results, achieve fair and balanced development, and close the financing and development gaps between all regions.

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