East Africa best projects vie for top honours

The best five corporate social responsibility projects in East Africa will be awarded today at a function to be held in Dar es Salaam.

According to the organizers, companies from Tanzania and Kenya have dominated the third edition known as Bank M East African CSR Awards.

Finalists in every categories signify that the prizes, which are based on the outstanding, innovative and world-class CSR initiative will be grabbed by companies from either Tanzania or Kenya.

Africa Practice Senior Consultant Camilla Flatt said this time around, Dar es Salaam companies have entered 71 CSR projects for the second edition unlike the past year.

“But we have noted a less participation from Rwanda and Burundi in the past two years,” Ms Flatt said that language was the main challenge.

“We are going to address the issue in the next year awards”, she said.

She said that entry forms and other promotional materials would be in both in English and French languages to enable the Francophone countries to participate in large numbers.

The five categories are: Best Workplace Practice, Environmental Excellence, Most Ethical & Responsible Business Practice for Supply Chain, Most Sustainable & Scalable Community Investment and Elvis Musiba Award for Innovative Partnership, which is a new category.

Mr Nshala
Bank M Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs Ambrose Nshala said the idea behind the awards is to entice companies to provide significant CSR projects that create an impact on the community.

“We want to distinguish and retain the meaning of the CSR, which has now been hijacked by some corporate into PR events. The idea of CSR is to give back to the society where the organization operates”, Mr Nshala, whose bank is the main event sponsor for the last two years, said.

On his part, a representative of East African Business Council (EABC), Richard Kasesela, said Tanzania’s participation in the 2011 edition was encouraging as it gave them exposure in the East African Community (EAC) bloc to increase their EA best projects vie for top honours competition level.

According to Africa Practice, a consultancy firm that receives the entries and shortlist them, the process was based on the required international standards and the winners have been selected by a panel of distinguished judges coming from different parts of the world.

The Bank M East African CSR Awards are the first of their kind, celebrating excellent corporate social responsibility by Burundi, Kenyan, Rwandan, Tanzanian and Ugandan businesses.
Source: The Daily News, http://www.dailynews.co.tz
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