Arusha, Tanzania: April 15, 2019: Businesses play an important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by delivering innovative solutions for urgent societal challenges such as poverty,  health, education, climate change, and environmental degradation.

The East African Business Council with support from KCB Bank hosted a networking reception on “Facilitating Investment in Sustainable Development Goal Projects.”

The SDGs’ set of 17 goals and 169 targets are aimed at resolving an array of social, economic and environmental challenges. Covering the next 15 years from 2015. Successful implementation of the SDGs will strengthen the environment for doing business and building markets. Companies not embracing SDGs can be at a competitive disadvantage.

Speaking at the networking reception, Hon. Peter Mathuki said, “All companies can play a role in meeting the ambitious targets of the SDGs.”

Leaders have to think beyond creating bespoke programmes that address the SDGs to actually embedding them into the ethos of an organization and its people.

Businesses can be agents of transformative change in achieving SDGs.  SDGs not only present business with duties but also a source of great opportunities.

All companies struggle to thrive in communities marked by instability and conflict, inadequately skilled labor where adequate education is lacking, or to withstand natural disasters stemming from climate change.

 “KCB Bank has been spearheading the achievements of the SDG over the past 8 years, the bank has employed over 7000 people in the region and offers financial services tailored for women,” said Mr. Masika Mukule, Head of Retail banking KCB Bank.

Businesses have enormous power, resources and knowledge to bring onboard to achieve the SDGs.

Mr. Paul Wessendorp, Chief, Investment Promotion Section, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD  shared key insight on FDI trends, finance, and facilitation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“According to United Nations an estimated 172 million people worldwide were without work in 2018 and unemployment rate of stood at  5 percent,” said Hon. Mathuki, CEO EABC

Research further shows that women’s participation in the labor force stood at 48 percent in 2018, compared with 75 percent for men. Around 3 in 5 of the 3.5 billion people in the labor force in 2018 were men.

“Nearly 85 million women in the world are unemployed,  it is only sustainable for businesses to grow if these societal needs are addressed through collective efforts, “ said Mr. Masika Mukule, Head of Retail banking KCB Bank.

KCB Bank is transforming business models to serve societal needs such as unemployment, gender empowerment, financial inclusion, and new markets, at the same time driving corporate growth and success.

The networking reception attracted over 45 delegates comprising high-level government policy decision makers, CEOs of Investment Promotion Agencies and entrepreneur from the region and beyond.