Laudato Si’ and Ethical Business Management in Africa

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Francois Pazisnewende Kabore, SJ

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Introduction

The last two decades have seen the emergence of new nongovernmental transnational entities that substantially influence the life of African nations. For this reason, the current president of the African Union (AU), Alpha Condé, strongly affirmed that Africa’s problems are primarily due to external influences.[1] The impact that companies have on the environment falls within the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR), understood and experienced as all that they do, beyond what is strictly legal, for the good of the various parties involved. If CSR is applied on a voluntary basis, is it possible to leave the destiny of our African “common home”[2] to discretionary will, especially considering the fact that some companies have an economic power that surpasses that of entire nations? Given the advanced state of environmental degradation,[3] particularly in West Africa, and the recommendations in the encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS) on “the care for our common home,” should not companies consider CSR to be an obligation of social accountability?

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