Local business leaders embrace climate change as a key agenda

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. Business leaders in Tanzania are taking the fight against climate change to a new level as they seek to play an increasingly important role in environmental conservation.

Gathered in the CEO Roundtable (CEOrt) of Tanzania, business leaders have included the fight against climate change as a key aspect – Climate Action Agenda – in their new strategic plans for the period 2022 to 2025.

Speaking at the launch of the new strategic plan on Tuesday, CEOrt executive director Ms Santina Benson said she embarked on a climate action program in November last year – and that she now transforms this commitment into “a movement and a space that is palpable”.

“In light of the current climate crisis, we (at CEOrt) make a bold commitment to challenge our members, leaders and society as a whole to play an active role in reversing environmental damage,” said Ms. Benson.

“Having made this commitment last November, we now want to see the impact of it by fostering responsive activity by helping our members push the agenda forward.”

For this to work, Ms Benson said, they would do everything in their power to find ways to help their members – especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who don’t have the financial muscle strong enough to support the Climate Action Program.

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The 170-member CEOrt is enthusiastically committed to helping the country achieve its plan to cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly last September, President Samia Suluhu Hassan also drew attention to the challenges that climate change poses at national and global levels.

In Tanzania, the global climate change crisis is negatively impacting agriculture and tourism, two of the most important sectors of the country’s economy, threatening incomes, food security and overall livelihoods.

The threat posed by climate change to the world calls for urgent and remedial action, as experts say the effects of global warming could become irreversible by 2030.

CEOrt’s Executive Director also said the institution looks forward to continuing to leverage opportunities for greater impact in its core areas of focus.

“These include the continued development of CEOrt’s flagship leadership initiative, the CEO learning program and increased engagement on policy issues for a better climate for potential investors.”

Ms Benson also said CEOrt is currently running the second cohort of the apprenticeship program – with the third due to launch in August this year.

The program will bring together 20 participants, of which 15 will be from the private sector, while the public sector will represent the rest.

To date, she said, 30 participants have completed the program which began in 2019, set up with the aim of identifying and attracting experienced Tanzanian executives in the public and private sectors with a career for become senior executives.

Some graduates of the program who have gone on to CEO positions include Mr. Unguu Sulay – who is now the Managing Director (MD) of Coca-Cola Kwanza – and the MD of Songas, Mr. Anael Samuel.

CEOrt Chairman, Sanjay Rughani said that “our new strategy is focused on unlocking Tanzania’s transformative potential as CEO Roundtable leaders will pay attention to relevant priorities for impact and sustainability. , dedicated to achieving positive economic, environmental and social change”.

He also said that through its CEO Learning Program, CEOrt “will continue to strengthen its approach to elevate the capabilities and capabilities of future Tanzanian leaders.

“For our objectives to achieve the desired results, we will count on strong and determined support from the government. I believe that together we can achieve a more resilient, prosperous and sustainable nation,” said Mr Rughani – who is also the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank.

He added that CEOrt “is keen to continue to engage with key government leaders from a thought leadership perspective to drive the country’s sustainable growth.”