Saturday, June 7, 2008

Call for Sullivan Summit to bring lasting benefits

09:12:43 By Mgeta Mganga
The government and private sector are challenged to ensure that the coming Leon Sullivan Summit brings long-term benefits to the country. Sullivan Summit would be held in Arusha early next month amidst expectations that lots of business deals would be sealed between Tanzania`s companies and their US counterparts.

Speaking to this paper in Dar es Salaam last week, the executive director of Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society(TCAS), Bernard Kihiyo, on the picture left said Tanzania needs to foresee and put on the drawing board all important issues that are expected to be explored during the grand business event,
this time labeled `Summit of the Life Time?.

In his view, there was a need for Tanzania`s business experts to come up with practical business approaches that could be put to work as soon when the Sullivan Summit was over, targeting to develop people and the country at large over the longer runs.

``This will make the intended Sullivan Summit`s goals be met and positively benefit people and the country,`` he said. One of the key goals of Summit is to bring together the world`s political and business leaders, delegates representing national and international civil and multinational organisations, and members of academic institutions in order to focus attention and resources on Africa`s economic and social development.

The other motive to this summit is the belief that the development of Africa is a matter of global partnerships, that Africa`s Diaspora and Friends of Africa are active participants in Africa?s development.

``I am quite excited and have the passion to see Africans are starting to draw a picture of Africa in twenty, thirty, years to come? we can start thinking of what changes can be expected, which direction to take, what kind of investments are required and what approach to be taken to arrive at the intended goal of developing the continent and its people``, he said.

When establishing the Foundation, The Reverend Leon Sullivan had set global principles of social responsibility to the corporate world, aimed at improving human rights, social justice and economic fairness in the conduct of business.

``I hope no one would like to see Africa with irresponsible business, who are robbing peoples` abilities to live their dreams by selling substandard products and poor services``, he said. In order for companies to survive, he said, they require greater efficiency and cost saving, technological improvement, new manufacturing techniques and strict control of production costs.

But he cautioned the search for profitability should not compromise on efforts to protect the interests of consumers and promote competition as much as possible in order to arrive at stable prices and improve quality and quantity of goods and services.

SOURCE: Guardian of 2008-05-17

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