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Our societal purpose

Reimagining Africa, together

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. Yes, we’re a business, but we’re also in the business of contributing to society by helping others thrive, particularly in these challenging times in which we find ourselves, on the African continent and indeed across the globe.

“For us it’s about being a responsible citizen, supporting and growing our firm, our people, our clients and our communities."

Here are some of our leaders talking about why having a societal purpose matters

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The COVID-19 pandemic facing the world today is challenging businesses and economies, and impacting millions of people. It has highlighted the strong need for cross-border collaboration and alignment between economic activity and societal - human - needs. There’s a growing realisation that we won’t be returning to the old normal. We have the opportunity to choose a new normal where economic and social progress are aligned.

Perceptions of the role of business in society have changed dramatically. There’s greater focus on how organisations impact the world around them - affecting climate change, responsible investment, sustainable value chains, social mobility and inclusion and equality. Society expects more from the organisations we engage with. Businesses need to have a purpose that addresses societal challenges while making profit, rather than exclusively focusing on financial returns to shareholders. Add COVID-19 and its associated challenges into the mix, and there’s no doubt that a focused societal purpose strategy is imperative for any business that wants to have a sustainable impact. 

This is a critical time for business, educators, government and other stakeholders to work together in a more agile, resilient and inclusive manner, by committing to a meaningful and sustained investment in societal purpose.

 

Making a difference with the resources and skills we have

So how do we as PwC Africa go about investing in our societal purpose? We use the business skills we have, the knowledge we possess, and the tools at our disposal to promote greater opportunity for all, in the areas in which we know we can make a difference. In doing so, we’re focusing on areas where we know we can have the most impact for our clients, our people and our communities. We’re acutely aware that for such initiatives to succeed, we need to look at things differently, try new approaches and combine forces with like-minded organisations or initiatives to deliver. Our societal purpose strategy is firmly integrated into our business strategy, and supported by our purpose and core values. 

 

Our focus areas

We know we can’t be all things to all people, so when we looked at where we needed to focus most, we were guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals, or SDGs, adopted by all UN Member States as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

Our key focus areas

Some of our success stories

  • Our commitment to net zero has been well articulated, in line with our global firm’s commitment to this priority.  We’re making a worldwide science-based commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and our Africa firm is committed to helping make this happen.
  • On the topic of digital skills, and noting their critical role in today’s world, our ‘New world. New skills.’ initiative is making significant inroads in the area of upskilling, including making our Digital Fitness app publicly available, free of charge. 
  • Understanding that the private sector has a responsibility to contribute to the empowerment and advancement of all, including those who are marginalized due to the geographies in which they live, we partner with skills development organisations to impart essential business skills and support. We’ve entered into a local collaboration with UNICEF to help prepare young people with relevant skills to enter the workforce. This is part of a three-year global collaboration between PwC and UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited, a multi-sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030. 
  • Through our partnership with the UN Women's HeForShe initiative, we’re working towards achieving global gender equality in the workplace and beyond. 
  • PwC in South Africa is contributing time and expertise in different forms to assist our government to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including as auditors to the Solidarity Fund.
  • In Nigeria, Food items and PPEs were distributed to beneficiaries across 7 states including Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Kano, Kaduna, Edo and the FCT. We also provided pro bono complementary business continuity support service to over 40 small businesses during this period. The intervention is fully captured here
  • In Ghana, PwC L.I.F.E (Looking Inwards For Excellence) is a leadership and educational programme aimed at students aged 14 years and above. By delivering skills development sessions, we aim to empower students who attend disadvantaged schools in Accra in order to equip them with the skills required to thrive in today's world. LIFE
  • PwC in South Africa has been appointed to provide professional services other than external audit services on a pro-bono basis to the newly established private sector led Gender Based Violence & Femicide Response Fund (GBVF) launched by the South African President during February 2021.

These are just some of the initiatives we’re proudly involved with, and throughout our Africa region there are many more.

 

Harnessing the power of societal impact initiatives to reimagine Africa, together

Read our Africa CEO’s blog about our commitment to societal purpose. Explore more about harnessing the power of societal impact.

Group of people discussing PwC's societal purpose
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Contact us

Shirley Machaba

Shirley Machaba

Regional Senior Partner for PwC in Southern Africa, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 11 797 5851

Peter Ngahu

Peter Ngahu

Regional Senior Partner for PwC in East Africa, PwC Kenya

Tel: +254 (0) 20 285 5090

Uyi Akpata

Uyi Akpata

Regional Senior Partner for PwC in West Africa, PwC Nigeria

Tel: +234 1 271 1700

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