CSO Week Launch: CSO-private sector partnerships key to mitigating socioeconomic developmental challenges

* The multi-stakeholder event is scheduled to take place from October 24 to October 28, 2022, in Arusha

Dar es Salaam, August 18, 2022. Partnerships between civil society and the private sector are key to mitigating socioeconomic developmental challenges, according to Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela, CRDB Bank Chief Executive.

Speaking during the launch of CSO Week 2022, Mr Nsekela commended civil society’s efforts to boost collaboration with private sector stakeholders for the sake of people-centred development.

It is our firm belief that CSO-private sector partnerships are key to mitigating socioeconomic developmental challenges with greater success than individual CSO or private sector approaches. Unfortunately, there has been limited collaboration between the private sector and CSOs in tackling development changes beyond philanthropic engagements. However, we are one. The importance of inter-sectoral partnerships – among corporations, institutions, organisations and populations – cannot be overemphasised. We are building one nation, and, at large, one global community. We are developing our stories for our development.”

Mr Nsekela added, “In the private sector, we are now increasingly talking about impact investing. These are investments made with the intention of generating a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact alongside financial returns. The aim is to promote social development and economic stability. Emphasis on social impact investment on both financial returns and social as well as environmental impact is a great collaboration avenue for the private sector and CSOs. This is also in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

CSO Week brings together key development actors and is aimed at enhancing relations and partnerships geared at bolstering civil society’s engagement in Tanzania’s development, forging new and strengthening existing collectives aimed at addressing key developmental challenges and generating and exchanging ideas around the topic.

Mr Nsekela said he was looking forward to this year’s CSO Week and would be keen on reflections that would be aimed at aligning private investment with sustainable socio-economic development, adding that social impact investment is an important means to direct investment to ensure sustainable development.

Let’s celebrate the people’s development through stories of change made possible by CSOs, but more importantly, let’s provide new channels for investing in social programmes through collaboration among various stakeholders.”

He urged the private sector to collaborate with civil society because it is through such partnerships that more Tanzanians in rural areas can be reached.

CSO Week is an important event for development stakeholders, including civil society organisations, the private sector and the Government. Collectively, the actors are important development stakeholders in the country. CSO Week directs its efforts towards ensuring optimum participation of actors from diverse sectors.

In her opening remarks, the Legal Human Rights Centre (LHRC) Executive Director, Ms Anna Henga, gave a brief history of CSO Week.

“The theme of CSO Week in 2018 was Industrialisation Drive in Tanzania: People, Policy and Practice. The event brought together more than 400 CSOs. Following its success, we held CSO Week again in 2019, which was themed Progress Through Partnership: Collaboration as a Driver for Development in Tanzania and the theme in 2021 was CSOs’ Contribution to National Development. This year’s theme is People’s Development, People’s Stories.”

Ms Henga added that since CSO Week’s inception, there has been increasing appreciation among all stakeholders of the importance of the event as a platform for comprehensive engagement between and among stakeholders.

I call on community-based organisations and the private sector to participate fully in CSO Week 2022. The private sector, led by CRDB Bank Plc, has partnered with us in a highly commendable way.”

The CSO Week Coordinator, Mr Justice Rutenge, said this year’s agenda would be directed at ensuring that multi-sectoral actors are made a critical part of new collectives geared towards delivering development for the people, unlike earlier efforts that highlighted CSOs’ contribution.

“This year’s theme – People’s Development, People’s Stories – underscores the fact that the people are our most integral constituency, partners and the chief reason for civil society’s existence. It allows for critical reflection on the many approaches, systems and processes used by CSOs to address developmental challenges Tanzanians have been grappling with, particularly those that are complex, deep-rooted and long-standing. It also reaffirms CSOs’ and development actors’ commitment to transformative change and leading by example.”