Africa Day, May 25th, 2018
Africa Day, celebrated on May 25th, commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity and serves as a reminder of the continent’s immense potential. Five years ago, on Africa Day 2018, the Shared Value Africa Initiative was launched at the Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. This marked the beginning of a journey to transform the mindset of businesses towards profit-with-purpose, led by founder and CEO, Tiekie Barnard.
Africa Day holds a special place in my heart, as it’s an occasion to celebrate our beautiful continent and to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963, which later became the African Union. It’s a time for us to recognise and appreciate the diversity and cultural richness of Africa, as well as its immense economic potential.
On Africa Day in 2018, the Shared Value Africa Initiative was launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit. As the Founder and CEO, I was thrilled to see my personal dream come to fruition. It was also the first time that we had the honour to host Mark Kramer who with Michael Porter created the Shared Value Business Management concept, as well as more than 300 delegates from across Africa.
When I embarked on this journey, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Africa has many countries with differences that can seem insurmountable, including different languages, cultures, and economies. But I was driven by a higher purpose and a belief that Africa has immense potential. Looking back, I realise that I started with little more than an idea and a purpose to lobby for the private sector to engage and buy-in to the profit-with-purpose thinking and mindset. But with perseverance and support, we’ve made progress in raising awareness of the shared value business management concept and shifting business mindsets from profit-only to profit-with-purpose.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me and the initiative over the past five years, whether we’ve had a fleeting connection or deeper involvement. Each of you has contributed to my personal growth, as well as the growth of the shared value community on the continent, and for that, I say thank you. To those that have become part of our community, a note of gratitude for your support and drive to make a difference alongside the Shared Value Africa Initiative.
Our work to build Africa’s most impactful business network continues. We believe that companies must be profitable to be sustainable, but we must also consider how our actions impact communities and the environment. Only when we practice value creation for all can we truly claim success.
I strongly believe that Africa is the continent on which we are shaping the global future. With a youth dividend that surpasses that of any other continent, Africa is primed for success. Over the past five years, I have had the privilege of meeting some extraordinary young leaders who share my passion for Africa and who constantly inspire me with their innovative minds and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your inspiration and motivation.
Once again, I want to express my sincere thanks and humility to all of you who have supported the Shared Value Africa Initiative’s journey over the past five years. With your help, we will continue to create an impactful business network that will help deliver the Africa we all want.
Founder & CEO