By Antonio Muhungo – CEO of Centre for Ethics in Angola (CEA)
As a result of the national Business Ethics conference jointly organized by the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Angola (CCIA) and sponsored by SIEMENS Integrity Initiative, a significant number of local businesses realized the need to elevate the business culture to a better ethics mode.
Following a resolution, the Principles for Ethical Business in Angola was launched in May 2013 and the Ethics Centre of Angola was established in August 2013.
The overall objective of CEA is to contribute to the creation of an ethically responsible business society by fostering, facilitating and educating on ethical practices in the private and public sectors in collaboration and partnership with governmental, public, business, academic institutions and individuals. In order to attain that, CEA has set the following specific objectives:
(a) encourage debates on business ethics and ethical issues,
(b) assist with the development of public policies in the field of ethics,
(c) provide consultancy, advisory and audit services on ethics,
(d) produce and distribute publications on business ethics,
(e) facilitate the development and implementation of ethics management programs,
(f) conduct training and education on business ethics,
(g) initiate and facilitate research, surveys and studies on business ethics and
(h) promote the adherence to the Principles of Ethical Business in Angola.
The initiative is most likely to get further support from the authorities as the President of Angola established the highest level commission to establish the mechanisms to comply with the UN Convention Against Corruption and a Centre of Corporate Governance has been launched after, two entities CEA seeks to work with.
Following up a meeting Africa Minister Mark Simmonds with the Board of Directors of the CEA and some members later in 2013, during which the Minister promised to assist the development of the Centre, the UK embassy in Angola funded the trip of the Centre CEO Antonio Muhungo to attend the 2-conference on Combating Global Corruption at the Chatham House on 3 and 4 February 2014. With additional support the CEA members, the CEO extended the visit to meet the Transparency International UK, the Global Witness, the Africa Directorate of the Chatham House, the FCO Africa Directorate and the Serious Frauds Office representative and the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE). The meetings aimed at establishing institutional collaboration, cooperation and partnership to sustainably build up the business ethical culture in the private and public sectors in Angola.
Today, CEA is engaged in establishing institutional collaboration, cooperation and partnership with Angolan professional institutions, government agencies and international agencies to guarantee institutional sustainability while seeking seed-funding from companies and individuals. Before the end of 2013, CEA became the first Angolan institution as the participant of the UN Global Compact to promote the 10 Principles in Angola together with the UNDP.
CEA has already obtained financial assistance from the UK embassy in Angola to design the organization website, to be launched by the end of March 2014, and has fully supported the business ethics awareness seminars in other provinces and the workshop to help the local companies who signed the Principles commitment letter to institutionalize them.