Johannesburg, South Africa Today the 2022 Deloitte Africa Impact Report was released under the theme ‘building better futures’. The report describes the conscious and deliberate choices the firm has made across healthcare, education and other areas covering environmental, social and governance (ESG) – with focus on building a better future for Africa, and her people.
“Our firm is deeply committed to ensuring that our Purpose – making an impact that matters for our clients, our people and society – is embedded in every aspect of our business,” says Ashleigh Theophanides, Chief Sustainability Officer, Deloitte Africa.
She continued by saying that Deloitte is committed to pursuing a mindset of ‘purpose beyond profit’, by leveraging Deloitte’s collective capabilities, skills and services in order to provide solutions for clients and society. Theophanides noted that being purpose-driven also means that the firm makes responsible choices as a business to uphold public trust with distinction and consistency.
The 2022 Deloitte Africa Impact Report is an extension of the 2022 Deloitte Africa Transparency Report, which aims to provide a detailed update on how the firm operates – providing a view of the milestones achieved and the journey the firm is still traveling. The Impact Report provides insight into three key areas, the impact Deloitte is making for clients, its employees and in society.
Deloitte is at the forefront of driving meaningful change and supporting clients to achieve their goals, thus making a positive contribution to society. The firm makes an impact in society through the services provided, the people developed, and activities focused on driving positive change in communities and the environment. Theophanides highlights the role of the Africa Sustainability Office, that being to ensure closer alignment between policy and practice. The report provides an update on key initiatives, including: WorldImpact, WorldClass, WorldClimate and Impact Every Day.
In March this year, the firm launched WorldClass, its social programme that aims to impact 20 million lives on the continent by 2030 through education, entrepreneurship and agriculture. The programme was launched by hosting winners of the World Economic Forum Uplink Challenge, which awards prizes to 12 innovators, five of them based on the continent who have devised solutions that use technology to improve access to education. These innovators included the UCT Online High School as well as the Pan African Robotics Competition (PARC) which teaches coding and robotics to African children in 33 African countries.
Deloitte is making significant inroads in the fight against climate change, one of the biggest challenges facing Africa and the world. Deloitte Global announced, in April this year, a $1 billion investment in a Global Climate and Sustainability practice that will use research to help clients tackle their response to climate change. Deloitte has already conducted strategy labs with clients across all industries that the firm services to better understand their ESG challenges which include emissions reduction for the extractive industries, management of waste in the telecoms industry and making a move towards paperless governments for the public service.
Theophanides added, “The ESG conversation and mitigation of climate change is amongst the most important that business can lead in society right now. As Deloitte, we are committed to turning our almost 7 000 professionals into agents of change in their daily lives and to helping our clients grapple with their own ESG challenges.”
Deloitte assisted a leading Telecomms company in Africa to develop its ESG strategy and clients in mining and petrochemicals to commit to significant emissions reduction. Another client, a Platinum Group Metals producer was assisted by Deloitte with developing a real time employee engagement programme for 90 000 staff as well as a separate community engagement programme.
In East Africa, Deloitte worked with USAID to implement one of the largest healthcare programmes on the continent, assisting over 800 000 people living with HIV across six regions in Tanzania. Deloitte designed and implemented the programme in addition to helping USAID account for its donor funding.
Deloitte partnered, in South Africa, with Grindstone to help support high growth tech start-ups across various industries. The programme currently supports 24 companies, with Deloitte professionals offering their skills and advise to help the companies refine their business models, complete financial modelling and reach the venture capital funding stage for free.
Deloitte also launched Africa Talent, a joint venture with Deloitte Netherlands that aims to recruit and upskill graduates throughout Africa. The programme makes use of hybrid and remote working technologies to service clients in Europe while the recruits remain based on the continent. The graduates are trained in areas such as IT auditing, data analytics, cyber security, financial transaction processing and regulatory risk.
“Africa Talent is an example of how we can use Deloitte’s global reach to make an impact across our global network of member firms. Through this programme, Africa’s youth get the opportunity to service clients abroad while acquiring skills and knowledge that will benefit the continent. We are proud of this collaboration, an innovative use of the incredible talent that can be found in Africa to make an impact that matters,” Theophanides concludes.