30 October 2023 

Absa Group is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Business Ethics (BEN) Africa Conference, taking place from 1 to 3 November 2023 in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.

This year’s edition of the BEN-Africa Conference takes place at the Nelson Mandela University under the theme “Corruption: Ubuntu and the opportunity for change”. It brings together organisations, leaders and other stakeholders from private, public and non-profit organisations who have a shared passion for ensuring ethical decision-making is applied in all corners of business practices in Africa.

According to Absa Group Head of Compliance Akash Singh, the sponsorship comes at a time when there is growing recognition that sound ethics are the foundation of sustainable value creation and growth. “Organisations that are perceived to act ethically enjoy better business outcomes as their employees are trusted by the public to act with integrity, honesty and for the good of their customers and their communities,” Singh said.

“At a time when there have been several high-profile cases of business failures as a result of leaders not adhering to ethical standards, it is imperative on all of us to course correct by bringing business ethics back to the top of the business agenda and reinforcing the importance of moral integrity,” he added.

Absa Group leaders, including Group Head of Ethics Phumelele Zwane, Head of Financial Crime Nic Swingler, Managing Executive for Public Sector and Growth Capital at Corporate and Investment Banking Africa Stephen Seaka and Regional Executive for Physical Channels Pholushi Malesela, will also participate at the conference.

President of the Business Ethics Network of Africa Dr Bryan Robinson said he was pleased to have Absa on board as a sponsor to the conference. “We believe that it is only through collaborations with businesses, academia, civil society and other stakeholders across the continent that we will be able to elevate the importance of dialogue on how to promote moral integrity in all our business dealings in Africa. We are grateful that Absa Group has joined us in this very important mission to promote an environment of trust and integrity through dialogue,” he said.

As part of the sponsorship, Absa will also be hosting the Absa BEN-Africa Supplier Day on 31 October 2023, where small businesses will be given an opportunity to participate in the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction Programme.

The programme was developed by The Ethics Institute to raise awareness of ethical business practices in the supply chains of larger organisations, offering large organisations the opportunity to train their suppliers on ethical business practices. It is aimed at the executive management teams of SMEs and endeavours to equip these leaders with the tools to promote ethics in their organisations. SMEs that complete the programme will be accredited as “Ethically Aware”.

Absa Group Chief Procurement Officer Vusi Fele said the supplier day forms part of the Group’s commitment to ethical business practices and to being an active force of good in Africa by equipping its communities with the tools to operate with moral integrity.

“Creating value through sound governance is one of our business priorities and to this end, we require our suppliers to uphold high corporate governance standards and align with our ethics and human rights policies. We therefore support them through initiatives such as these to ensure their conduct and ethics align with ours,” Fele said.

This commitment was earlier this year recognised when Absa received the prestigious Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Ethics Kite Award, a testament to Absa Group’s ethical posture, and its approach to suppliers and service providers as embedded in the Absa Supplier Code of Ethics.

“We look forward to engaging and supporting small businesses in Gqeberha by promoting awareness of sound and ethical business practices,” Fele said, adding it was a further demonstration of Absa Group’s intention to be an active force for good for its communities, and empowering them for future success.

Visit the BEN-Africa Conference website for more information.