PIA Focus Areas
In bringing together the PIA member's on-the-ground insight and management drive, the group leverages what the individual businesses are already doing across Africa to greater effect. The PIA has also furthered institutional understanding of the specific opportunities and challenges the private sector faces operating in Africa.
The work of the PIA falls under the carefully selected focus areas, prioritising the fields that benefit most from a united approach under the PIA umbrella. For each of the focus areas, a dedicated working group has been established, composed of the corporate experts responsible for implementation at company level.
The lack of power infrastructure has greatly affected the development of Africa. To date, the PIA working group has been successful in providing pro-bono advisory services to select African utilities to strengthen power utility management. The PIA power working group teamed up with the World Bank to facilitate a unique workshop in Johannesburg that brought together 15 senior managers from power utilities across Africa. The workshop covered a range of management issues surrounding power generation and transmission in Africa.
The development of quality local sourcing is a key driver to ensure thriving and competitive local economies in Africa. More and more, companies have learned that long term relations are needed to ensure the commitment of contributing farmers. With the development of sustainable local sourcing initiatives, companies create sustainable business for its own growth as well as for farmers by buying products locally or regionally. The PIA’s agriculture working group continues to look for opportunities in partnership with institutions to collaborate on projects that can be up-scaled.
Jobs & Skills Development
There is poor alignment between skills and leadership levels in Africa and public and private sector employer needs. The PIA companies co-operate to identify and address some of these gaps. In 2011, PIA launched the Leadership for Change in Africa Programme which is aimed at creating a network of pan-African, high potential, emerging leaders in the private sector, government, civil society and NGOs, working in partnership as catalysts for change in Africa.
Health & Safety
One of the fundamental needs of business is a healthy workforce. In order to meet this need, the PIA companies work together to mitigate health risks in the workplace. At the beginning of this century, one of the principal challenges facing business' in Africa was the rising threat of HIV/AIDS. It soon became clear that no single company could effectively deal with the impact of the disease alone.
PIA's Health working group's combined experience in prevention, health support and therapy for HIV/AIDS patients resulted in a common roadmap for management to track the implementation of comprehensive company programmes. The roadmap included defined KPI's, whose progress is carefully monitored by the working group.
Supply chain optimisation: regional integration (advocacy)
Support for regional economic integration in Africa is high on the agenda of the key players influencing the continent's development.
National governments and business operators in Africa are recognising the importance of good governance for economic growth and development. There is clearly a need for change, but practice on the ground has yet to follow through. Corruption and regulatory inefficiencies are still prominent.
Throughout the continent, corruption unduly influences the introduction and application of critical legislation and regulations, severely impeding the continents ability to compete on a global level. The PIA believes that it is critical to remove these barriers to ensure the African continent's prosperity and that the private sector plays a role in bringing about economic progress and sustainable development.Read more...