Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Tanzania vs Canada

Jeet Patel Art in Tanzania

What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the act of regulating company business models that assist a company or organisation to be socially accountable to the public and itself. Organizations can be conscious on the kind of the impacts they have in all aspect of society in areas like the environment or the economy.

The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) has provided guidance on how to achieve CSR. Organizations usually start investing in CSR once they a have reached a secure place to invest in it. The ISO came up with “ISO 26000” to help clarify what social responsibility is, and aids organizations in effective practices. ISO 26000 revolves under seven core principles and core subjects. These are the guidance points the ISO has come up with to help organization maximize their corporate social responsibility.

Core Principals

  1. Accountability
  2. Transparency
  3. Ethical Behaviour
  4. Respect for stakeholder interest
  5. Respect for the rule of law
  6. Respect for international norms of behaviour
  7. Respect for the human rights

Core Subject

  1. Organization Governance
  2. Human Rights
  3. Labour Practices
  4. The Environment
  5. Fair operating Practices
  6. Consumer Issues
  7. Community Involvement and Development

CSR around the world

CSR in Canada

CSR is becoming a major driving force for organisations in Canada. One of the main driving forces is due to the Canadian public looking to support organisations that are socially involved in making the community better. The tactics have changed over the years, organisations now plan strategic, social purpose-driven, and transformational models, that can be seen in local communities. It has become an essential part of business practices.

CSR in Tanzania

Tanzania has made huge strides in corporate social responsibility. Tanzania had enacted the Companies act in 2002 (an amendment of the Companies act of 1932) to try and keep up with global and local pressures of improving CSR. Even though this act requires audited financial reports to disclose details of the remuneration of directors and offices, there is no obligation to provide information on employee discrimination, health and safety, tax planning schemes, and pollution and environmental disruption cause by corporate activities. This  led to the enactment of Employment and Labour relations act and labour institutions act in 2004. The government has also come out with the health and safety act in 2003 and the worker’s compensation act in 2008. Tanzania’s main factors and initiatives that influence CSR in the country is due to many reasons.

Politically, the government has come with many different ways to promote CSR in the country, for example, the Presidential Award on CSR and Empowerment launched in 2012, to promote sustainable development of products, specifically in the extractive industry. The country also had the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, in an effort to reduce the country’s poverty levels. The country is also tracking towards primary education, gender equality, HIV/ AIDS, and access to sanitation.

The country is also down well in other factors and influences for CSR. Examples of this would include educating the population in different aspects through social programs in partnership with international organisations. Educating people on the importance of their natural resources and use it to their advantage through the different industries like agriculture and tourism, making sure to work with government organizations to help preserve the Tanzanian way, while sustainably providing goods and services.

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete speaking at the launching ceremony of the presidential award on the Extractive Industry Corporate Social Responsibility and Empowerment

Local businesses and NGOs are also aided by international businesses through joint ventures and partnership in promoting good and services and finding ways to give back to the community. Even though there has been an increase in CSR in the country, there is still a long way to go. Without policies and regulations there is no way to monitor if organisations are trying to benefit their local communities. There are many barriers that could harm the further implementation of CSR. Some of these include:

  • Unreliable data on community needs
  • Misunderstand in communication between companies, organisations, and government
  • CSR used and a competition tool for business instead of being used to benefit the community
  • Lack of conscious consumers
  • Lack of recognition of good effort made

These are just some of the few barriers that can come in Tanzania’s path to have CSR businesses. However, this can be addressed by educating the public and creating policies to show data as well as meet the ISO’s standard guide on being having CSR.

Fernando, J. (2021, July 6). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/corp-social-responsibility.asp.

ISO 26000 – Social responsibility. ISO. (2020, November 30). https://www.iso.org/iso-26000-social-responsibility.html.

Johnnyspade. (2019, February 21). Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada: Trends, Barriers and Opportunities. Coro Strandberg. https://corostrandberg.com/publication/corporate-social-responsibility-in-canada-trends-barriers-and-opportunities/.

Kenton, W. (2021, May 19). International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/international-organization-for-standardization-iso.asp.

Vertigans, S., Idowu, S. O., & Schmidpeter René. (2018). Corporate Social Responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa Sustainable Development in its Embryonic Form. Springer International Publishing.

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