Nation building and the role of Corporate Social Responsibility

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“In the contemporary landscape of business, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved beyond a mere philanthropic endeavour into a strategic imperative with profound implications for nation building. Corporate entities, as pillars of economic strength, have a responsibility that extends beyond profit margins – a responsibility to actively contribute to the well-being and progress of the societies in which they operate”.

These were the remarks made by Georgette Quarmyne, the Corporate Communications Manager (CCM) of Engen Ghana Limited, during a brief interview after she accepted an award for EGL in December 2023 at the Kempinkski Gold City Hotel.

According to Georgette, she stepped into the role of CCM with a vision to make EGL’s philanthropic initiatives, an integral part of the company’s identity. A feat that she successfully saw through, with the induction of Engen Ghana Limited into the prestigious Ghana Club 100, and the recipient of the ‘Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility – Downstream 2023’ at the Ghana Oil and Gas Awards. An ardent believer in the mantra that being a good corporate citizen is good for business, she has sought to weave the spirit of CSR into the fabric of Engen Ghana Limited, giving the company its most impactful year since it began operations in Ghana.

The Call to Service

An alumna of Holy Child School, Cape Coast, who has been largely influenced by the motto of one of the most reputable female schools in Ghana, “Facta Non Verba” which translates to “Action Not Words”, she believes that the time is ripe for responsible citizens both individual and corporate, to go beyond the chatter and actively assist government in nation building through their CSR initiatives, as the well-being of our communities must be a shared concern if we are to progress as a people. From her early years at Ridge Church School in Accra, where she had her basic education, she was taught the importance of service to our nation and to one another. With a call to service ingrained in her work ethic, she has over the years found this call to be the catalyst that has catapulted many societies and nations to greatness, and as such is passionate about inculcating the importance of selfless service to one another and to one’s community wherever she finds herself.

Aligning Business Goals with Societal Needs

What struck me during our interview was the singlemindedness with which she talked about the role CSR plays in nation building and why she believes that impactful CSR initiatives could potentially be he gamechanger to alleviating poverty levels in Ghana. Georgette’s ties to the UK and Canada have largely shaped her worldview when it comes to CSR, as she recounted how individual and corporate citizens continue to build sustainable business ecosystems by addressing societal challenges through CSR in both countries. The by-product being the creation of a skilled workforce when corporate entities invest in educational institutions, vocational training and research funding which are essentials for innovation and national progress.

Enhancing Reputation and Economic Growth

In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of corporate behaviour, impactful and well thought out CSR initiatives have the potential to build trust and loyalty.

A volunteer at heart, Georgette believes that the success of the companies that she has worked with both home and abroad, have been partly due to the conscious effort made by these companies to impact their communities positively.

As such one of the most important elements, she considers before joining a company is their CSR footprint. She is intentional about only working for companies that give back to their communities in a meaningful way.

In 2023, EGL was privileged to partner with the Ghana Dreams Disability Development Foundation (GDDDF) to drive the latter’s mission to provide jobs for the less abled with their Agyinkwa Ghana Beverages.

CSR initiatives like these according to Georgette have the potential to turn the fortunes of our less abled brothers and sisters around, hence EGL’s willingness to partner with foundations that seek to make a positive impact in our society.

Strategic Community Partnerships

Georgette also spoke about the importance of collaboration in this area. She recounted how the road to EGL’s impactful CSR was paved with strategic community partnerships with organizations such as Sinel Hospital, Tema and Embrace Society for its 2023 breast cancer awareness campaign. Not only did EGL take its CSR game a notch higher in 2023 with its existing partnerships with the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation (OIF), Operation Smile Ghana and Coliba Ghana, the other strategic collaborations that were orchestrated by Georgette, sought to align the company’s CSR interests with the welfare of the communities it served.

Honouring CSR in economically challenging times

When asked if she had any advice for companies that are struggling financially in these times but desire to make a difference in their communities; Georgette was of the assertion that “Every Little Helps. At the helm of EGL’s CSR success story is a vision that extends beyond profit margins to encompass a holistic approach to corporate responsibility. Every company cannot build a state-of-the-art STEM facility, but there are several low budget initiatives that companies can embark on without hurting the bottom line that will bridge the gap between privileged and marginalized populations. CSR is a catalyst for nation-building as it addresses social, economic, and environmental challenges, and must be encouraged as it contributes immensely to the well-being of a nation and its citizens”.

About Georgette Quarmyne

Georgette holds a Master of Arts degree in Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta, Canada and a Petroleum Joint Venture Analyst certification from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada.

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