Reporting corporate social responsibility in corporate Africa: an exploratory study

Idowu, Samuel O., Mulat-Weldemeskel, Eyob and Woldel-Rufael, Yemane (2019) Reporting corporate social responsibility in corporate Africa: an exploratory study. International Journal of Business and Applied Science, 8 (2). pp. 72-92. ISSN 2165-8072


The concept of corporate social responsibility has permeated all corners of the world; including the continent of Africa and its countries. This is simply because individual citizens, corporate entities, stakeholders, governments and international organisations have understood the serious consequences on our world and the environment of the act of persistent irresponsibility on the part of citizens; irrespective of whether these are individual or corporate. This study seeks to explore how and what issues relating to corporate social responsibility are reported by corporate entities which operate in African countries. Using data from 115 companies in twelve African countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa the paper answers pertinent questions such as: what do corporate entities operating in African countries disclose in their CSR reports? Are African companies aware that they have some responsibilities to non-shareholding citizens and the environment? Are corporate entities operating in African countries providing integrated reports or just the traditional annual reports? Are these non-mandatory reports externally validated or verified? Are these entities demonstrably meeting their stakeholders’ information requirements through the use of dedicated corporate websites which is what corporate entities in the most developed economies of the world do? Are these reports embedded in the traditional annual reports or provided in stand-alone reports or CSR issues not reported at all? The study focused its attention on African countries where English is a de jure (official) language simply because of the likely problems of accurately translating into English the information disclosed in other languages by corporate entities in non-English speaking African countries. The study has used data from corporate entities in different geographical locations and business sectors in the continent of Africa and thus contributes to readers’ understanding of what African companies disclose in their CSR reports.

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