We're excited to be growing our team in Africa

8 September 2022

Africa is growing. Its sub-Saharan population is growing by 2.7% a year. Its economy is predicted to grow by 3.6% this year, double that of Asia and Latin America, and by 3.8% in 2023*. Moreover, African countries produce essential global staples: more than 70% of its exports are agricultural commodities like tea, coffee, sugar and cocoa. Many African nations are also rich in the minerals that are helping to fuel the transition to a low-carbon economy. The demand for these minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, is expected to jump 500% by 2050, providing an opportunity for businesses to develop this sector both responsibly and sustainably. As African countries bounce back to pre-Covid pandemic growth levels, their future within global supply chains looks bright.

Supply Chain due diligence legislation is on the rise

Meanwhile, international legislation that governs how companies operate these supply chains is growing, too. Companies of all sizes are under increasing pressure to prove where they source their products from, identify and address human rights and environmental impacts, and be more transparent in their reporting.

From January 2023, the German Supply Chain Act makes corporate human rights and environmental due diligence mandatory for all German and international companies with branches in Germany and their supply chains. Hot on its heels and coming soon, is the proposed EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive with potentially even more far-reaching changes.

From cotton to iron ore, cocoa to gold, this new legislation means all companies who wish to be part of international supply chains must address the human rights, climate, and environmental consequences of their decisions.

We are growing our Africa team to meet increasing demand and deepen our impact

With Africa playing an increasing role in global supply chains, we are seeing a growing demand for our African expertise. Whether it is long-established clients expanding their supply chain due diligence or new clients looking to better understand their current operational impacts or new sourcing opportunities. Our Africa team is growing to meet the demand. This year we have set up an office in Kenya to support our team of consultants in Eswatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We have been integrating human rights management into Africa-based supply chains since 2004. Working with a range of clients, across the food and agriculture, FMCG and industrial sectors to identify and address their social risks. Whether it's living income in agriculture, labour rights in industry, women’s empowerment in farming or the impact of climate change on local communities, we enable leaders to know, understand and take action to address the impacts of their business operations.

We partner for the long term

We like to partner with our clients over many years so that we can guide them through the stages of identifying, prioritising, responding, tracking and communicating. Working together, we are increasing their licence to operate and creating capacity to implement longer-term change.

“We work to design solutions that bring the voices of farmers, workers and communities from across the value chain into business planning and execution. By doing so, we are helping companies to maintain their security of supply, protect their product quality and preparing them to meet new legislative requirements.”  Helen Mant, Sector Director, twentyfifty.

Local knowledge is essential

We do not operate a ‘fly in, fly out’ approach to working in Africa. To fully understand the root causes we work closely with our extended network of local experts and researchers who have the knowledge, know the language, and are well versed in the cultures and traditions of the communities they are working in.

“I have just returned from a field trip in Mozambique, where I had the joy of working alongside and training a new twentyfifty team of local supply chain experts. We discussed the local operating challenges for our client, immersing ourselves in the client experience. We then explored the twentyfifty way of delivery, based on the belief that businesses flourish when people flourish”. Daisy Banda, Senior Consultant, twentyfifty.

Our unique approach enables a more inclusive and insightful engagement with workers and other rightsholders, giving leaders richer insights into their social and environmental risks and how to lead change. We have experienced teams on the ground and ready to go in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

By growing our team in Africa, we are delivering more for our clients and improving the lives of more rightsholders. We are really excited about that.

To find out more about our work in Africa click here or contact us at .


* Source: World Bank


Daisy Banda

Senior Consultant

Helen Mant

Sector Director, Food and Agriculture

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