Getting started – CSR in Tanzania

Focus of Efforts

The term "corporate social responsibility" encompasses a great variety of programs, initiatives, and approaches. A number of organizations and initiatives have been created, whose goal is to offer guidance and best-practices frame of reference to companies seeking to develop an effective CSR program. Some notable examples are listed below.

The Norwegian Embassy has produced a country paper on corporate social responsibility. The paper highlights the established and well-developed CSR programs of large Norwegian companies such as Statoil Tanzania AS. The latter company offers these practical steps as a way of integrating CSR into a company’s daily operations.

Practical Steps from Statoil Tanzania AS – for Integrating Integrity and Social Responsibility (ISR) in business planning

  • Taking into account both the short – and long term strategy in Tanzania (Business case)
  • Performing a country - and reputation risk analysis
  • Identifying ISR risks and mitigation actions
    • Generate opportunities (i.e. education)
    • Seek to build local capacity/strengthen local content
    • Promote human rights and transparency
    • Improve local conditions
  • Create a strategic approach to social investments – within sponsorships and donations (win-win situation for both business and society)
  • These social investment projects are thereafter monitored, and regularly re-assessed.

A long-term partnership between Kahama Mining Corporation, Limited (KMCL, now owned by Barrick Gold), the local government, and a number of local NGOs has proven to be quite successful. A book titled Putting partnerships to work: strategic alliances for development between Government, the Private Sector andCivil Society by Warner and Sullivan dedicates all of chapter 8 to Barrick’s Bulyanhulu mine as an example of a successful partnership.

According to the case study, KMCL adopted a multi-sector partnership approach, in order to:

  • Enable KMCL to focus its efforts on those areas where social needs were greatest and where KMCL could provide maximum value to community development;
  • Enable KMCL to work with potential partners and, through this, to develop trust and understanding and a more secure social license to operate;
  • Manage community expectations of KMCL for local development, through clearly defined and agreed goals and work-plans that engage all sectors of local society in taking action and assuming responsibility; and
  • Enable KMCL to ‘hand over’ the long-term management and maintenance of infrastructure and other projects to communities and government.

To meet these goals, KMCL partnered with CARE Tanzania on an education promotion project, the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) on a health training initiative, and WEDECO on a water quality improvement project. The Kahama district council was a major participant in all three projects, as well as a direct partner with KMCL on a local housing initiative.

A 2008 report by the Chr. Michelsen Institute of Norway provides an overview of Tanzania’s mining-related conflicts, mainly focusing on the ambiguous legislation surrounding land tenure. The report also looks at consultation and conciliation mechanisms, as a tool to avoid such conflicts in the future.

-------------------- TOP ---------------------


Companies working on a specific CSR strategy for Tanzania should consider using the information provided by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). ICMM is an international, CEO-led organization promoting sustainability in mining operations.

One area of CSR activity the ICMM has focused on is that of human rights. In particular, the ICMM has produced a document titled “Human Rights in the Mining & Metals Industry: Overview, Management Approach and Issues” (broken link), which aims to provide an overview of the main challenges and dilemmas that companies in the mining and metals sector often face. The document provides a review of management approaches that ICMM member companies have applied to dealing with human rights challenges and as well as the main sector-specific issues.

Related guidance (15-HR-Concerns-and-Grievances) has recently been published on complaint mechanisms and due diligence processes.

In addition, the ICMM has recently published a series of country case studies, with the Tanzania case study available for download from the group’s site (broken link).

-------------------- TOP ---------------------

UN Resources

The UN Global Compact offers an extensive list of resources and documents pertaining to the ten universally accepted principles of human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption.

Of particular interest are the three documents in the “Partnerships for Development” (broken link) section of the resource kit: the guide to food sustainability; the business guide to partnering with NGOs and the UN; and the Tool for Assessing Sustainability and Impact.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) focuses on the transparent reporting of companies’ environmental, social, and economic performance. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework (broken link) and Guidelines (broken link) are applicable to organizations of any size or type, and from any sector or geographic region, and have been used by thousands of organizations worldwide as the basis for their sustainability reporting.

The UN Research Institute for Social Development has authored a publication titled Corporate Social Responsibility and Regulatory Governance: Towards Inclusive Development? Of particular interest is a chapter by C.Gregoratti, “Growing Sustainable Business in East Africa: The Potential and Limits of Partnerships for Development.”

-------------------- TOP ---------------------