In November 2023, Access2innovation had the pleasure of facilitating two workshops in Uganda on Responsible Business Conduct. The workshops were based on the principles outlined in UN Global Compact Guidelines and focused on topics related to human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. These types of trainings are mandatory for projects supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
More than 30 people from 17 local organizations, companies, and cooperatives participated in the workshops, which were led by Thomas Augustinus, program manager from Access2innovation.
The workshops emphasized the importance of the ten principles outlined in the guidelines, but also addressed more governance-oriented issues such as fairly and equally rewarding for equal work, the ability of employees to influence work tasks as well as knowledge sharing.
“At the workshops, we were met with great interest and a good understanding of the principles – not just as rules that the project partners must follow, but also as sound principles for good leadership and management, even from a business perspective,” says Thomas Augustinus.
When everyday life hits, the principles still count
After the presentation of the principles, the participants had time for a thorough self-assessment. Here, they assessed the risks of the principles being violated in their daily work and how to avoid it.
The workshops were held for two of our projects in East Africa: the ‘Integrated Grain Handling Project for rural communities in Uganda’, which is funded by Danida Market Development Partnerships, and the project ‘Enhancing Irrigation to improve Climate adaptation and Sustainable Smallholder Production Systems in Uganda’ funded by Danida Green Business Partnerships (read more about this project in our next newsletter).
How to convince your bank
For the ‘Grain Handling Project, the workshop on Responsible Business Conduct was followed by a series of training sessions on business management and administration including international market dynamics, and other important topics by program manager Henrik Anker-Ladefoged and John Magnay from Access2innovation.
Mrs. Alice Kampire Muwonge, CFO and Financial Controller in Ortus Africa, trained representatives from more than 12 cooperatives in how to prepare their organizations for external finance and loans. She explained the requirements and criteria for bank loans and outlined the due diligence processes that banks typically require from the cooperatives and companies. This is important learning for the project’s partners, who wish to invest in new technologies for better drying and handling of the harvest to reduce post-harvest loss.