About Us

About Us

The Story of BEN-Africa

BEN-Africa was formed on the equator in the heart of Africa in 1999. The founding conviction of BEN-Africa is that by bringing together Africans who share an interest in business ethics, business ethics will be expanded on the African continent. We believe that through interaction, both theoretical knowledge and practical skill in managing ethics will be enhanced.

Our experience since 1999 has substantiated this conviction. BEN-Africa currently has members in 25 African countries. National chapters have been established in Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ethiopia. A number of other countries are in the process of establishing similar national structures of BEN-Africa.

BEN-Africa facilitates interaction between its members in various ways. These include our website, regular electronic communiqués and an electronically distributed newsletter. BEN-Africa also presents a conference annually. Conferences have already been organised in:

  • Nairobi, Kenya (2000)
  • East London, South Africa (2001)
  • Lagos, Nigeria (2002)
  • Victoria Falls, Zambia (2003)
  • Stone Town, Zanzibar (2004)
  • Kasane, Botswana (2005)
  • Cape Town, South Africa (2006)
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2007)
  • In 2008 BEN-Africa was proud to host the 2008 World Congress of the International Society of Business, Economics and Ethics in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Accra, Ghana (2009)
  • Nairobi, Kenya (2010)
  • Zanzibar, Tanzania (2011)
  • Entebbe, Uganda (2012)
  • Lagos, Nigeria (2013)
  • Cape Town, South Africa (2014)

BEN-Africa is committed to disseminate information, knowledge and expertise on business ethics to its members. The first title in the BEN-Africa book series “Developing Business Ethics as an Academic Field” reviews the development of the field of business ethics critically. BEN-Africa has also launched the African Journal of Business Ethics, the first edition of which was published in 2005.

BEN-Africa also provides members with the opportunity to participate in generating new knowledge and expertise. This is done through a number of research projects including, amongst others, the Whistle Blowing Project, the Business Ethics Case Study Project and the HIV/AIDS project. The findings of the research projects will be published as further titles in the BEN-Africa book series.

In addition to its activities on the African continent, BEN-African regularly participates in international forums. A former president of BEN-Africa, Prof Deon Rossouw, has served as the president of ISBEE; BEN-Africa was invited to edit an edition of Europe’s leading journal on business ethics, Business Ethics: A European Review that was devoted to business ethics in Africa.

BEN-Africa has grown into a well-established and reputable organisation. It has built a network of people with competence in teaching and managing business ethics. It has also developed sound structures and infrastructure and is consequently poised for a substantial expansion of its activities. You are cordially invited to join us in our endeavour to strengthen the commitment and competence of Africans to improve the business ethics record of Africa.

Mission

BEN-Africa strengthens the commitment and competence of Africans to do business with moral integrity by facilitating interaction between academics and practitioners who share an interest in business ethics.

Goals

  • To facilitate interaction between academics and practitioners who share an interest in business ethics.
  • To gather and disseminate information on business ethics in Africa.
  • To strengthen the commitment and competence of our members to improve the business ethics record of Africa.

Executive Committee

 

President: Liezl Groenewald of BEN-Africa and the Manager: Organisational Ethics Development at The Ethics Institute.

Liezl holds a BA (Communication Science) from the University of the Free State and a Masters degree in Applied Ethics for Professionals from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.  She is currently busy with a PhD in Applied Ethics (Stellenbosch University).

Liezl has been in the field of business ethics for 13 years. Her main responsibilities include advising organisations on ethics management and strategies, conducting organisational ethics risk and culture assessments, facilitating ethics workshops to all levels of management; and auditing Hotline Service Providers against the South African Industry Standard. She is also responsible for researching the ethical status of corporate South Africa on a three year basis.

With 27 years’ working experience, her experience includes being a security manager of a national key point, VIP Protector, political analyst and corruption investigator. In 2004 she established the Ethics Office at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) where gained practical experience in the challenges organisations face when implementing ethics management programmes.

Liezl is a member of the Cape Chamber of Commerce; member of the Western Cape Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Regional Committee, a former Associate of the Parliamentary Institute of SA and member of the Editorial Sub-committee of the Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum (AEPF).  She serves on the Social and Ethics Committees of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and she represents Sub-Sahara Africa (on behalf of the Centre for Applied Ethics, US) at the Compass Group (a global network focusing on research and education in the field of Military Ethics).

Treasurer: Dr Bryan Robinson is a post-doctoral fellow at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Business School. He obtained his B.Com degree and B.Com (Honours – Economics) from UNISA, an MBL from the UNISA School of Business Leadership, and his DBA from the NMMU Business School. Bryan Robinson is an ardent researcher in business ethics within the development context of Africa, and is currently active in research pertaining to China’s investment in Africa from socio-economic development and corporate citizenship perspectives. He has presented papers at the BEN-Africa regional conference in Addis Ababa on ‘Angola-mode’ framework agreements between China and Angola and the DRC. More recently he has presented a paper evaluating Chinese enterprises’ engagement in Africa, from a corporate citizenship perspective, at the ISBEE Congress in Shanghai.

schalk-engelbrecht-prp-nj-1479466100781AJOBE Editor: Dr Schalk Engelbrecht is a Business Ethics specialist and the Head of Ethics Advisory at KPMG in South Africa. He assists companies by identifying ethics risk, developing Codes of Ethics, designing ethics management programmes and facilitating ethics training.  Before joining KPMG he lectured Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch and North-West University. He is currently an Associate Director in KPMG’s Forensic business unit, and a research associate with the Centre for Applied Ethics at Stellenbosch University. Schalk holds a PhD in Philosophy and is a certified Ethics Officer with the Ethics Institute. He also lectures Business Ethics as part of the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s MBA programme.

Secretary-General: Julio Andrade After more than a decade and a half in the hospitality industry, Julio Andrade decided to reinvent himself as an ethicist. He received his MPhil Applied Ethics cum laude from the University of Stellenbosch in 2011 with a dissertation on whistleblowing. Subsequently he has published in Springer’s Journal of Business Ethics and AJOBE (African journal of business ethics). He is a certified ethics officer.

 

Past President: Arnold Smit is associate professor of Business in Society and the head of Social Impact at the University of Stellenbosch Business School. His research and teaching is focused on the contextualisation and integration of ethics, responsibility and sustainability in management education and organisational practice. He is furthermore a member of the Board of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, the President of the Business Ethics Network of Africa, a member of the International Advisory Board of USB Executive Development and a trustee of SEED Educational Trust.