A message from Julio, 

 Secretary-General, BEN-Africa

The 10th BRICS summit was recently hosted in South Africa, with the theme BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As far as summit titles go, this is no doubt impressive, with all the buzzy and fuzzy words that capture the hopes of our increasingly polarised milieu – ‘collaboration’, ‘inclusivity’, ‘sharing’ – as well as the inchoate and threatening future, looming in the moniker ‘revolution’ (revolutions produce anxiety even if they are only industrial!).

Nonetheless, we should push our weariness and cynicism at PR and corporate speak aside because, to paraphrase a certain saying, if you think the cost of mission-, vision- and values-statements is expensive, consider the cost of the next governance failure. Collaboration is at the heart of interdisciplinarity, a crucial element to overcome ‘silo thinking’ and thus the key to unlocking innovation. Including all stakeholders in one’s business enterprise gives every stakeholder, well, a stake in the success of one’s enterprise. Sharing unleashes a commitment from stakeholders to actively engage in the success of a business, creating a virtuous cycle of value creation. Only this will allow us to harness the disruption that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will unleash on all of us, in Africa and beyond , and ensure we can sustain a vibrant and happy planet for all who live here.

Summits and fancy summit titles alone will not achieve this hope, but a conversation is always the starting point to a clear articulation and defining of the problems and solutions. This is at the heart of what we, at BEN-Africa, strive to do. Our recently updated 2020 Strategy announces our mission as such:


BEN-Africa is dedicated to promoting ethical business practices by establishing and maintaining a network of persons with either a theoretical and/or practical interest in business ethics. It serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, information and experiences regarding business ethics; and it promotes the development of knowledge and expertise related to business ethics across the African continent.

We hope you will be able to join us in this enterprise at our 17th Annual Conference in Mozambique this November (details to be announced soon), and engage with us via our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn).

Finally, I want to make an appeal to everyone reading this newsletter and agreeing with our sentiments to join us as a paying member. Being a not-for-profit organisation, we rely heavily on your contributions. Values are priceless, but market value is not!

Latest edition of African Journal of Business Ethics 

The African Journal of Business Ethics (AJoBE) is the official journal of BEN-Africa and promotes business ethics scholarship on the African continent. The journal is open access and is accredited with the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS). The latest edition, the 1st of 2018, was published in June and is available to all! 

Useful resources and interesting articles, curated by us, for the avid reader

BOOK | Great research from Prof Kobus Jonker and Dr Bryan Robinson (BEN-Africa Treasurer) into China’s Impact on the African Renaissance – the first comprehensive academic study of what China’s trade with, and investment in, African countries means for the socioeconomic well-being of the continent. | Kobus Jonker, Bryan Robinson | link 

OPINION PIECE Article asking the question “Do companies really need a ‘head of integrity?”, suggesting that putting someone in charge of ethics does not absolve chief executives of responsibility. | Financial Times | link

OPINION PIECE Prof Deon Rossouw (The Ethics Institute) and Parmi Natesan (Institute of Directors in Southern Africa) discuss the importance of substance in governance, beyond just getting the structures right, in “Governance form vs function”. | Deon Rossouw, Parmi Natesan | link 

Dates to diarise

What: The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa’s 21st Annual Southern African Internal Audit Conference
When: 13-15 August 2018
Where: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, SA
More information: link
What: Leaderex 2018
When: 4 September 2018
Where: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, SA
More information: link
What: Ethics Officer Certification Programme (offered in Cape Town!)
When: 17-21 September 2018
Where: Ruslamere Hotel, Durbanville, Cape Town, SA
More information: 
What: 7th World Sustainability Forum
When: 17-20 September 2018
Where: Beijing, China
More information: link
What: Africa Associations Congress: Creating Value for African Associations
When: 29-31 October 2018
Where: CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa
More information: link
What: BEN-Africa 17th Annual Conference
When: 8-9 November 2018
Where: Maputo, Mozambique
More information: Coming soon!

Call for papers

17th Annual BEN-Africa Conference
THEME: Ethics, governance and leadership as driver for African growth

8-9 November 2018, Maputo, Mozambique
Scholars and other experts from around the world are invited to submit industry and academic papers and posters that address the theme. However, any papers dealing with general business or organisational ethics in Africa will also be considered.
Email Kevin.Behrens@wits.ac.za for more information.
Special issue of Journal of Business Ethics:
Submission deadline: 31 August 2018

Possible themes and topics:
  • African leadership: Philosophical Perspectives an Models in Action
  • Philanthropy, Social Entrepreneurship and Responsible Investment in Africa
  • Organisational Ethics and Responsible Investment in Africa
  • Corruption, Anti-Corruption and Governance in Africa
 for more information.