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MBA Students Begin CSR Studies at the Etisalat CSR Centre in LBS

With the opening of the Etisalat CSR Centre by the innovative telecommunications company at the Lagos Business School’s Pan-Africa University, the study of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a catalyst for social and economic development, has been integrated as a compulsory course for MBA students of the prestigious school.

08 June 2010

With the opening of the Etisalat CSR Centre by the innovative telecommunications company at the Lagos Business School’s Pan-Africa University, the study of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a catalyst for social and economic development, has been integrated as a compulsory course for MBA students of the prestigious school.

Etisalat had established the centre as a platform designed to shape CSR opinions and understandings of present and future business leaders as well as key policy and decision makers. The telecommunication company championed the initiative in line with its CSR strategy which focuses on as top-down and bottom-up approach that empower the different socio-economic levels of society.

The CSR Centre’s Director, Chris Ogbechie explained that the course titled “Managing Shared Value – A Unique CSR Approach” is designed to prepare students to think comprehensively and systematically about the role of business in development and the manner in which business is conducted and governed. According to him: ”We expect students to appreciate how to deal with social issues as managers and develop a sense of giving something back to society.”

He further noted that the course which kicked-off on 16 April 2010 will cover topics and discussions including Ethical Dimensions of Business; Corporate Governance Development in Nigeria; Corporate Social Responsibility: A Growing Agenda; The Concept of Shared Value; Accountability Requirements for Today’s Leaders; Stakeholder Engagement; Developing a CSR Strategy; Responsible and Ethical Use of Digital Technology among others.

Commenting on the new development, Etisalat CEO Steven Evans said that the telecommunication company is delighted to have provided leadership on the development of a Corporate Social Responsibility Centre. “We are delighted to have established the centre as a platform to promote the frontier of knowledge on CSR in tandem with international best practice. It is living up to its expectation as a centre designed to shape CSR opinions and understandings of present and future business leaders as well as key policy and decision makers.

He noted that business leaders and managers in this clime need to begin to view CSR beyond philanthropy or support for the less privileged in the society. An ideal CSR strategy of any organisation should encapsulate initiatives to address the various social economic strata of the terrain from which it operates. Etisalat’s belief is that a strategy which focuses on those at the top socio-economic levels can also help create the desired impact and drive sustainability in the right direction.

As part of Etisalat’s various ongoing CSR projects, the company partnered with the Lagos State Government on its Adopt a School Initiative (ASI) which includes provision of all forms of support to secondary and primary schools. Three schools; Akande Dahunsi Memorial Secondary School in Ikoyi, Edward Blyden Primary School in Okesuna, Lagos Island and Rabiatu Thompson Primary School in Surulere have so far benefited in the provision of upgraded infrastructure with a plan to continually provide support in areas including but not limited to infrastructure, leadership/management and direct support for students and teachers’ development.

Etisalat has also instituted a Merit Award that includes scholarships for university students with the highest CGPA in Electrical Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Management Sciences. About 150 students have so far benefited across the country.

Etisalat CSR thrives on three tripods which are Education, Health and the Environment. The company is the only GSM service provider to have developed a new environment friendly SIM pack which reduces the size of the classic SIM card from 16g to 8g thereby reducing carbon footprint and enhancing a sustainable environment.

About Etisalat

Etisalat is the largest provider of telecommunications services in Africa and the Middle East and serves an ever increasing subscriber base of 100 million people across Africa, Middle East and Asia. The innovative GSM provider currently has unique products such as Easy Starter, Easy Cliq, Elite World and Easy Net in the Nigerian market. All offer a wide array of creative and exciting features designed to satisfy all communications needs of its subscribers.