Children the future of sustainable enterprise -UNICEF
KAMPALA, AUGUST14 – Investing in children today is key to business sustainability because children will not only be their future employees but also constitute the majority of future consumers.
This was the central message coming out of a business leader’s orientation this week on why children mean good business and children’s rights and business principles.
Seeking to guide companies on the Global Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRPBS)initiative and how they can be integrated into their respective business practices, businesses were called to the danger awaiting them if they ignored investing in children.
“We tend to pay less attention to this segment of our population and yet they are consumers of our goods and services, they are instrumental in increasing current productivity by getting our workers focused more on their assignments, but also future productivity by ensuring that we build a strong committed workforce,” said Patrick Bitature the Chairman of Uganda’s Private Sector Foundation(PSFU.
He added that because of the increased global appreciation of the business sector, there was a need to recognize that children can no longer be ignored by business but the sector needs to take an active and far sighted view in respecting and supporting children’s rights. Current statistics today show that at least 60 percent of Uganda’s population is under 18 years which translates into 20 million children and the number is expected to double in the next 25 to 30 years. As a result, decisions taken now will play a role in maintaining and sustaining most of these businesses.
Jaya Murthy the Chief of Communications at UNICEF whose role is to build stronger systems to ensure that children’s role in businesses is recognised says children should be a number one priority and that whatever direction business takes in regards to investing in children will play a big role on whether the country realises her 2040 vision or not and the earlier businesses started on investing for children, the better.
Reinforcing Bitature’s argument, Gideon Badagwa, the Executive Director at PSFU said that integrating children’s rights and business principles is very important because young children are the majority consumers and the private sector needs to involve them “if we are to deliver on the 2040 vision,” he noted adding that unless businesses invest in children, they should not expect to have markets for their products in the future.