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New Pathways to Inclusive Growth

This year, the conference will focus on the theme ‘Business and the Sustainable Development Goals: New Pathways to Inclusive Growth’. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a unique opportunity for businesses to create unprecedented socio-economic impact in the society, as well as, deliver value and profit to their stakeholders and shareholders. This applies especially to Africa and Nigeria because the potential for inclusive, green and sustainable growth and development remains largely untapped. The prevailing short-term mindset of business leaders prevents them from adopting a long-term sustainable approach combining considerations of profit, people and planet.

Our objective is for participating business leaders to reappraise the SDGs in line with their own key performance indicators (KPIs); then measure the impact of their business, policies, and practices, and align their sustainability strategies with international, yet locally relevant, priorities.


Food Sufficiency
About 40 percent of all food produced is either lost or wasted in developing countries before it reaches the market, while hunger and food scarcity affect millions of people every day. Major environmental stresses – water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable fertiliser use, and climate-driven extreme weather changes– threaten supply. In Africa, agriculture and food opportunities have an estimated potential value of over US$367 billion and could create over 21 million new jobs. Yet, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region with the highest prevalence of hunger. Nigeria in particular has seen a rise in hunger due to changing weather patterns as a result of climate change and the fall out of violence and insecurity in the country (farmer-herder clashes and terrorism). These factors and the lack of adequate transport and food storage infrastructure have resulted in food inflation in various parts of the country thus worsening access to affordable and nutritious food in a country where an estimated 87million people live in extreme poverty.


health and well being
In Africa generally and Nigeria in particular, the large and growing population means there are more mouths to feed, more need for healthcare, provision of housing and urban settlements. There are also several power and infrastructure challenges to be resolved. Taking healthcare for example, in Nigeria health indicators have either stagnated or worsened during the past decade despite recent efforts to improve healthcare delivery. Maternal and Child mortality remains worrisomely high as 1 in 13 women in Nigeria die during pregnancy and childbirth and 99% of this is in rural areas. Nigeria is currently the 4th country with the worst maternal mortality rate  ahead of Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad.  The lack of potable water worsens the health indices and energy poverty hinders socio-economic advancement of many communities. Various businesses are taking action in this area to improve maternal and child health, this panel discussion will explore working models and opportunities for improvement.


The international sustainability conference is an annual dialogue-to-action forum hosted by Lagos Business School Sustainability Centre that brings various stakeholders together to advance sustainable development through business. This conference is a platform to inspire business leaders to embed sustainability and responsible business practices in their strategy and operations to result in positive impact not only on business performance but on the society as well.


This conference highlights the means and opportunities for sustainable business to an audience of corporate executives and other stakeholders in the public sector and civil society. Speakers and contributors will share positive opportunities to set business strategy and transform markets – in line with the 17 Global Goals and their 169 component targets – to deliver the practical solutions needed to protect the planet’s resources and leave no one behind.


 View proceedings of previous conferences: