Mozambique and the Need for Corporate Responsibility


While on a high-level mission to Maputo & Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, ICoCA’s Executive Director, Jamie Williamson, read with great interest and some disquiet the latest on the slimmed down European Union Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (EU CSDDD). To many in Mozambique, the debates in Brussels are far removed from the real economic, humanitarian and security challenges facing local communities. The CSDDD, as watered down as it is, may eventually bring about improved business and human rights practices in the region where ‘EU’ corporations are currently operating. Yet the direct impact of the EU Directive could be years away, compounded by its limited reach. In the meantime, concrete action is still urgently needed in contexts such as Mozambique to strengthen corporate responsibility in-country.

EU corporations can already lead the way, without having to wait for the CSDDD to take effect. For instance, there are reportedly up to 400 security companies active in Mozambique, many of which are utilised by the dozens of international corporations operating across various industry sectors in the country. Few, it would seem, are meeting international standards.

During the trip, stakeholders from the private sector and relevant Ministries expressed their desire to address the compliance gap. However, effecting change requires a fundamental shift in how corporate actors evaluate their security providers and transparently address their supply chain due diligence concerning security practices. The potential for progress and enhanced Human Rights compliance within supply chains is evident. Such advancements have been observed in various contexts, provided that commitments are translated into actions.

ICoCA encourages companies subject to the CSDDD to take proactive steps now rather than delaying action. For those not subject to it, it’s important to recognise that compliance is not optional. Upholding human rights obligations is integral to sound business practices. Fortunately, numerous tools and mechanisms are already available to facilitate this alignment.