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Strategic corporate social responsibilities (CSR) and transformation of women’s traditional enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region

Author(s): 
Elda Nduka Okolo-Obasi
Joseph Ikechukwu Uduji
Simplice A. Asongu
Theme: 
Youth jobs, skills and entrepreneurship

The traditional enterprises (agricultural and fishery value chain) is seen as crucial to addressing the disproportionately high levels of women’s underemployment,unemployment and poverty. Yet, in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, few young people see a future for themselves in this area. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of multinational oil companies (MNCs)’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) on equipping the women, especially the rural young women with essential skills and knowledge for application of modern enterprises approach to the traditional enterprises value chain. A total of 2400 women were sampled across the region. Results from the use of propensity score matching and log it model showed that CSR recorded significant success in agricultural and fishing development generally, but has also widely excluded rural women from the targeted agricultural and fishery clusters. This implies undermining a generation that can help introduce new technologies whilst also learning from traditional methods and holding the potential to offer the perfect fusion of new and traditional solution to some of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest challenges. The findings suggest that if the MOCs are to work towards an ideal strategic CSR approach, re-engaging women in agriculture and fishing value chain should be assigned the highest CSR priority in sub-Saharan Africa. Women-specific CSR projects and programmes can be effective in providing women with the extra push needed to enter the value chain. Also, a coherent and integrated response is needed from policy makers and development practitioners alike to ensure that the core challenges faced by women are effectively addressed.