Commercial Bank Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in Tanzania

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The present chapter offers a preliminary exploration of the CSR issues being addressed and reported by five commercial banks in Tanzania. These issues are illustrated through an examination of how CSR is operationalized within the commercial banking industry within Tanzania. The commercial banking industry is chosen for review because its operations affect all aspects of the country’s economy and citizenship. Moreover, the regulatory and reporting requirements of commercial banking allow for ample documentation that can be reviewed to assess the industry’s approach to CSR. Like most countries in Africa, Tanzania faces number of environmental and social challenges. These include, but are not limited to, land degradation, climate change, over exploitation of natural resources (e.g. over fishing and mining), illegal timber harvesting and poor access to social services such as education, health services and utilities. Given this situation, commercial banks play a key role in protecting the interests of the community, especially in distributing financial support to various programmes which sustain the environment, communities and their populace. Content analysis of the banks’ annual reports is presented and discussed. Particular attention is given to mission and values statements, board composition, social and philanthropic activities and compliance monitoring. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the policy, strategy and research implication of the findings.



Corporate social responsibility, Banking Industry, Tanzania