Attention has increased for the potential role of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) in helping address conflict issues and/or furthering peace and reconciliation as part of their corporate social responsibility policies. However, while existing literature emphasises the importance for MNEs to collaborate with various stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research on the scope, peculiarities and impact of such cooperation has been limited, particularly in those countries in Central Africa with a fragile state and weak governance structures. Furthermore, until recently, MNEs and NGOs in conflict countries had antagonistic relationships, which has created impediments for positive engagement. This article examines MNEs and conflict issues, including interactions with NGOs, and sheds light on possible MNE contributions to peaceful societies by highlighting a few innovative partnerships of MNEs and non-business partners in Central Africa. Innovative partnerships take the conflict context into account, have a learning or capacity-building component, are part of a more comprehensive development plan yet are embedded at the community level, and tackle issues directly related to the conflict, such as governance, human rights, artisanal mining and transparency. The article also discusses implications of such activities for the role of the state in fragile contexts.

Research Paper