Today (16 Oct) saw the launch of the African Corporate Governance Network in Mauritius. So far Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are involved. It is an initiative of the Institute of Directors. The aim is to build capacity in and support best corporate governance practices at African institutions, supporting development of the private and public sectors.
The launch will include signing of the ACGN constitution, which will bind the member countries.
Jane Valls, CEO of the Mauritius Institute of Directors, said in a press release: “The ACGN is an important initiative for Africa. I am confident that the ACGN will soon find its place as one of the major organizations promoting best practices in Africa”.
A recent report on Corporate governance, value creation and growth: The bridge between finance and enterprise, 2012 (available at ) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), found that a robust framework of corporate governance rules and regulations provides investors with confidence, and entrepreneurs with the incentives to develop their businesses. The OECD report emphasizes that developing and emerging markets, in particular, benefit from strong governance as companies gain better access to external capital required to realise their potential for economic growth.
Chinyere Almona, Head of IFC Africa Corporate Governance Programme, said: “Strong international practices in corporate governance are an important factor in attracting investment. Through the ACGN, IFC encourages the adoption of good corporate governance practices across Africa to increase investor confidence, boost private sector development, and create sustainable businesses that will provide employment and reduce poverty.”
Speaking after the meeting was Derek Browne, COO of the NEPAD Business Foundation who said, “Corporate governance plays a crucial role in assuring investors that there are good management teams who act ethically and in the best interests of stakeholders.” For Africa, this is important as we try to court more capital for business. The ACGN initiative will prove important in consolidating efforts and accelerating the sharing of best practices which can increase the utility of consensus standards of corporate governance”.
NEPAD Business Foundation has provided the Secretariat to the ACGN.The ACGN launch is sponsored by the IFC Africa Corporate Governance Programme, based in Nigeria. Standard Bank (www.standardbank.co.za) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (www.accaglobal.com) have also backed individual meetings.
For more information see the press releases from NEPAD Business Foundation (undated)and IFC (broken link)