Africa’s current shortage of experienced and skilled directors is one of the chief hurdles to the strengthening of its corporate governance capabilities. The African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN) aims to play a positive part by conducting research on and storing information on corporate governance. In this way, it will create a resource for its members to use, particularly when it comes to supporting the ongoing training of a pool of directors.
“The case for corporate governance in Africa is a strong one, but we face significant challenges,” says Jane Valls, chairperson, ACGN. “The continent’s economies are very diverse in terms of economic and political maturity, and there is no continent-wide standard of corporate governance. The ACGN has a critical role to play in lobbying legislators, as well as educating both the private and public sectors about the benefits of corporate governance.”
At its last meeting in Dar es Salaam, the ACGN has welcomed the Institute of Corporate Governance Ethiopia and the Institute of Corporate Governance of Tunisia as members, and both the Ethics Institute of South Africa and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have become associate members.
In all, 11 countries were represented at the meeting (Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia and Tunisia), while the ACGN has now grown to represent a total of 14 countries, indicating how broad the support for the ACGN initiative is.
“The continuing expansion of the ACGN is good news for Africa’s growth prospects,” says Angela Oosthuizen, CEO of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa. “South Africa is fairly mature in corporate governance terms, having released the first King Code in 1994 and with the fourth revision now underway. We are committed to making our experience available to our colleagues in the ACGN, and hope that King IV will act as a benchmark for African codes of corporate governance.”
The ACGN was founded in 2013 to help build capacity in corporate governance across the continent, so building better organisations and corporate citizens across Africa. Its members are united in their belief that strong corporate governance is essential to successful, sustainable companies and thus holds the key to African economic growth.
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