By Nick Thiong’o
International Finance Corporation, (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group, and Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority today announced a training program to familiarize directors and issuers with the Code of Corporate Governance Practices for Issuers of Securities to the Public. The new Code will be applied starting March 2017.
The corporate governance training will cover specific topics such as board effectiveness, rights of shareholders, ethics and social responsibility, risk management and internal control, and disclosure, to empower leaders to improve functioning of their boards and control environments. IFC and CMA’s first training was held in November 2016 and attracted 80 Chief Executives Officers, Chief Finance Officers and Company Secretaries from listed companies. The second round will have 200 attendees.
“Since we entered into partnership with IFC in 2016, we have seen overwhelming interest from issuers on the Corporate Governance Code,” said CMA Chief Executive Paul Muthaura. “Strengthening corporate governance practices is fundamental for issuers to succeed in mobilizing resources from the capital markets locally and globally, as well as to achieve Vision 2030 and Capital Market Master Plan.”
IFC and CMA have developed a corporate governance reporting framework which will help companies, issuers and governance auditors to structure compliance statements and ensure that stakeholders understand an issuer’s degree of compliance. The reporting framework will present data in a format that allows for cross-company comparison. The partnership has also developed an assessment framework for CMA to assess the quality of corporate governance among issuers of securities in Kenya.
IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Oumar Seydi, said, “Companies with good corporate governance practices tend to carry lower risk and generate higher returns for shareholders. Good practices boost performance and build investor confidence that can lead to reduced capital and regulatory costs.’’