Corporate governance defines the responsibilities of key decision-makers within an organisation and sets the foundation for business performance. Practices and rules are customised to local conditions and expectations, with a clear linkage between good corporate governance and economic development.
Historically, a lack of infrastructure, poor communication and scant guidance has hindered development and growth in Africa, but the emergence of codes and good practices in a number of African countries has led to a boost in investor confidence and there are signs of encouraging growth.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) powers the expansion of Africa’s largest economy. In 2015, it launched a new listing platform – the Premium Board – for those publicly listed companies that meet its most stringent corporate governance and listing standards.
Companies aspiring to be listed must achieve a minimum score of 70 per cent on the rating system. Most recently, Seplat Oil, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa and Lafarge satisfied the standard set by the NSE, joining Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, and Zenith International Bank Plc, which migrated to the list in 2015. On joining the Board, Seplat Oil’s co-founder and CEO Augustine Avuru said: “If you make the best practice of corporate governance as a culture, you will ultimately see the result and that is what you are seeing. Every time I talk about governance as a matter of a culture and being imperative for us to deliver long term and sustainable good performance – we really do believe in it.”
In South Africa, investors say business confidence is improving. In a recent interview with MoneyWeb, Investec’s Chris Freund said the arrival of President Cyril Ramaphosa, in office since February, has spurred optimism among stock traders who are already noting changes in Africa’s most industrialised market. He believes corporate governance has a ‘much higher importance now than it did a year ago, essentially because people have had a very vivid example of how much damage bad corporate governance can do’.
In the Middle East, business leaders also stress the role of corporate governance in maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct and promoting commitment to effective oversight, leadership and reporting. The key message at the inaugural Governance in Focus forum, which took place in Riyadh in April, was that collaboration between private sectors and government is fundamental to boosting corporate governance frameworks and enhancing the region’s economic growth. Discussions at the forum highlighted the changing expectations of investors and the actions required of regional companies to adopt effective environmental, social and governance practices to boost investment opportunities.
Ethical Boardroom is proud to announce the winners of “Best Corporate Governance” in their respective industry sectors across the Middle East & Africa for 2018. The awards recognise the outstanding leadership from boards of public companies who have raised the bar to ensure that strong corporate governance plays an essential part in protecting and enhancing long-term value for all stakeholders. Our awards program is a vital part of our continuing mission to elevate corporate governance standards globally.
For those who have made it to the top of the mountain in the Middle East & Africa for 2018, we salute you for leading the way
|Best Corporate Governance||Financial Services||Abu Dhabi Commerical Bank (ADCB)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Conglomerate||Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Utilities (State-owned)||Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Transportation & Logistics||Aramex|
|Best Corporate Governance||Telecoms||Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Mining||Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Holdings||Savola Group|
|Best Corporate Governance||Financial Services||Zenith Bank PLC|
|Best Corporate Governance||Mining||Kumba Iron Ore Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Insurance||MMI Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Industrial Services||ArcelorMittal SA|
|Best Corporate Governance||Holdings||FBN Holdings|
|Best Corporate Governance||Conglomerate||The Bidvest Group Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)||Redefine Properties Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Construction Materials||LaFarge Africa PLC|
|Best Corporate Governance||Telecoms||Vodacom Group Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Food & Beverage||Nigerian Breweries PLC|
|Best Corporate Governance||Pulp & Paper||Sappi Ltd|
Please note that the winners for “The Americas” region will be announced in the Summer 2018 edition.