Nairobi, Kenya. September 22, 2015 –
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the State Secretariat for Economic
Affairs (SECO), Switzerland today launched the East Africa chapter of the
Africa Corporate Governance Program. The program aims to improve
the performance of businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania by
helping them adopt good corporate governance practices in line with regional
Mohammed Nyaoga, Chairman of Central Bank of Kenya, spoke at the opening
of the new chapter, highlighting the benefits of adopting good corporate
governance practices, which include stronger company performance, better
access to capital, and lower regulatory costs. He said, ‘Business leaders
need to move beyond setting corporate governance rules and toward adopting
behaviors that embed good practices into corporate values and everyday
business decisions’’, he said.
Corporate governance refers to the structures and processes by which businesses
are managed. The East Africa program will coach businesses on how
to become more transparent and accountable to investors and stakeholders.
Cheikh Oumar Seydi, IFC’s Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said
“IFC is supporting businesses in critical sectors for African development,
including power, agribusiness and financial services. By further supporting
good corporate governance practices within African companies, we expect
them to carry lower financial and non-financial risk, and generate higher
returns for shareholders. IFC and SECO’s corporate governance program
will equip businesses in East Africa with the tools they need to attract
and retain investment, and operate more efficiently, which in turn, will
boost economic growth in the region.”
Mr. Ralf Heckner, the Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland
said, “Switzerland supports and funds IFC’s Africa Corporate
Governance Program in East Africa,
as we believe that a steady partnership between the public and the private
sectors is key in building a strong economy, underpinned by
social cohesion and sound environmental
practices. Corporate governance in the private sector and good governance
in the public sector are required to build a more transparent, more accountable
and more prosperous world.”
The East Africa Corporate Governance Program builds on the experience of
IFC and World Bank governance initiatives in other parts of the world.
IFC is the first development finance institution to undertake corporate
governance analysis of every investment transaction as part of its standard
due diligence process. IFC works with the private sector in developing
countries across the world to put in place corporate governance practices
that allow businesses to mitigate risk, safeguard against mismanagement,
and attract capital to fuel their growth.
The Africa Corporate Governance Program is funded by SECO, Switzerland
and IFC is the implementing partner.
SECO is Switzerland’s competence center for all core issues relating to
economic policy. SECO’s economic development cooperation strives to achieve
sustainable growth. Such growth is sustainable if it creates jobs, helps
to increase productivity, to reduce poverty, inequalities and global risks.
For more information, visit www.seco-cooperation.ch.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.