IFC's Corporate Governance Program in Africa builds on sustainable businesses by improving the investment climate in Sub-Saharan Africa through improved corporate governance practices.
The Africa Corporate Governance Program (AfCGP) is newly formed and undergoing a pre-implementation strategy. A scoping study was conducted in 2009-2010 to analyze the francophone West Africa and determine if a full advisory program is needed to assist with developing a corporate governance framework. In planning stage, the next phase is to obtain enough funding to move ahead with collecting baseline data on corporate governance practices from all regions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The AfCGP will leverage IFC’s corporate governance expertise in designing and implementing corporate governance programs from other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and other world regions. Notably, that the development of each regional program will take into consideration IFC’s varied approach and experience in engaging with different clients. This includes a unified approach resulting from the extensive experience provided to date by the Global Corporate Governance Forum in providing institutional capacity building support to local partners, and the IFC advisory firm level support to companies.
The program has four overall objectives:
1. To improve access to competitive and affordable external financing (reduced cost of capital) that may lead to increased investment, resulting in higher growth and increased employment.
2. To integrate IFC’s corporate governance advisory services and investment services as needed so as to be able to provide support to clients.
3. To achieve greater operational and financial performance through improved strategic decision-making and managerial oversight - leading to more efficient management and better asset allocation.
4. To improve the level of corporate governance practices that will build and/or restore relationships and confidence with key stakeholders, including investors, regulators and employees.
Why is Corporate Governance important to the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa?
Shareholder Value:assisting companies to improve corporate governance practices lead to increased financial and operation performance which boosts investor confidence as a result of which several instances demonstrate increases in share prices and valuation e.g. Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
Risk Mitigation:Increase pool of potential clients eligible to access financing from IFC and hence increase IFC’s reach and impact.
Unique Program Knowledge and Expertise: IFC institutional knowledge on corporate governance to be applied to improve corporate governance practices within a large number of companies and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. IFC is the only development finance institution with a programmatic approach to improving corporate governance at the firm level.
Investment Services/Advisory Services Impact:IFC's ability to combine investment with advisory services to clients and its credibility as a partner to provide capacity building support to regulatory authorities, helps develop model companies that set standards and demonstrate the economic benefits of implementing good corporate governance.