Managing risk? Shareholder accountability? These were just some of the topics passionately debated by students from Cairo University’s Faculty of Political Science and Economics in a case study competition backed by IFC’s Corporate Governance Program to help encourage youth awareness of corporate governance issues and opportunities.
“Our dream is to see public and private institutions governed by principles of accountability and transparency,” said finalist and third-year student Sarah Gameen, who presented at the event. “Corporate governance is one of the most important issues of our time and a crucial ingredient for growth. It has everything to do with setting an agenda for reform and we should all be part of it.”
Sarah was one of more than 400 students who expressed an interest in joining the competition, organized by the Center for Economic and Financial Research for a Siemens Integrity Initiative Project, and supported by IFC’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Corporate Governance team. One hundred students were selected to face off in a staggered competition applying corporate governance principles to a series of case studies.
To raise awareness of best practices, IFC’s team provided material, case studies and trainers to help walk the students through both the methodology of corporate governance and its application. The students were judged by an expert panel, including an IFC corporate governance officer, Yehia El Husseiny, in 10 different categories, including how well they defined the governance problem, their assessment of the board structure and its function, an analysis of management and control environments, and disclosure and transparency measures.
“Partnering with IFC to help provide our students with real life examples was an easy choice. IFC’s team does not just speak from literature, but also brings a wealth of experience. This is something our students often lack and really need,” said Dalia Tadros, Senior Project Coordinator with the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies for the Siemens Integrity Initiative Project.
“IFC’s methodology and the quality of material it provides is reputable and incredibly valuable for students in preparing them for the real job market,” added Tadros, who is also the Executive Director of the Egyptian Private Equity Association. “The passion exhibited by our students goes to show that corporate governance awareness is relevant for everyone.”
IFC’s Corporate Governance Program works with firms to attract and retain investment by promoting the adoption of good corporate governance practices and standards. It provides specialized advisory services and assessments, builds capacity of local partners and institutes of directors, and works with regulatory institutions and governments to improve corporate governance laws.
The Egypt Corporate Governance Project is funded by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Technical Assistance Facility, which includes support from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA)