Sub-Saharan Africa

Objectives

The Africa Corporate Governance Project is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to promote the adoption of corporate governance best practices and standards, in alignment with regional priorities. This work will help expand markets, attract and retain additional investment, and improve firm-level performance for increased economic growth.

The Program seeks to improve the transparency and efficiency of the business environment in Sub-Saharan Africa and help build sustainable businesses through improved corporate governance practices. The program supports companies in the region to achieve key development impact by increased access to financing, reduced cost of capital, and greater operational and financial performance overall. To meet this overarching objective, the main components of the program include:

  • Working with industry regulators to improve the legal and regulatory framework, corporate governance codes and guidelines, and build capacity to monitor compliance;
  • Supporting firms to implement better corporate governance practices through advisory services;
  • Working with market intermediaries to introduce corporate governance curricula and methodologies;
  • Raising public awareness about the needs and benefits of improved corporate governance practices in the region.


What We Do

IFC provides advice to companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), private equity funds and banks on improving their corporate governance practices based on international standards. Specific areas of focus include:

  • Board practices
  • Shareholder rights
  • Internal and external controls
  • Risk management
  • Transparency
  • Family business governance and reporting
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Dispute resolution

Our work also includes building local capacity and working with multiple market stakeholders to promote broader acceptance of good corporate governance.

We work with regulators, stock exchanges and securities exchange commissions, supporting reforms through corporate governance codes, guidelines and listing rules. We also work with corporate governance institutes/institutes of directors, educational institutions and the media to raise awareness and share knowledge.


Where We Work

IFC’s corporate governance activities are tailored to the specific needs of the markets where we work: Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
 

 


Project Highlight: Targeted Approach to Address Unique Needs in East, West and South Africa

The Africa Corporate Governance Program is leveraging on the IFC’s global corporate governance expertise in designing and implementing corporate governance programs across Africa. Notably, the development of each regional program takes into consideration IFC’s varied approach and experience in engaging with different markets. This includes a unified approach resulting from extensive experience in providing institutional capacity building support to local partners and IFC's advisory firm level support to companies.

At the regulatory level, IFC is collaborating with the Bank of Ghana to improve corporate governance practices in Ghana’s banking sector. In Nigeria, a corporate governance scorecard was developed in partnership with the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the objective to ensure enhanced disclosure of compliance with the SEC corporate governance code for listed companies. In Kenya, IFC is providing technical support to the Capital Markets Authority to roll out the newly legislated corporate governance code for public companies.

At the market level, the program is providing technical assistance to the educational sectors in Ghana and Kenya by developing and introducing corporate governance curricula at the main universities (University of Ghana Business School, Ghana and Strathmore University, Kenya). This will create a framework for corporate governance education in the region and enhance the adoption of good corporate governance practices.

There is an ongoing support for further development of the Africa Corporate Governance Network (ACGN), a network of the Institutes of Directors in Africa. With the membership of over 16 Institutes of Directors, ACGN is helping the institutes and other market intermediaries become self-sustainable, increase corporate governance awareness and outreach to firms.
 

 

Resources

Private Sector Opinion 25: Integrated Reporting: Lessons from the South African Experience, March 2012
This article offers historical background and practical guidance for company directors and executives.

Good Corporate Governance Saves Money and Lives, August 2011
The video discusses what difference good corporate governance makes for a company’s bottom line and for lives of its customers and partners.

IFC in Nigeria: 1997-2008 - An Independent Country Impact Review, April 2009
The report examines the effectiveness of IFC's operations in Nigeria from July 1998 to December 2007.

Lessons Learned: Sharing Experience on Developing Corporate Governance Codes, February 2009
The first workshop on supporting corporate governance codes and scorecards in developing countries includes lessons learned from South Africa.

Lessons Learned: Launching an Institute of Directors in Mozambique: Business Leaders Drive effort to Advance Good Governance, October 2007
To attract investors, Mozambique business leaders formed a committee to improve boards and promote good corporate governance practices.



July 2018

 

Related Links

Publications

 

Contacts

Roman Zyla
Corporate Governance Lead
(202)-473-3916 | rzyla@ifc.org

 

Chinyere Peace Almona
Program Manager
+ 234-1-2799428 |
calmona@ifc.org