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Improving corporate governance

Ways to Improve Corporate Governance in Africa

by Trisha Ilarde on and last update on March 29, 2021

Improving corporate governance is not just a one-time thing but a continuous initiative. In Africa, there are different development styles per country which makes it important for leaders to assess the situation in their locality before planning out their goal in developing sound corporate governance.

Africa has seen great efforts in achieving sound corporate governance in the past years. Corporate governance is now considered a prerequisite for economic development. As mentioned, it is a conscious and continuous effort that will determine the path on which your company will flourish. Here are some tips that will help you in improving your strategies in corporate governance:

Utilize Technology

Africa’s main pillar in advancement is its utilization of technology. Kenya serves as an example of this, being one of the countries that spearheaded digital payments to advance the financial sector. Africa’s other concerns involve issues in transparency, sustainability, collaboration, and accountability, which can all be addressed with the right choice and implementation of technology.

For board members and secretaries, addressing such issues can prove to be challenging. Board members bear the responsibility of improving corporate governance in an institution. To securely manage and improve collaboration, especially during the pandemic, live meeting tools such as Audio-Video Conferencing and in-meeting voting will help your board come up with important decisions on your corporate governance strategies.

Assess the Business and Political Environments

The business and political environments in your country greatly influence how corporate governance should be planned. Both environments are deeply rooted in varying historical backgrounds and ethical values, which ultimately determine how a leader should strategize. Likewise, public sectors also influence economic growth and activities.

Researching and establishing strong pillars in your plan will help you out in both short and long-term situations. As a member of the board, you can decide on how to address areas of improvement in your corporate governance. Both business and political environments change, which is why even after the initial stages of your planning, assessing these is essential. After all, one should not plan blindly, or else everything will go to waste. Whether you are a local or not, take note of the historical influence on both business and political environments since this could also impact the road that a country’s economic development will take.

Enhance Your Security Measures

While some still argue that corporate governance should not be the main focus of each institution, recent events serve as proof that this is not the case. An example of this is the security attacks on the National Security Agency of Nigeria in 2012 and the municipal government of Johannesburg in 2019. Sensitive information was leaked and services were shut down. This does not only put related institutions at risk, but also the other institutions without enhanced security measures.

In Africa, transparency has long been an issue. The problem is so alarming that in 2015, 75 million Africans reportedly paid bribes in the year 2014. This is why it is important to note that sound corporate governance also involves instilling an honest corporate culture. What you can do to minimize the negative impacts of this is to ensure that all your constituents immediately report if there’s something suspicious in their emails.

Another alternative is investing in training your people to identify and avoid security attacks. To  avoid such and strengthen your security, you can also invest in highly-secure solutions, which store sensitive information and leave you worry-free of external attacks. Since cyber threats are also evolving, so should your security measures.

An institution’s corporate governance is bound to improve if the executive management focuses on utilizing technology, assessing the business and political environments, and enhancing your security measures. To make such decisions, Convene, a board management software, can help you streamline processes and improve collaboration, crossing out some from your checklist in improving your institution’s corporate governance. 

Governance and Leadership
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