Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana, Mr. Millison Narh,
Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Dr. Adu Anane Antwi
Ambassador of Switzerland, His Excellency, Mr. Gerhard Brugger
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
Good morning and thank you for coming to this launch of this launch of the Africa Corporate Governance Program.
We are pleased to be launching this program in Ghana, a priority country for us at the World Bank Group.
We have ambitious plans here. We, that is, the International Finance Corporation, have invested close to $2.5 billion in the country,
and have provided technical assistance in several areas to help the development of the private sector in Ghana.
We want to do more, and this corporate governance program is one of the key activities we have been working on.
We believe in Ghana’s long-term path (we won’t be deterred by short-term economic difficulties or regional concerns)
And we are confident because of how we are able to work closely with government
– the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission
And I take this opportunity to thank them.
I would also like to thank the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Switzerland, (SECO), our partner in this program.
SECO and IFC have a special partnership in Africa and Ghana is one of the focus countries
SECO is funding the program while IFC is implementing it.
And it is represented by Ambasador Brugger.
Thank you, your Excellency for this important partnership.
Personally, I am thrilled to be involved in this particular program launch
In my past life in IFC as an investment officer, I saw first-hand the importance of corporate governance in Africa.
I witnessed how instituting policies or mechanisms to control the running of the companies - often very simple ones - helped them become more efficient and profitable.
For example, how putting in place independent board members
or even having a proper, well thought out succession plan in a family business
can help avoid disasters before they occur.
I worked with companies that became more competitive and therefore more attractive to investors, which lowered their capital costs.
This in turn allowed them to perform better and contribute to the economy.
Corporate governance is about improving performance.
It’s about creating/maintaining jobs and helping the economy grow in the long-run.
It is essential for sustainable private sector development
It signals reliability, fairness, transparency and accountability
We therefore take it very seriously and IFC
and I, as an African, am personally and very excited about it.
So what will the Africa Corporate Governance Program do?
It will help Ghanaian companies:
- Assess their businesses, operational structures and processes, and provide advice on how to improve them;
- Look at the make-up of their boards, the effectiveness, controls, and governance;
- Reporting mechanisms;
- Build their capacity through training;
- Work with family –owned businesses as well as others.
The program will also work together with regulatory institutions
to help institute best practice in corporate governance laws, regulations, codes and listing requirements.
All this using our global experience.
The program will be led by Roman Zyla and Chinyere Almona.
They can provide more details on the program.
Thank you again for joining us and we look forward to working together.