According to the ENSafrica Anti-Bribery and Corruption Survey 2014, almost 50% of companies operating in Africa feel that they are highly exposed to bribery, and nearly 20% have actually experienced risk exposures to bribery within the past 24 months. The study reveals that maintaining good ethical standards by having top-level commitment to anti-bribery compliance programmes and policies by senior executives may be a deterrent to the practice and has the capacity to reduce the propensity to indulge in bribery when encountering such incidences.
These survey results confirm the soundness of the thinking behind the formation of the African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN) in 2013. The network aims to help build capacity in corporate governance across the continent, so building better organisations and corporate citizens across Africa. ACGN currently constitutes 11 Institute of Director (IOD) organisations in various African countries with a collective representation of over 10, 000 directors ?and senior executives across the continent.
“Corporate governance is seen as a soft issue when discussing economic issues in Africa. The ENSafrica Anti-Bribery and Corruption Survey 2014 reinforces the critical need for corporates to prioritise good business ethics and reaffirm their commitment not only to holding up good ethical standards but to demand the same from the businesses they engage in reciprocity.” Lynette Chen – CEO, NEPAD Business Foundation.
According to the International Monetary Fund, seven of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be African within the next few years. However, there are concerns around the sustainability of this economic growth over the long term if African companies lack good corporate governance.
“Standards of corporate governance have a huge effect on the flow of investment into Africa. Strong corporate governance is the key to ensuring that our companies are sound and thus globally competitive.” Jane Valls – Chair of the ACGN.
The ENSafrica survey revealed that more than 50% of the respondents were not confident that their anti-bribery compliance programmes adequately identify and mitigate the risk of corruption and less than 30% of the survey group felt they well prepared to respond to a regulatory probe.
High priority should be place on the continued development of Africa’s corporate governance. Such efforts will ensure that corruption is reduced and both Africa’s corporates and public institutions function efficiently.