Sierra Leone gets National Corporate Governance CodeNovember 16, 2017
By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
The Corporate Affairs Commission that was created by an Act of Parliament in 2009 for paving the way for doing business with ease in Sierra Leone, has organized a workshop on the national Corporate governance code for Sierra Leone. The one day event which was well attended by representatives of the business sector in the country was held at the Bank Complex in Kingtom.
The Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Madam Michala Mackay said the code will provide level playing field in promoting transparency and good governance since there will be laid down principles, rules, regulations, structures and best practices that will lead to the achievement of set results at all levels of governance in both the public and private sectors in the country.
The codes were referenced from other codes across the continent such as the King Codes of South Africa, the Securities and Exchange Commission code of Ghana, the National Corporate Governance Code of Nigeria and the Corporate Governance Code for central governments in the United Kingdom.
In most cases, the Registrar said there are many impediments into good corporate governance in Sierra Leone such as lack of clearly defined roles between Boards and managements, non-compliance with policies and procedures, poor knowledge on the operation of an organization, misuse of Company’s assets, personality conflict and conflict of interest.
Madam Mackay added that the Code of Conduct will apply to organizations registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, be they private or public companies as well as social clubs. The Corporate governance code will also be applied to Sole Traders and Partnerships, State owned Enterprises (SOEs), Non-Government, Organizations (NGOs) operating in Sierra Leone and International NGOs (INGOs) and professional Bodies set up under the Laws of Sierra Leone.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Abubakarr Fofanah on behalf of the Minister said “the Corporate Affairs Commission which was established by the Companies Act of 2009 is supervised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and since then it has made considerable strides in the Sierra Leone Business environment since it was setup”.
The Permanent Secretary informed representatives that the Corporate governance code will be implemented by the Corporate Affairs Commission and all other regulators and stakeholders adding that it will promote good corporate governance in the country especially when it is made up of laid down principles, rules, regulations, structure and best practices that will lead to the achievement of set result in both the public and private sectors and ensure that these entities be transparent and accountable to the people of Sierra Leone..
Under the World Bank Country policy and institutional assessment, countries are assessed globally by the quality of their present policies and institutional framework. Mr. Fofanah said it “is envisaged that the new corporate governance code will increase Sierra Leone’s Country policy and institutional assessment ratings which is a benchmark for the World Bank loaning activities.
In addition to the code improving Sierra Leone’s country policy and institutional assessment, it would also improve the pro-acting minority investors indicator which currently ranks 81 out of 190 economies. On behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Fofanah promised that the Ministry will wholeheartedly ensure the approval of the Sierra Leone Corporate Governance Code by the Cabinet.