The 2nd CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AWARDS—28TH SEPTEMBER 2022
In a well-attended and highly professional occasion, the second Corporate Governance Awards took place at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya on Wednesday, 28th September 2022. At the event, all the participants were feted, and awards were given to organizations in Six Categories that exemplified good corporate governance practices. The ICGU was able to arrive at the awardees and their performance through the help of FRIENDS Consult. The theme of this year’s event was: “Corporate Governance: Recognizing Adherence to Best Practices”
Once again, Grant Thornton was the main sponsor for this successful event that is now gathering momentum in Uganda. It was instructive to note what the Keynote Speaker had to say about corporate governance as well as the Institute for Corporate Governance in Uganda, ICGU. Dr Rockson Dogbegah, the President of the African Corporate Governance Network, ACGN, was pleased to note that officers of Uganda’s ICGU held big positions at the ACGN.
Noting that many other African countries have not embraced and formalized Corporate Governance officially, IGCU was better placed to mentor and train them on this important pillar of organizational productivity. As such, he noted that all the participants at the event were winners because of the dire need for the creation of awareness in the country about Corporate Governance.
Perhaps the most notable observation at the event was the fact that all three arms of the government were well represented. Even though they had confirmed attendance, both the Right Honorable Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the Hon Minister of Finance were held up with state activities at the very last minute. However, they sent their representatives to grace the occasion.
Dogbegah noted the importance of Corporate Governance observing that worldwide, the organizations that were able to survive the effects of Covid-19 were those that buttressed themselves with good Corporate Governance practices.
In his speech at the event, Mr. Anil Patel, the Managing Partner at Grant Thornton highlighted the importance of Corporate Governance to the economic growth of the country. “It is increasingly obvious that private enterprise and investment are key drivers for growth and economic opportunities in our country. Corporate governance helps us to build that environment necessary for long-term investment, financial stability, and business integrity that the stakeholders can rely upon.” Mr. Anil remarked.
Addressing the participants, the President of ICGU and MD at Housing Finance Bank, Mr. Michael Mugabi, gave an impassioned plea for more awareness to be created about Corporate Governance. He reflected on the need to revive the Corporate Governance Bill, informing the participants that ICGU will be engaging the office of the Speaker of Parliament as well as the judiciary for guidance. Mr. Mugabi noted the herculean task ahead of creating a “critical mass” of organizations in the country that subscribe to corporate governance tenets and become part of the ICGU.
Although not able to attend the function, Hon Matia Kasiaja, the Finance Minister, reflected on the critical part that his ministry played in the inception of the ICGU. “In an emerging economy like Uganda which is at a turning point to become a middle-income country, corporate governance plays a critical role in the survival, recovery and building the resilience of our SMEs and large companies, whether they are already listed or prepared to list in the Stock Exchange.
He observed that up to 60% of registered companies do not survive their second birthday, a fact that is attributed to poor governance. To nurture indigenous companies, good corporate governance needs to be championed. Principles such as accountability, transparency, integrity, responsibility, and excellence in business performance in both private and public institutions is the way to go. Private investors and international firms are looking out for companies that have structures because that’s where their interests are secured, thus the need for corporate governance.
The following are the winners at the awards:
Winner: Electricity Regulatory Authority
First Runner Up: National Social Security Fund
Second runner up: Uganda Development Bank
Large Private Sector Organization with turnover in excess of Ugx. 20Bn
Winner: Stanbic Holdings Uganda Ltd
First Runner Up: Joint Medical Stores
Second runner up: Kakira Sugar Ltd
SME with turnover less than Ugx 20 Bn
Winner: Milton Obote Foundation
Runner Up: Wills Towers Watson
First Runner Up: Stanbic Bank Uganda
Second runner up: Mercantile Bank
NGO/ Not for Profit
Winner: Compassion International
First Runner Up: Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau
Second runner up: Africa Population Institute
Winner: Jubilee Life Insurance Company Uganda Limited
First Runner Up: Britam Insurance
Second runner up: Liberty Life Insurance
The event was also graced with local crooner Michael Ouma who entertained the guests as renowned MC Brian Mulondo hosted the event. After a meal and more entertainment, the successful ceremony was concluded with people looking forward to the next event next year.