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Corporate Governance Summit to focus on Namibia’s competitiveness

2019-10-29  Edgar Brandt

Corporate Governance Summit to focus on Namibia’s competitiveness

WINDHOEK – The Namibia Institute of Corporate Governance (NICG) is set to host the first-ever national corporate governance summit tomorrow, at Safari Hotel. The summit is being hosted in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Enterprises as a main sponsor of the event. 

Speaking at the launch of the summit yesterday, Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, noted that a gap currently exists in terms of corporate governance in the country and while confirming his ministry’s participation, he simultaneously encouraged all State-Owned Enterprises as well as all private sector entities to take part. 

During the launch, Jooste admitted that the quality of individuals appointed to corporate governance positions often leaves much to be desired. “With the human factor, quality cannot be replaced. The challenge is that while individuals are appointed with regard to their skills and experience, their integrity brings their ethics and values into play,” said Jooste, adding that “we need people to lead with integrity”. 

As an example, Jooste mentioned a directive from his ministry about four years ago which was intended to curb excessive travelling abroad by directors. However, Jooste said in hindsight he was disappointed to issue such a directive because generally directors of any institution should consider the overall financial health of the entities they represent. 

“You cannot legislate morality or integrity. You need to identify people with high integrity and strong moral values,” said Jooste. He added that performance management is an integral aspect of good corporate governance. 

Meanwhile, NICG Director, Steve Galloway, said the theme for the summit is; Repositioning Namibia’s Competitiveness through sound corporate governance. He added that the country’s national documents, such as the fifth National Development Plan and the Harambee Prosperity Plan have already prioritised corporate governance. 

Also, at yesterday’s launch, Chairman of the Board of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) since July 2019, Mihe Gaomab II, testified that corporate governance faces similar challenges across the African continent. However, he added that Namibia constantly strives to provide more robust corporate governance in practice and not just in theory.  

Tomorrow’s summit, where at least 70 participants have confirmed their attendance, is comprised of local as well as international speakers. Besides a ministerial address by Jooste, the keynote speaker is global governance expert, Patrick Chisanga. 

2019-10-29  Edgar Brandt

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