Kigali, 28 October 2015 – Africa must institute stronger financial control mechanisms and capacity-building for customer due diligence and corporate governance in order to attract capital competitively and ensure greater financial stability and sustainable development, participants in the Third Annual Forum on Customer Due Diligence and Corporate Governance organised by the African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) have said.
In conclusions at the end of the two-day Forum held in Kigali on 26 and 27 October, the close to 200 participants said that strong corporate governance was critical to ensuring the integrity and credibility of financial systems and to reducing the vulnerability of African economies to financial instability and shocks
They called on African financial institutions to engage frequently with their boards and senior management and to assess the adequacy and accuracy of information being submitted them.
Other conclusions include the need for government bodies and institutions to foster initiatives to promote good corporate governance practices and for effective capacity building and collaboration to be established between the public and private sectors in order to enhance corporate governance and customer due diligence.
Given the fast-changing business dynamics and the growth of online banking, mobile payments and other electronic platforms, the participants expressed the need for a strong technology-driven approach to corporate governance and customer due diligence so as to increase effectiveness and responsiveness to change.
The participants, in addition, welcomed the Afreximbank initiative to establish an online African Customer Due Diligence Repository Platform to serve as a centralized source of primary data required to conduct customer due diligence checks on African counterparties.
In an address to the Forum, John Rangombwa, Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, had said that previous global financial crises had shown that weaknesses in governance contributed to systemic vulnerability and failures. He argued that financial institutions and regulators had a critical role to play in putting in place regulations and monitoring mechanisms to ensure sustained stability of the financial sector.
Participating in the Forum were representatives of regulatory bodies, financial institutions, and legal firms from more than 20 African countries, who were joined by international experts and Rwandan government officials.
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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $41 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $6.2 billion in 2015. Afreximbank had total assets of $9.4 billion as at 30 April 2016 and is rated BBB- (Fitch) and Baa2 (Moody’s). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com