IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and West Africa Regional Stock Exchange, Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières, have signed an agreement to cooperate toward improving corporate governance practices of listed companies.
Under the agreement, IFC will help BRVM design, develop, draft and implement a Corporate Governance Code.
Corporate governance practices among West African companies lag international standards. Among other issues, they lack corporate governance guidelines that could serve as a reference for companies to improve practices.
IFC and BRVM seek to provide market participants with a platform of governance principles and standards that would help them strengthen their practices in a progressive and sustainable way.
Corporate governance codes elsewhere have served as a tool to improve practices. The implementation of a code in West Africa would lead to greater transparency and improve investor confidence that supports regional capital market development.
Adamou Labara, IFC’s Acting Country Manager for Côte d’Ivoire, said “Through this partnership BRVM can leverage IFC’s global expertise in corporate governance to help African companies improve their access to capital.”
Dr. Edoh Kossi Amenounve, Managing Director of BRVM, said “This agreement with IFC demonstrates our commitment to adopt best practices. Our aim is to strengthen the capacity of our affiliated companies through the development and the implementation of the Corporate Governance Code and increase their access to financing.”
IFC’s Corporate Governance program works to improve performance of African companies and increase market capacity to attract and retain investments. IFC has helped more than 11,000 companies in more than 30 countries to implement best practices in governance that enable them to have access to new funds estimated at more than $3.2 billion.