Cameroon/AFD, Proparco and Gicam finalize the first corporate governance code
The first document of its kind in Cameroon and Central Africa, this management tool will be presented to public administrations, professional and international organizations, and companies on March 31, 2023 in Douala.
After a process that lasted about 3 years, this manual is now available.Developed by the Groupement inter-patronal du Cameroun (Gicam), the representative organization of the private sector in Cameroon, in close dialogue with businesses and in consultation with Cameroonian administrative authorities, the new code is based on a partnership agreement signed in 2021 between the The new code is based on a partnership agreement signed in 2021 between the task force called the "Good Corporate Governance Initiative" (GCGI), chaired by Jacques Jonathan Nyemb, a business lawyer and member of the Board of Directors of the Cameroonian Business Council.In view of recent developments in the country, the Gicam Board of Directors has decided to set up a partnership with Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) dedicated to the private sector.
"In view of recent developments in the area of governance, both at the national level (regulatory texts governing public companies, Gicam's commitment in the framework of its corporate governance declaration) and at the international level, the Gicam Board of Directors has decided to launch a project to develop a new corporate governance policy.claration of Corporate Governance of 2018), as well as internationally (new OECD guidelines, ISO 26000, 37001 and 900 standards ...), it is crucial for Cameroonian companies, via Gicam to have an effective self-regulation tool.It is crucial for Cameroonian companies, through Gicam, to have an effective self-regulation tool, at the service of their performance alongside the regulations in force, considering both international standards and the local context"Christophe Guilhou, former French Ambassador to Cameroon, explained the importance of developing a code of good corporate governance.
Afd and Proparco justify the partnership with Gicam by "the weak framework of corporate governance in Cameroon and Central Africa, despite the existence of Ohada law and the Uniform Act on Commercial Companies, the law of July 2017 on the status of public companies in Cameroon and the related application decrees of June 2019.These decrees allow for the renovation of the current governance framework, with details on the modalities of exercising supervision, the functioning of the deliberative bodies and management, the management of personnel and the remuneration and other benefits of their executives.
Several stages preceded the final draft of this Code: pre-diagnosis, adoption-promotion, diagnosis, and drafting."The first code of its kind in Central Africa, it will promote a favorable business environment and provide companies, from family-owned businesses to multinationals, including public companies, with a reference framework in this area," said Célestin Tawamba, President of Gicam. It should be noted that the development of the Code of Good Corporate Governance has benefited from the technical support of the international firm Nestor Advisors, and the financial participation of Proparco and AFD.
As a reminder, Gicam had adopted in 2018 a Declaration of Corporate Governance, thus testifying to its commitment to promote corporate citizenship and sustainable development for all. In order to strengthen its system in this area, the Good Corporate Governance initiative, of which the eponymous Code is the first link, rests on 3 other pillars: the creation of an Institute of Directors and Managers, the establishment of a High Authority for Governance and finally the design of a Good Governance Label.
Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement group dedicated to the private sector, participates in financing and supporting private sector companies and financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. It focuses on key development sectors: infrastructure with a focus on renewable energy, agribusiness, financial institutions, health, education, etc.
As for Gicam, with 1,000 companies and socio-professional organizations, it is the largest employers' group in Cameroon.