Bank of Uganda governor tells businesses to meet corporate governance standards if they want to access finance

London, 27 February 2015 – Professor E Tumusiime-Mutebile, Governor of the Bank of Uganda, gave Ugandan businesses a warning shot across the bow in his opening address at the fourth annual conference for directors and company secretaries in Kampala yesterday. Addressing delegates, he called for a change in attitudes towards corporate governance if the Ugandan business sector is to thrive and compete in the global markets.

The theme of the conference, which was jointly organised by ICSA’s Ugandan branch and the Ugandan Capital Markets Authority, was ‘Access to Finance through Good Governance’, an issue close to the governor’s heart “because of the very important role which the financial system plays in allocating scarce resources within the economy to ensure that they are used optimally.”

Professor Tumusiime-Mutebile warned borrowers in the private sector that they cannot realistically expect to access finance unless they can meet minimum standards of corporate governance. “Companies that practice good corporate governance are much more likely to be able to command the confidence of financial institutions and thereby obtain access to finance than companies that do not,” he told delegates.

He encouraged companies to:

  • Compile, maintain and disclose accurate financial accounts
  • Have an independent board of directors who can ensure that a company is managed in accordance with the law and in a manner that respects all stakeholders including minority shareholders and creditors.

Reminding delegates that good corporate governance is an absolute prerequisite for any company wishing to issue securities on the stock exchange, he encouraged borrowers in the private sector to follow their lead. One of the reasons why so many Ugandan firms are unable to expand their operations and upgrade their technology is because banks and other lenders are weary about extending credit to companies where there is a lack of transparency and sound management structures, he stressed.

Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA, who launched the Henley Business School research ‘The Company Secretary: Building trust through governance’ at the conference, told delegates that “Company secretaries, as the ‘guardians of good governance’, are best placed to help companies achieve their corporate governance objectives.”

For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:  
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Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) is the chartered membership and qualifying body for professionals working in governance, risk and compliance, including company secretaries. Our members work in all sectors and at every level of seniority. With over 120 years of experience, we champion high governance standards by providing qualifications, training, high-quality guidance and support (including technical resources, publications and software), and through our work with regulators and policy makers. 
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