Leadership: Recognising need for governance training (2015-01-21)

Advertorial by CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd

We should all have an interest in helping to secure better governance in Africa.  It is the most effective means of preventing failed states and for building democracy that is lasting.
Africa’s sustainable development is the only way to harness the planet's most resource-rich continent which -- if protected and used wisely -- could firmly position and integrate Africa within the global economy.  This could also be a guaranteed recipe for the much needed employment for the youth in Africa.  According to the African Economic Outlook, as much as 133 million young people are illiterate with no or little skills, and they will therefore be excluded from a productive economic or social life.  Of course, improving the overall governance in South Africa will greatly improve, amongst other, the psyche of millions of jobless South Africans, which according to Stats SA was estimated to be 25.40 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

Undoubtedly, education is a key factor that can most certainly unlock Africa’s potential and this is where corporate business has a critical role to fulfil in order to alleviate the stronghold over poverty, unemployment and crime.

CGF Research Institute’s (CGF) continued drive for sound governance and dedication towards building a more sustainable Africa can be seen in our effort to assist organisations to deal with the complexities surrounding governance, risk and compliance (‘GRC’).  To this end, CGF specifically caters not only for training organisations in South Africa on GRC; our company has also extended this specialist training in countries such as Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to name a few. CGF’s corporate governance training programmes have become widely accepted on many parts of the African continent for their pragmatic application in the public and private sectors.

Throughout Africa, numerous debates (both inside and outside of boardrooms) grapple with questions pertaining the hurdles of good governance.  In addition, boards of directors and their company officers face many key and complex issues; and they grapple more than ever before to contextualise these within a Corporate Governance Framework®.  Indeed, in these turbulent times of intensified corporate scrutiny and governance reforms, organisations need to trust that their directors, executive and senior managers have a comprehensive understanding of the immense responsibility attached to their leadership functions.  Quite understandably, improving governance through proper training is crucial to ensuring that economic growth can be sustained and that it will make a significant contribution to alleviating -- amongst other -- poverty in Africa.  Converse to this, without a proper understanding of governance and its organisational practices:

  • the State's resources cannot be effectively administered to provide education and health-care services, of which acute shortages exist in much of the continent.  (Potential gains from increased aid and debt relief cannot be as effective as they could be.)
  • laws cannot be justly applied and security upheld.  (Africa faces high risks of internal insecurity, which can quickly develop into a humanitarian crisis in the absence of security and the rule of law.)
  • people cannot be fairly represented and democracy cannot be allowed to flourish.  (Civil society cannot fulfil its potential to contribute towards development in the absence of sound governance.)
  • businesses cannot operate to their full potential.  (The private sector is an engine of growth.  Accordingly, the economy will thrive if it is able to generate employment, prosperity and tax revenue.)

Sound governance is valuable

At the end of the day, we need to see value in that which we embark.  If there’s no value (or purpose), why do it in the first place?  It is entirely true that business is designed for making a profit.  But as modern business has evolved, we need to understand our value as an organisation as well as the ethical values espoused by also protecting people and the planet.  By simply passing over the people and planet components in a matter-of-fact (tick-box) manner, and remaining fixated only on profit, an organisation is inevitably doomed to failure. This is the epitome of poor governance, particularly when the on-going training of corporate governance is absent amongst the organisation’s employees.  Value must be shown in every facet of a business -- value for profit, value for planet and indeed value for people.
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