MEA Q3 2023

MEA / Q3 2023 18 Jun23758 Excellence Award for Corporate Governance 2023 - Mauritius Based in Ebène, Mauritius, the National Committee on Corporate Governance is a not- for-profit organisation. It is comprised of seasoned businesspeople from both the private and public sectors, alongside a representative of the parent ministry. It has an important role to play in terms of policy support and advisory assistance to the Mauritius International Financial Centre (MIFC). lose your eyes and picture Mauritius. Bet you’re thinking about relaxing on the beach, clear blue seas, and sandy white beaches. Probably corporate governance is far from your mind. And yet, where would we be without the responsible direction and control of companies? Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe it, and one thing’s for sure, no one would be dreaming of a visit to this unruly land, more akin to a modern-day Wild West. Good corporate governance plays a vital role in underpinning the integrity and efficiency of the financial markets. It organises the essential practices and processes by which a company is directed. Established in 2001, the National Committee on Corporate Governance (NCCG) was mandated to promote the principles of good corporate governance amongst the public and private sector organisations of Mauritius. Its objectives are to establish principles and practices, promote the highest standards, foster public awareness (about corporate governance), and to act as the national coordinating body responsible for all matters pertaining to such. In addition, the NCCG organises workshops, seminars and training. The NCCG is also responsible for issuing the Code of Corporate Governance and guidelines, and establishing a mechanism for the periodic re-assessment of this Code. It also provides assistance and guidance on the adoption of good corporate governance practices; establishes links with regional and international institutions engaged in promoting corporate governance; and advises the Minister on any matters pertaining to corporate governance. Since its inception, the NCCG has established itself in its role of policy support cum advisory figure, thus enhancing the value to the Mauritius International Financial Centre (MIFC). By advocating and measuring enhanced transparency, accountability and disclosures in corporate practices, the NCCG is fostering a culture of responsible governance amongst all organisations operating within the MIFC. One of the key functions of the NCCG is to review the National Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius (2016). This code wasn’t actually launched until 2017 and is coupled with an “apply and explain” methodology. Given the evolution of Corporate Governance into the more comprehensive ESG dimensions in business and finance, and the unique positioning of MIFC in Africa, the NCCG has undertaken to review the 2016 Code. Once the new Code is finalised, each regulator will then develop its own set of regulations to meet the specificities of its Sector in alignment with the new Code. This important project entails the development of a national ESG Code for Mauritius, delivering outcomes in alignment with nationally determined ESG priorities. For instance, with regard to climate action Mauritius has set its Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to climate impacts. The new Code will incorporate those targets. Other key initiatives the NCCG is brokering in positioning Mauritius as an ESG investment hub, are namely (i) the yearly Corporate Governance Scorecard assessment exercise (Scorecard), (ii) the creation of a Networking Forum (in collaboration with the Data Protection Office) for Data Protection Officers to enhance data governance and the protection of privacy rights of individuals within the Mauritian business community; (iii) the launch of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Charter (DEI Charter), and (iv) the Ethics Officer Certification training developed and run jointly with the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Scorecard which was launched in 2021, provides a structured framework for companies to identify the breadth and depth of disclosures required on various corporate governance dimensions. The intention of the Scorecard is to improve the level of disclosure of governance practices of companies thereby fostering greater transparency. The Scorecard places Mauritius amongst the few countries in the world to measure the progress of corporate governance practices in a quantitative manner. The DEI Charter marks a commitment by the NCCG and signatory organisations to work together to build a more balanced, equitable and sustainable business community and society. The DEI Charter invites and encourages organisations to voluntarily pledge their commitment towards promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of their organisation, setting internal DEI targets which are backed by appropriate policies and strategies; and sharing with the NCCG, on a yearly basis, the progress made and any obstacles encountered. The NCCG recognises that Corporate Governance is now a platform that transcends national borders and therefore offers the possibility for greater mutual regional cooperation and learning amongst African countries. This is no doubt one of the reasons it was selected to win the Excellence Award for Corporate Governance 2023 – Mauritius. Well done to NCCG on this great achievement. It’s certainly making incredible strides in this very important field. Company: National Committee on Corporate Governance Web Address: Contact Name: Ms. Aruna Radhakeesoon (Chair) C