African codes of corporate governance surpass other well established codes for corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting, they also include a broader definition of stakeholders covering the environment and society, and many of those codes mention wider social issues such as human rights, child labour, AIDS and malaria, according to a  study of corporate governance codes in 15 African countries.

The study conducted jointly by ACCA and KPMG, entitled Balancing Rules and Flexibility for Growth, looked at the corporate governance requirements for listed companies against four principles benchmarked by the OECD. These principles are: leadership and culture, strategy and performance, compliance and oversight, and stakeholder engagement.

The report ranked South Africa number one as it has adopted the largest number of OECD principles. Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria and Uganda make the rest of the top five. Ten out of the 15 countries studied have aligned their corporate governance requirements with more than 80% of OECD principles, according to the report.

ACCA director for Sub-Saharan Africa Jamil Ampomah said: “As these markets grow and evolve, more awareness and effort will be needed to strengthen remaining critical areas of corporate governance, particularly for remuneration structures, performance evaluation, risk governance, and board composition and diversity.”

The 15 countries examined in this study were Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

The full study can be accessed here: Balancing Rules and Flexibility for Growth