Business / Economy
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 09:27 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has recommitted itself to embrace, support and enact a set of core values in areas of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption after joining the world corporate sustainability initiatives.
Outgoing NSE chairman Eddy Njoroge has also challenged organisations that have signed the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya to ensure that they restructure their systems in line with the people’s needs.
Speaking while signing the code of ethics for business in Kenya, Njoroge encouraged companies to ensure that they mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the achievement of sustainable development goals.
“We applaud the companies that are the forefront of changing how we do business today to ensure that we are not compromising the well-being of future generations,” he said.
NSE became the 22nd listed companies in Kenya to sign the code. Both local and international companies have signed the code of ethics. “So far over 500 private companies in Kenya have signed. Businesses that are transparent build trust and contribute to a strong and fair market,” Njoroge said.
Njoroge said today the majority of institutional investors globally evaluate companies’ performance based on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.
Phyllis Wakiaga CEO Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) said the code of ethics was developed on behalf of the private sector by KEPSA, Global Compact Network Kenya and KAM.
Wakiaga said Kenya loses Sh608 billion or 25 per cent of its GDP to corruption adding that the vice contributes to high cost of borrowing, low economic growth and impedes investors from investing.
Wakiaga said there is need to strengthen the consumer protection in order to win back consumer trust especially after issues of corporate governance emerged in some companies in Kenya.
“We shall soon be providing guidance and training for listed companies on reporting environment social and governance (ESG) information to investors to help them address the growing need for sustainability information.
NSE Chief Executive Officer, Geoffrey Odundo, said corruption undermines governance, democracy and the rule of law while destroying investors’ confidence. It raises the costs of doing business, drives investors away thus impacting negatively on economic growth.
He said the NSE is committed to cultivating a culture of Governance and transparency amongst our listed companies while safeguarding interests of our investors. Odundo said threat or deterrent alone does not end corruption.
Jack is a business and society writer at the Kenya Free Press