African Legal Support Facility and Connex Support Initiative capacity building to strengthen corporate governance in extractives sector
The extractives sector has witnessed sustained increase in equity participation by governments throughout the African region in recent times. As the prevalence of National Mining Companies (NMCs) grows, there has also been a corresponding growth in the need for good governance and equitable benefits-sharing regimes.
In order to meet these emergent needs, the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) launched a capacity building course aimed at strengthening corporate governance skills of members of Boards of Directors acting as state representatives in the extractives and complex Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects.
It is argued that state equity participation can help African countries to protect their national interests, generate additional revenues from commercial profits and fiscal benefits and build national capacity in resource management through the transfer of managerial and technical skills. Good corporate governance is critical to achieving the above benefits.
Held on 14 and 15 November in Kigali, Rwanda, the training course was organized by the ALSF in collaboration with the CONNEX Support Unit. The event attracted participants from 28 state representatives from eight different Anglophone countries in Africa.
Designed to equip the participating government representatives with a more comprehensive understanding of the issues surrounding the effective management of state equity participation, the programme comprised of interactive discussions, practical exercises and lectures delivered by international lawyers and governance experts renowned for their experience in matters related to state equity participation.
The training programme explored a broad suite of subjects, including the fiduciary duties of board directors, risk management, potential conflicts of interest, and best practices in corporate governance. The training faculty was drawn from international law firms Herbert Smith Freehills and Jones Day, the International Senior Lawyer Project and the Global Governance Group.
Plans exist to organize similar trainings in English and French in 2018.