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Corporate governance and disclosure in Africa: Issues and challenges

Charles C. Okeahalam (Africa Growth Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Private Bag X9, Postnet Suite 410, Benmore 2010, Johannesburg, South Africa; tel: + 27 11 883 3733; fax: +27 11 784 5858; e‐mail:

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance

ISSN: 1358-1988

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



In general, the 1990s was a decade of considerable and broad economic growth. It was also characterised by extensive corporate (financial) sector failure in South‐East Asia. Since 2001 a number of major (non‐financial) corporations have failed in the USA and Europe. The majority of these failures have been attributed to an absence or dereliction of efficient disclosure and corporate governance. Africa has yet to witness the level of corporate failure experienced elsewhere, but it should be able to learn some lessons and perhaps leapfrog some of these experiences. This will only be possible, however, if disclosure and corporate governance in Africa is carefully analysed, and implemented in the context of appropriate institutions. This paper carries out an assessment of the state of play of corporate governance in Africa. An extensive literature search of academic, policy and private sector documentation on corporate governance in Africa shows that there has been little or no academic research and that there are also very few public policy documents on corporate governance in Africa. In some of the larger economies of Africa, however, a number of private sector initiatives on corporate governance have begun to emerge. Accordingly, mindful of the fact that improvement in corporate governance in Africa has to be placed in the context of the level of economic development, specific corporate governance issues and challenges are discussed. The paper concludes by identifying future research needs on corporate governance in Africa.



Okeahalam, C.C. (2004), "Corporate governance and disclosure in Africa: Issues and challenges", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 359-370.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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