The Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance was set up in 2006 to help bridge the corporate governance gap in the region. The Institute was founded by international organizations including the OECD, the IFC, and the World Bank, and regional organizations such as the Union of Arab Banks and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority. The Institute grew out of the recognition of a growing need for a regional organization working on the ground, and since then Hawkamah has been at the forefront of the corporate governance debate in the region.
Hawkamah's primary goal is to provide the region's companies and boards with practical tools on how to improve corporate governance. The Institute's work also involves engaging governments and industry, conducting surveys and studies, and creating regional benchmarks which often act as catalysts for reform.
The establishment of the Corporate Governance Institute and think tank aims to build institutions for the region. Its mission is to promote corporate sector reform and good governance, assist the countries of the region in developing and implementing sustainable Corporate Governance strategies adapted to national requirements and objectives.
The consultative meeting of the MENA Working Group 5 on improving Corporate Governance held in Amman, Jordan on the 14th of February, 2005, highlighted and confirmed the vital interest of the countries of the region to bridge the Corporate Governance gap, and achieve economic and financial integration with the rest of the world to improve economic growth and development prospects and performance.
One of the main conclusions endorsed by the participants was the need to establish a body that would serve as a regional secretariat with the basic mandate "to provide greater efficiency in the coordination between the countries of the region on Corporate Governance policy issues and to more effectively implement the MENA working Group 5's objectives, recommendations and projects."