HAWKAMAH's First MENA Corporate Governance Conference Attracts Key International Experts on Corporate Governance
HAWKAMAH's First MENA Corporate Governance Conference Attracts Key International Experts on Corporate Governance
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Event hosted by the Dubai International Financial Centre within DIFC Week Governor Bin Sulaiman invites participants in drawing regional corporate governance map

Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance (Hawkamah), will hold the MENA region’s first ever conference focusing on corporate governance next week at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on 26th – 27th November 2006, as part of the DIFC’s Finance Week.  The conference will be hosted by Hawkamah and supported by its regional and international partners: OECD; International Finance Corporation; World Bank Global Corporate Governance Forum; Center for International Private Enterprise; Union of Arab Banks; ISACA-UAE; INSOL International; Institute for International Finance; Egyptian Banking Institute; Egyptian Institute of Directors; and Financial Services Volunteer Corps, with participation of the countries participating in the OECD MENA Investment Programme. Corporate governance refers to the set of rules and incentives by which the management of a company is directed and controlled. Good corporate governance is associated with better company performance, higher profitability and efficiency levels, underpinning the sound performance of the entire economy. Hawkamah is a regional entity whose mission is to assist countries and companies of the wider MENA region in developing sound and globally well-integrated corporate governance frameworks and practices.  It supports regional and international initiatives to develop open and transparent markets and sound corporate governance regimes. His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said “The DIFC believes that the Hawkamah conference, which will form an integral part of the DIFC Week, is an important step towards the region’s economic growth and stability. The DIFC supports this initiative to enhance corporate governance across the region and we welcome the experience and knowledge that regional and international speakers will bring to the event. We recognise their global efforts in the field of corporate governance and we invite them to take part in the shaping of the region’s corporate governance map.” During the course of the conference, discussions will focus on attaining a deeper insight into key issues relating to corporate governance and recommendations for improving corporate governance practices across the region.  The main themes will include: corporate governance in the banking and financial sector, state-owned and family-owned enterprises and listed companies; insolvency issues; corporate governance in Islamic finance; and the outcome of the Hawkamah–IFC survey on regional corporate governance. This landmark corporate governance event brings together a selection of influential local and global organisations with the aim of working towards the establishment of sound and efficient financial markets and banking systems across the Middle East and North Africa.  It is vital for economies across the region to introduce corporate governance best practices in order to bridge the region’s corporate governance gap  and create a harmonised of rules, regulations and accounting standards..  The conference provides the opportunity for policy makers, regulators, experts and business leaders from both the regional and international arenas to discuss corporate governance issues, developments and reforms for the entire region. The opening address will be given by His Excellency Dr. Omar bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC, with a welcome speech by Dr. Nasser Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah.  The impressive line-up of speakers includes professionals from relevant fields offering expert opinions and invaluable insight into the world of corporate governance.  Keynote speakers include the following:
  • Mr. Richard Hecklinger, Deputy Secretary General, OECD
  • HE Dr. Shamsad Akhtar, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan
  • Mr. Michael Essex, Director, Middle East and North Africa, IFC
  • Mr. Charles Freeland, Deputy Secretary General, BIS
  • Ms. Anne Simpson, Executive Director, International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)
  • Ms. Marie Laurence Guy, Projects Officer, Global Corporate Governance Forum
  • Mr. Mahesh Uttamchandani, World Bank, Senior Counsel, Insolvency & Creditor Rights
  • Mr. Stephen Davis, Davis Global Advisors Mr. Eugene Spiro, Senior Program Officer, Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Mr. Sijmen de Ranitz, President, INSOL International
  • Mr. Andre Baladi, International Advisory Board Member, EuroNext
  • Mr. Stilpon Nestor, Principal, Nestor Advisors; Board of Governors, ICGN
  • Mr. Fadi Ghandour, Managing Director, Aramex
  • Mr. David Brown, former Chair of the IOSCO Technical Committee and of the Ontario Securities Commission
  • Dr. Hala Said, Executive Director, Egyptian Banking Institute
  • Mr. Shayne Elliott, Chief Operating Officer, EFG Hermes
  • Mr. V. Vastaraman, Emirates Airline, VP Information Systems Audit
 On the second day, the OECD-MENA Working Group on Corporate Governance session will take place and the Dubai Declaration on Corporate Governance will be issued.  The Working Group will be co-chaired by Mr. Rainer Geiger, Deputy Director for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD and co-chair of the OECD MENA Working Group on Corporate Governance and Dr.Nasser Saidi, Executive Director, Hawkamah. This session will be by invitation only. The conference will culminate with a press conference highlighting the relevant consultations and outlining the next steps to be advocated. Dr. Nasser Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah, highlighted the importance of the conference for the region: “We are delighted to launch our first annual conference, with expert and prestigious speakers and we look forward to the invaluable contributions they will make to the advancement of better corporate governance in the MENA region. The conference aims to help set the agenda for corporate sector reform and improved governance, and their role in build strong, sound and efficient banking systems and financial markets, a critical element in sustaining growth in the Middle East and North Africa region countries.” Mr. Richard Hecklinger, Deputy Secretary General, OECD also welcomed the opportunity to host such a conference: “Sound corporate governance has become a key criterion in investment decisions. The forthcoming high level meeting in Dubai on corporate governance in the MENA underscores the importance countries in the region attach to this subject. The OECD is pleased to co-host this event together with the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and its regional and international partners. We look forward to the proposals and recommendations which will emerge from this meeting and will help carry them forward in the context of the OECD-MENA Investment Programme”. For further details about the conference please go to: https://www.hawkamahconference.org


  • "The DDP provides a solid foundation of corporate governance for existing and aspiring directors."

    David Haglund - Senior Executive Director and Portfolio Manager of the Templeton Frontier and MENA Market strategies

  • “Thank you so much for sharing such insightful webinar. It was great and valuable to all participate”

    Shady Rashed - Senior Economic Researcher at The Ministry of International Cooperation of Egypt

  • “Good session and very well organized on the webinar about How to buffer and lessen the impact of the novel Covid – 19, to maintain business sustainability with Hawkamah - AUB / Makhzoumi” 

    Bilal Hamade - Executive Advisor

  • "One of the best webinars I attended. Well done OSB Makhzoumi and Hawkamah”

    Fida Kanaan – Director – Executive education  OSB AUB

  • "A journey full of knowledge, experience and professionalism . I have learned a lot and definitely enjoyed the time I spent with my colleagues."

    Ibtihal Al-Shamali- Director of Corporate Governance- Capital Market Authority of Kuwait

  • The breakfast meetings organised by Hawkamah provide attendees with a great opportunity to meet with peers from leading organisations and exchange ideas on current issues and challenges. A strong panel of industry experts discussing the challenges from different perspectives on ‘How to get the board more engaged’ was most insightful and engaging with enthusiastic audience participation especially in matters regarding diversity and quality of information that is  presented to the board for effective decision making. I look forward to more such events that are organised by Hawkamah

    Sunil Edwards- Group Head of Internal Audit  - Bank of Sharjah

  • The power breakfast on board engagement organized by Hawkamah in collaboration with Diligent was a successful event, very insightful and informative and well organized

    Mostafa Ibrahim Abdeltawab - Tax Agent & Consultant  - Skylines Tax Consultancy

  • There is absolutely no doubt that Hawkamah – as always – has done unmatchable effort in producing its most recent valuable report in association with Diligent about Board Best Practices in the MENA. The discussions that took place in the “Power Breakfast” was so important and insightful; the influx of questions by the quality participants and the valuable answers of the quality panelists is a clear proof of Hawkamah continued success in such events. 

    Yasser Al Dabach – Board Secretary – Ghobash Trading & Investment Group

  • The technical knowledge, insights, case studies and learning provided by the ‘Director Development Program’ are very useful and effective in framing the strategic planning, implementation and delivery phases of growth plans in the difficult economic and geo-political times that we are operating in.

    Hisham Dimashki – CEO - BAP LLC – (associated with GM Trading Companies - Washington DC)

  • The certified Board Secretaries Workshop provided by Hawkamah and Dubai Financial Market is an essential course for learning corporate governance, scope and responsibilities of the board secretary and understanding the governance and disclosure requirements of the Dubai Financial Market and the Securities and Commodities Authority. It is a practical course which combined recent best practices and key learning lessons. I would highly recommend it for people involved in corporate governance and in particular in a listed company.

    Omran Al Zamani - Senior Legal Counsel - Dana Gas PJSC

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