The imperative to improve corporate governance in the Middle East and North Africa to be discussed at the Hawkamah and OECD 4th annual gathering
The imperative to improve corporate governance in the Middle East and North Africa to be discussed at the Hawkamah and OECD 4th annual gathering
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Regional and international experts on corporate governance will gather on 9-10 November in Dubai to review the progress in reforming corporate governance frameworks in MENA countries and ways to enhance their implementation. This regional annual gathering, organised by the Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governance in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)  will be held at the Dubai International Financial Center. As the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis are becoming clearer, this will be the first regional gathering to consider the role of corporate governance for the economic stability and prosperity of the region. H.E. Dr. Omar bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC and Founder of Hawkamah, pointed out that “the world - and especially the Middle East – is emerging from the global financial crisis and will seek to implement policies to ensure a period of sustained and more stable growth. Now is the time for companies to prepare and position themselves for the future opportunities and challenges. Good corporate governance offers them a competitive edge.” Dr. Nasser Al Saidi, the Executive Director of Hawkamah, further explained: “We have specifically chosen the theme of the this meeting as ‘Emerging Middle East Markets and the Corporate Governance Imperative’ so as to impart a sense of urgency regarding adoption and implementation of corporate governance in the region.” The engagement and investment of both regulators and private sector companies in corporate governance priorities is essential. “Hawkamah and its supporting partners and founding members, the DIFC, OECD, IFC, UAB and others have been at the forefront to promote and spread awareness about good corporate governance practices in our region and encourage reform. The upcoming gathering is yet another step in that direction,” added Dr. Saidi. The panels of the conference have been specifically targeted to reflect the issues seen as priority in improving governance practices in the region.  "This important regional gathering will be addressing a number of priority corporate governance challenges in the MENA region in relation to the banking sector and state-owned enterprises", noted Dr. Grant Kirkpatrick, Senior Economist at the OECD. "A Policy Brief on Corporate Governance of Banks will be released on this occasion. Apart from reflecting a considerable amount of fact finding, it constitutes a first step to applying policy lessons from the financial crisis to the region", noted Mr. Kirkpatrick. Among other topics addressed by the conference will be corporate governance of Islamic financial institutions, insurance firms and the role of private equity firms in corporate governance. These issues will be discussed on the second day of the annual gathering. In addition, the regional regulators will debate the region’s changing regulatory landscape and how that places new demands on them. An Investors Panel will address the role of investors, both retail and institutional, as key drivers of corporate governance reform in the region. Finally, the annual gathering will also feature a closed session for regulators, which will focus on region-specific insolvency and creditor rights issues. A regional study on insolvency will be also released on this occasion. The MENA-OECD Working Group on Corporate Governance will be discussing how to advance the corporate governance agenda in MENA region through ongoing as well as new regional and country-specific initiatives. Mechanisms for implementing the regional Policy Brief on banks will be discussed, and the way forward for advancing the corporate governance agenda for state-owned enterprises will be decided. Speakers representing international and regional organisations, as well as the private sector, joining the annual gathering include: Mr. Mahesh Uttamchandani, Head of the World Bank Insolvency and Creditor’s Rights Initiative; Dr. Grant Kirkpatrick, Senior Economist at the OECD, Mr. Carl Rosen, Executive Director of International Corporate Governance Network, Mr. Simon Copplestone, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s Board Secretary, and Ms. Sohail Zubairi, CEO of Islamic legal consultancy, Dar Al Sharia. A number of other experts from across the region will comprise the 200 participants anticipated to attend this important annual meeting. 62_1 HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC 62_2 Dr Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist, DIFC Authority 62_3 Grant Kirkpatrick, Senior Economist, OECD


  • 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

  • Great program! Very well done and very useful information delivered in an excellent manner. The workshop was very inspirational, energizing, bringing lots of ideas, with both substantial and in-depth knowledge together with case studies. Well-balanced composition of participants, which contributed to interesting and focused discussions and exchanges. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in improving their proficiency and core competencies.

    Hassan Murad Agha - Group Head of Compliance & Internal Control - Gulf General Investment Co. (PSC)

  • All companies should promote their boards, executive managers or staffs who have board responsibilities for subsidiary companies to attend corporate governance training. Hawkamah provides the ability for people and companies in the GCC to upskill in the area of corporate governance and directorship through a comprehensive programme teaching international best practice which has been tailored to regional specific governance issues.

    Alastair Mulligan - VP Asset Management - National Central Cooling Company PJSC (TABREED)

  • I am truly honored to attain this certification and I recommend the Compliance Heads of all DFM listed companies to participate and achieve this certification.

    Nabeel Mirza - Senior Director & MLRO - Compliance - GFH Financial Group B.S.C.

  • The workshop has added a level of professionalism to my practice. It addressed and discussed  the right concepts to promote better governance and effective support for business in line with rules and procedures.

    Osama Issaq Al Haj - Head of Legal & Board Secretary - Dubai Islamic Bank

  • A very interesting and informative course which has helped me to adapt my Board Secretary knowledge further to my role as Company Secretary.

    Hamad Al Hosani - Group Company Secretary - Emirates NDB Bank

  • Anyone who wants to enter the world of boards and governance; this is your passport.

    Jehad A. Kazim - Director - Legal Services Dubai Chamber

  • The Directors Development Program was one of the most beneficial programs I attend during my career life. The strength of the program comes from the way it was structured as each part covered very important aspects of the required management role.

    Nada Ishaq Abdul Karim - Manager - The Secretary of The Board of Directors - Bahrain Islamic Bank BSC

  • The DDP offered by the Hawkamah Institute is an excellent course to prepare directors to understand and fulfil their obligations properly as members of the board. I have benefitted immensely from this program and have started to implement some of the best practices taught on the boards that I am involved in.

    Amir Arab - Director - Havenvest Private Equity Middle East Limited

  • The Director Development Program is great way to gain insight and improved understanding in areas such as corporate governance and board functionality. I would highly recommend the program as a foundational step before they begin their board experience.

    Bindu Ann Joseph - Chief Operating Officer - 3W Networks

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