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The Institute of Directors (Ghana), in collaboration with Software Technologies Limited and other partners had their Annual Corporate Governance Excellence Awards hosted at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra. It was also graced with the attendance of Professor Mervyn King, best known as the Chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa.  He is Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa on Corporate Citizenship, Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria and Visiting Professor at Rhodes University

The aim of the awards was to stimulate and sustain the culture of good corporate governance and champion director professionalism and development through education for the benefit of organizations and stakeholders. It was also aimed at celebrating the achievements of both public and private sector Individual Personalities and Organizations who have distinguished themselves by practicing and exhibiting good corporate governance leading to desirable outcomes of ethical culture, good performance, effective controls and legitimacy.

The categories included – Most Influential Director of the Year, Innovative Director of the Year, Overall Director of the Year (Female), Most Credible Director of the Year, Rising Director of the Year, Overall Director of the Year (Male).

The corporate categories are, Agricultural Business (Agrobased), Healthcare Facility, Oil Marketing, Petroleum Refining and Related Industry, Agriculture (Fishing, Poultry and Crop farming), Hospitality (Hotels), Power Generation and Distribution, Apparel and clothing Industry, Hospitality (Support & Allied Services), Printing, Publishing, and Allied Industry, Chemical and Allied Industry, Industrial and Commercial Machinery Industry, Retail and Supermarkets, Construction, Information Technology Industry, Rubber and Miscellaneous Plastic Industry, Consulting, Insurance (Pensions), Rural and Community Banks, Ecommerce, Insurance (Life), Savings and loans, Education, Insurance (General Business), Sports, Electronic and Electrical Equipment Industry, Leasing companies, Stone, Clay, Glass, and Concrete Industry, Entertainment, Lumber and Wood Industry, Telecommunication, Fabricated Metal Industry, Manufacturing, Transportation Industry, Finance Houses, Media, Travel and Tours, Food, Beverages Industry, Microfinance Institutions, Universal Banks, Furniture and Fixtures Industry, Mining and Quarrying.

“For me, eBoard has been an amazing experience. Using it has made it easy for me to manage the process of preparing for board meetings, distribution of board packs, capturing minutes and monitoring who has read the board pack”

Mr. Peter Rotich, Administrator / Trust Secretary, TelPosta Pension Scheme

The TelPosta Pension Scheme was constituted vide a Trust Deed dated 1st July 1997 by then Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation. Its main purpose is the provision and custody of Pension and other retirement benefits of the employees and former employees of Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (now defunct) and Telkom (K) Limited.

The Challenge

“As the Trust Secretary, I am primarily in charge of the board meeting process. For every board meeting, I had to put together board packs; print, assemble and distribute hard copies. Factoring in last-minute updates and amendments to meeting materials after board pack has been released -where a change in one agenda item affects several pages – board meetings were very stressful situations.”  Mr. Rotich recalls

Why Software Technologies

Software Technologies has excellent customer service. It’s not a one-time thing where you get the system and never hear from the company again, it is a consistent and empowering journey. They promptly respond to any queries I may be having and are constantly improving my experience as a client through the continuous development of the system.” Mr. Peter Rotich profoundly states.

The Results

Seamless board evaluations and easy report tabulation: With eBoard, TelPosta Pension Scheme’s Board of Trustees now has an effective, online and dynamic way of carrying out the assessment together with an automatic report generating system. “When we got an external performance evaluation expert, he stated that your evaluation module adheres to set regulated policies by the Law.” Mr. Rotich recalls.

Easy updating and sharing of board papers:  By providing directors with a central document repository, TelPosta Pension Scheme has seen an ease in the sharing of board papers. Mr. Rotich is now able to share corrected documents from any board pack at any time.  “I don’t have to worry when I have to send a corrected document, because I am sure everyone will be notified and it will be displayed on the homepage and stored in the briefcase.”

Ensured 24/7 secure access to data from anywhere in the world: Board members have all time access to the meeting pack. “We upload everything on eBoard and board members can access the details wherever they are, whenever they want, 24 hours a day. The board members can review and annotate from wherever they are. It’s saved us so much time,” said Mr. Rotich. “I regularly see our Board Trustees viewing documents at any time, day or night.”

Savings on time, money and resources: Previously, the company’s time, printers and paper reams were all excessively used in preparation for board meetings.  With eBoard, TelPosta has saved close to 40,000 USD in printing and distribution costs. They also continue to make an environmental impact by using less paper and saving more trees.

Access to previous board papers: It is easy for members of the board to refer to board documents from previous years as they are conveniently stored in the Resources. “We don’t have to interrupt a meeting so as to get a previous board paper as it is readily available in the Resources module.” Mr. Rotich states

 

“We now have a refined approach when preparing for and documenting Board and Committee meetings together with relevant documentation.  As a result of eBoard, we now have paperless meetings, a central document repository accessible to all from anywhere as well as the ability to carry out board performance evaluations and other evaluations/surveys with reports captured seamlessly. When I think about eBoard, efficient, confidential, transparent and effective are the words that come to mind.”

Ms. Betty Kanyagia, Company Secretary, Bamburi Cement Limited.

Bamburi Cement Limited, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim, was incorporated in 1951 and is listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange.  It is the leading cement manufacturing and marketing company in the Eastern Africa region. Bamburi Cement has grown to be the leader and Industry Captain with a bold vision for the future, which is to be the undisputed leader and the preferred partner by providing innovative solutions for nation-building with Health & Safety as its overarching value.

The challenge

Large volume paper use: The Company Secretarial administrative staff compiled Board and Committee packs for all Board/Committee members for every single meeting. The Company then made arrangements to collect the packs after some time for destruction due to their sensitive nature.

Lagged process: Compilation, printing and binding of board packs for each director took days after which the physical copies had to be delivered to the Directors wherever the Directors were located, including outside Kenya.

Manual evaluation: Evaluation forms had to be printed, delivered to the Directors for completion and collected after which the Company Secretary had to manually enter the ranking and compile the reports.

Access to Documentation: the Directors had to have the hard copy documents if they wished to make reference. This proved a challenge if the Directors required access on the go.

Why Software Technologies

“For us, ease of use as well as the adaptive and accommodating nature of eBoard as a product to our specific needs and requirements was a key feature in the selection of a board management software. Software Technologies’ support is commendable with feedback wholly accepted and implemented, where possible,” Ms Kanyagia states.

The Results

Paperless Board Meetings: With paperless meetings, Bamburi Cement has significantly reduced the amount of paper used for Board related purposes. Further, Board members have access to the meeting packs and other documents at all times irrespective of where they are, which has increased the productivity of the Board.

Easy updating and sharing of board papers: By using eBoard, Bamburi Cement has seen ease not only in the sharing of board papers but also in the ability to update or amend them, when necessary. Betty explains, “I do not worry when I have to update a document, because I do not have to send notice that a document is updated then send hard copies of the updated version – the system automatically notifies everyone and the updated version is immediately available.”

Seamless board evaluations and easy report tabulation: With eBoard, Bamburi Cement’s Board of Directors now has an online and effective way of carrying out the assessment together with an automatic report generating system. “Performance evaluations are seamless, easy to analyze and generating reports is just a tap away,” Betty states.

Savings on resources: Previously, significant time, printers, paper and staff resources were used in preparation for Board and Committee meetings. With eBoard and, in line with its environmental agenda, Bamburi Cement continues to reduce its environmental impact by using less paper thereby saving trees. It has also saved on resources previously spent on the preparation and distribution of meeting packs.

 Leaders from the public and private sectors shared with the audience how ingraining good governance at planning makes vision a reality.

 

The Institute of Directors (Kenya), in collaboration with Software Technologies Limited and other partners had their 3rd Corporate Governance Conference hosted at the Inter Continental Hotel in Nairobi.

The Theme of the Conference was Sustainable Governance for Africa. The Conference explored Africa’s potential and the role of good governance for a Sustainable Continent. Leaders from the public and private sectors shared with the audience how they think ingraining good governance at planning and throughout implementation, makes vision a reality. Topics such as Politics and corporate governance, Achieving real results in the fight against corruption; the roles and responsibilities of a dynamic private sector, Building an ethical organizational culture as a driver for corporate sustainability and Building sustainable corporate Governance systems in Africa; the African Challenge were covered

Objectives of the Conference

  1. To “unpack” the East Africa region in terms of potential, opportunities, numbers etc and their implications to socio economic transformation.
  2. To highlight the importance of good environmental, social and corporate governance in the socio-economic transformation of Africa.
  3. To highlight the importance and value of good governance in the private and public sector.
  4. A platform for policymakers, corporates, public institutions from across the East African Community to encourage and practice.

Outcomes of the Conference

The Conference explored East Africa’s potential and the role of good governance in unleashing this potential. Leaders in Africa’s public and private sectors will share with the audience how they think good governance brings visions to reality, from planning to implementation.

I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hunger is on the rise again globally and undernutrition continues to affect millions of children. Public investment in agriculture globally is declining, small scale food producers and family farmers require much greater support and increased investment in infrastructure and technology for sustainable agriculture is urgently needed.

On 10th February 2019, the Government declared a national drought emergency, with 23 of 47 counties affected. The number of food-insecure people more than doubled – from 1.3 million to 2.7 million. Some 357,285 children and pregnant and lactating mothers are acutely malnourished.

Kenya’s Red Cross told TRT World: “Most of the areas affected by the current drought were also affected by the previous droughts that recurred in the arid and semi-arid lands ASAL areas over the last few years. The 2016/17/18 drought-affected up to 3.5 million people in the 23 ASAL counties and resulted in severe disruption of livelihoods by affected communities. The drought contributed to the underlying vulnerability of communities especially in the ASAL counties which negatively impacted the capacity of populations to cope with recurring disasters.’’

Software Technologies upholds and takes seriously the 2nd UN Sustainable Development Goal; Zero Hunger. We have taken a step to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by donating to the Kenya Red Cross Society. This is one of the steps we are taking to positively and effectively impact people in the community.

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