Urgent thought-leading and value-adding supervisory interventions are required to help protect shareholder assets and make organisations more socially and economically responsible and accountable to support Ghana and the rest of Africa’s long-term developmental agenda, Professor Douglas Boateng, Founder of the African Council of Chairpersons (AfCOCH), has said.
He was speaking during the launch of a new regional-wide organisation that aims to provide African chairpersons with a platform to collaborate on supervisory issues of organisational, sectorial, national and regional importance.
Professor Boateng, who is the non-executive chairman of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) added: “The vision of AfCOCH is to institute, monitor and maintain performance-driven leadership standards; plus help promote chairpersonships as a profession guided by a code of conduct”.
Currently, the entire region’s chairpersons are relatively working as individuals with no collective voice, no real supervisory leadership power, or collaborative coordination. “This means that accomplished professionals and elderly state persons cannot comment and effectively provide guidance on governance matters, or broader business and development-related issues,” he said.
Commenting on the initiative after officially receiving copies of the Executive Compendium on Supply Chain Management terms for distribution to all Council of State members, chairperson of the group of accomplished elder state persons, Nana Otuo Serebour II said: “The AfCOCH initiative will undoubtedly help to strengthen and monitor regional-wide fiduciary responsibilities of chairpersons. For us at the Council of State, the time has come for overseers of organisations to help push supply chain governance to support national developmental objectives and the UNSDGs”,
Summarily articulating how AfCOCH activities shall support the Council of State and other institutions, Stephen Blay – Director of Finance and Administration at the Council of State said: “AfCOCH will play an important role in assisting the executive, legislature, State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), and private sector organisations to protect and grow shareholder assets”.
Ambassador Edward Boateng, Director General of SIGA, affirmed the urgent need for chairpersons to provide directional leadership, act as mentors, counsellors and coaches to executive and non-executive leadership teams within organisations, and be socially responsible.
“The AfCOCH’s purpose is to ensure public and private sector organisations have the authority, up-to-date skills, tools, facilities and ‘real’ support to help address matters of strategic and material importance to regional, national, sectorial and organisational development. It will achieve this by providing a best-in-class platform (s) for chairpersons to engage and coordinate developmental imperatives,” he said.
AfCOCH, according to Professor Boateng, is independent, industry-driven and not government-driven. Nor is it partisan and for profit. “The focus of AfCOCH is for the greater good of the nation, the continent and African chairpersons. It will provide unrivalled regional-wide facilities and administrative support for chairpersons to execute their supervisory duties,” he emphasized.
Further engagements on the role of AfCOCH, according to Professor Boateng, are scheduled to take place in the months to come. “The supporting partner organisations and I are very pleased with: (a) the positive responses and encouragement from fellow chairpersons and regional bodies; (b) in-principle acceptance of Ghana as the ‘preferred’ regional headquarters for the project; and (c) progress with the initial establishment of the AfCOCH office in Accra. We look forward to possibly officially launching AfCOCH later this year in Ghana, and announcing affiliate satellite offices in other African countries,” he noted.