Advancing Corporate Governance in the Middle East and North Africa: Stories and Solutions

02.04.2011 | Case Studies

Introduction

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing rapid private sector growth. While each country is unique, visionary companies throughout the region embrace improved corporate governance as a strategic advantage in their quest for growth and profitability. Reasons for introducing these practices are as varied as the companies involved, but include attracting lower-cost and differentiated sources of capital, employee motivation, corporate sustainability, efficiency, and, for family-owned companies, resolving inter-generational issues.

This guide provides concrete and relevant examples of corporate governance successes in the MENA region taken from interviews that were conducted with medium-sized enterprises, larger companies, and banks in the MENA region. They represent the breadth of corporate structures in the region; some are family-owned, some partially state-owned, and some have private-equity ownership. The studies provide real-world examples of companies’ incremental steps on the long path toward corporate governance improvement. These companies’ achievements were not easy accomplishments; they took time, effort, and resources. What the case studies demonstrate, however, are the tangible benefits to improved corporate governance practices.

The guide is divided in three parts: Section I focuses on the primary motivations and benefits for improving corporate governance; Section II presents cases of corporate governance challenges and successes from the Middle East and North Africa; and Section III focuses on the key mechanisms that the companies used to improve their practices.