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STRONG GOVERNANCE PRACTICES FUNDAMENTAL IN BUILDING RESILIENT INSTITUTIONS

With companies navigating an unprecedented mix of challenges, Boards of Directors have been urged to ensure strong governance practices to build resilient institutions.

The call was made by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) Director Legal Services/ Secretary to the Authority, Mrs. Francesca N. Kakooza during the 2023 League of East African Directors (LEAD) 2023 convention held in Kampala recently.

Mrs. Francesca N. Kakooza Director Legal at IRA Uganda

Mrs. Kakooza said the Covid-19 pandemic experience, escalating cybersecurity threats and climate change risks require a dynamic regulatory environment to create resilience.

She noted that resilience – the ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to a changing environment – is necessary in an increasingly complex business environment.

Organised under the theme “Governance & Business Resilience in a Dynamic Regulatory Landscape”, the convention discussed challenges and opportunities that arise amidst a constantly evolving regulatory environment.

Mrs. Kakooza urged players stay informed and engaged with their respective sector regulators to keep themselves abreast with the ever-evolving regulatory environment.

Sam Ntulume, Chairperson Organizing Committee challenged the audience to steer their organisations, irrespective of the changing regulatory landscape, disruptive technology, heightened risk, and the need to comply with environmental, social and governance principles.

Governance key

In a speech read by Mr. Phillip Andrew Wabulya, the Bank of Uganda (BOU) Executive Director Petroleum Investment Fund, the Deputy BOU Governor, Mr. Michael Atingi-Ego, said that governance is a critical element of building resilience in a dynamic world.

He tipped that a resilient organisation is one that has the right structures, and processes that can help it anticipate and prepare for, respond to, and adapt to disruptions.

“The Bank of Uganda, therefore, takes a keen interest in governance practices of the supervisory financial institutions, be it during business as usual, or periods of crisis.”

He urged directors to build capacity to navigate the challenge of working through unprecedented times against complex, volatile and uncertain economic and geopolitical backdrops.

“Organisations should have a good mix of directors in terms of demographics, experience, and professional background. Increasingly, directors must have a sound knowledge of information technology and cybersecurity.”

The LEAD chairperson, Mrs. Gertrude Wamala Karugaba also alluded to the critical role of directors in today’s dynamic regulatory landscape.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, characterised by a dynamic regulatory landscape, the role of directors and leaders has become more critical than ever.

“Our ability to adapt, evolve, and embrace these changes will determine our success as organizations and as a collective driving growth and prosperity,” she said.

She tasked all the members to leverage the Convention to seize every opportunity to learn, network, and forge lasting connections.

“Together, we have the power to shape a resilient and prosperous future for our organizations, communities, and nation.”

Ms. Pheona Nabasa – Wall, the LEAD Chief Executive Officer underscored the need for all directors to work together and explore innovative ways to navigate the dynamic regulatory landscape.

She encouraged the board leaders to embrace a clear vision and lead with wisdom to navigate the ever-changing regulatory challenges that lay ahead.

“Together, as a united community of directors, we can learn from one another, support each other, and thrive in this dynamic business landscape.”

She added: “Let us embrace the challenges with determination, the changes with resilience, and the future with unwavering optimism.”

LEAD Convention is an annual event that brings together prominent business leaders from the region. It plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration, sharing insights, and promoting knowledge exchange among directors, executives, and key decision-makers from various industries.