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27.08.2004 Regional News

PEF organises workshop on corporate governance for stakeholders

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Kumasi, Aug. 27, GNA - Participants at a day's workshop on good governance of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) have called for a legislation that will compel companies operating in communities to provide some social amenities for the people.

They noted that, besides the mining and timber companies, which were obliged to provide some amenities to the communities in which they operate as part of their social responsibilities, all other companies did not have any obligation towards the communities.

The participants, who expressed these sentiments in Kumasi on Thursday, were drawn from both the public and private institutions in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions.

The workshop was organised by the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), which is conducting a technical assessment of the country in the focus area of corporate governance.

The participants noted that, the present distribution of royalties from the mining and timber companies was not fair to the communities in which they operate and said the sharing of royalties should be tilted heavily in favour of the communities that suffer all the consequences associated with mining and timber operations.

They expressed concern about the creation of separate agencies from existing ones, which in many cases had created confusion and duplication of duties as well as generated infighting.

The participants noted that the duplication of duties and the confusion created drove away potential investors and instead, called for the strengthening of existing institutions as well as the clear delineation of responsibilities to avoid the duplication.

In a speech read by Mr Saeed Owusu-Brobbey, Ashanti Regional Manager of the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) on behalf of Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director-General of PEF, he said PEF was seeking information on how companies conducted themselves and how their activities affected suppliers, customers, employees, communities and the environment.

Dr Boeh-Ocansey expressed the hope that the information that would be gathered at the workshop would enable PEF to put together a draft report on corporate governance development in the country. 27 Aug. 04

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