The Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), the umbrella body of private businesses in the country has introduced both the codes of business ethics and the guiding code of corporate governance that will promote integrity and transparency.
The two business codes were launched early this week at the PSF main expo grounds in Gikondo.
Emmanuel Hategeka, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PSF, said that the codes will go along way in promoting integrity, transparency and professionalism in the business community.
“The main objective of this initiative is to create a new standard for the private sector by sensitizing businesses about the moral and social implications of their actions,” said Hategeka.
The code of business ethics and excellence will also aid companies in thinking through their motives, objectives, values and actions.
The code’s scope shall apply to the directors and managers of member companies, non executive directors, and all employees of the company. It will also involve shareholders of the company.
Tharcisse Karugarama, the Minister of Justice who was the guest of honour said that this development by PSF comes at the right time given Rwanda’s impressive ranking in the World Bank Doing Business.
“This will strengthen the identity and reputation of the private sector hence attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs),” explained Karugarama.
Along side the code of business ethics, the code of corporate governance has been introduced and this will ensure that there is improvement in systems and standards of governance in companies.
In a move to encourage adherence to good corporate practices, PSF is planning to introduce a Director’s Club and membership will be limited to companies that conform to the practices.
The code of corporate governance will help build confidence in business community, prevent financial crisis, curbing corporate scandals and driving reform among others.
Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA) also welcomed the codes saying it will work with PSF to implement the code since they will help reduce chances of companies being blacklisted in case of failure to abide by their obligation.
“Government and the private sector are complimentary and this will make the national tendering process smooth,” said Augustus Seminiga the head of RPPA.
Seminega said that due to lack of integrity, in 2007, 25 companies were blacklisted and disqualified from participating in national tenders. 19 of them forged documents while 6 did not respect their contractual obligations.
Last year, there were 6,452 tenders that were worth Rwf250 billion comprising 40 percent of the budget.