Sefalana Holdings Limited recently walked away with two awards at the prestigious corporate reporting awards when it won the Commerce and Industry category as well emerging the overall winner at the Best Published Corporate Report and Accounts. “Winning the prize for best in Commerce and Industry and also the overall best in the country is a fantastic result for us at Sefalana. This is the second year in a row that have won both prizes. Each year we try to do even better and we are proud to be raising the bar and setting the standard in Botswana for Corporate Reporting such that we are now doing things at a caliber that meets the level required in the international arena. We are pleased to have been recognized for our efforts and look to continue to do our bit for the growth and progressing of this industry in Botswana. We have seen a huge improvement over the last 5 years and would like to ensure that we continue to be at the leading edge of best practice in Corporate reporting,” said Mohammed Osman, Sefalana Finance Director. The awards that date back to 1990 are held annually by auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers in collaboration with Business Botswana. According to promoters of the awards, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of corporate annual financial statements reporting.
The objectives of the awards is to among others ensure that published financial statements comply with international accounting standards and statutory disclosure requirements, to foster acceptance and observance of generally accepted accounting principles in Botswana, to encourage the Botswana business community to improve the standard of financial reporting, through benchmarking and adoption of best practice, and to promote Corporate Social Responsibility. The prestigious awards are bestowed on entities that are quoted on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), parastatals that publish annual reports Not for Profit Organisations and Commerce & Industry. In other categories, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) won the financial services category, beating Barclays Bank Botswana to the award while Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) won the parastatals category with Botswana Vaccine Institute Limited coming second on the category. The Commerce and Industry award went to Sefalana, beating Wilderness Safaris Limited with the latter going on to win itself best Corporate Social Responsibility. Senior Partner at PWC, Butler Phirie said the level public consciousness has awaken in recent times and therefore the public is yearning for more transparency in decisions affecting their resources as they demand better governance. He said corporate reporting is a vital component of corporate governance as it ensures that accounting for resources at the disposal of corporates, tell the story of how well stakeholder resources are managed and ensure sustainability. “We need to ensure that business adheres to highest standards of corporate governance with responsibility accounting frameworks at the centre of it all,” he said.
According to Phirie, corporate governance demands understanding and acknowledgement that an organization is an integral part of the community and society at large. “In the same token it also demands accountability towards current and future stakeholders. Therefore it sits as bedrock of an organization even more so than the strategy,” said Phirie. Phirie said the recently launched King IV Corporate Governance advocates integrated thinking which takes account of the connectivity interdependencies between aspects which affect an organization’s ability to create value. “Therefore there is a great need that organisations embrace the ideals of corporate governance and ensure that they are included and implemented holistically and not merely viewing it as a nice to have. This challenge also goes to the shareholders and other stakeholders on whose direction of organisations is vested.”