CMA bets on FiRe Awards to attract investors


CMA chief executive Paul Muthaura. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Improved quality of financial reporting will help East African region to attract investors as a bloc, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has said, calling for more focus on standardised reporting in the region.

CMA chief executive Paul Muthaura said Wednesday during the launch of 18th edition of Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award that opportunities presented by Continental Free Trade Area calls for enhanced financial disclosures that can attract investors.

“The free trade area has raised potential for business growth but sustainability and impact will much be a function of adoption of sound financial reporting, governance and accountability in the region,” said Mr Muthaura.

Adding that “Adoption of high standards will be key in attracting investors to the region, particularly through the capital markets.”

This year’s theme is ‘Enhancing corporate value through excellence in financial reporting for cross-border trade and investment facilitation in East Africa and beyond,’ putting focus on regional trade and investment.

Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Geoffrey Odundo said high quality reporting and a sturdy regulatory framework for Kenya will be key in mobilising domestic investments and international capital flow into the country.

“We want to continuously enhance sound reporting across the region driving on trade agreements that call for conventional and highly standardised financial disclosures,” said Mr Odundo.

Speaking at the launch, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Keya (ICPAK) chief executive Edwin Makori said the incorporation of public entities in the awards has helped more entities strengthen reporting, having moved from cash reporting.

“As we attract investors, public sector will need to be as transparent as possible to provide much needed information to invest in the region,” he said.

Started in 2002, the award seeks to promote excellence in financial reporting among regional entities. Last year, Sameer Africa won the overall award in Kenya while Umeme and CRDB Bank won the overall award in Uganda and Rwanda respectively.