Corporate Governance in Africa: The Role and Performance of Board of Directors. Myth and Reality. The Cameroon Evidence

Areneke, Geofry Nfortaw Agbor (2015). Corporate Governance in Africa: The Role and Performance of Board of Directors. Myth and Reality. The Cameroon Evidence. MRes thesis The Open University.



Grounded on a multi-theoretic approach, the purpose of this study was to investigate and examine the role and performance of board of directors in corporate governance in Cameroon. The study was motivated by the absence of rigorous corporate governance studies aimed at understanding the role of boards in an African context. The study adopted an exploratory research design in which data was collected through questionnaire survey and analysed quantitative. A qualitative follow up on the quantitative findings to provide a robust explanation was conducted.

The findings suggest that, boards in Cameroon perform multiple roles as identified-by the various theories of corporate governance. However, board resource or networking was highlighted to be the most important role boards in Cameroon are committed to perform. This was followed by strategic control, behavioural control, strategic participation, output control, and stakeholder task respectively.

Results pointed to the fact that, board roles depending on how it is executed does affect performance of firms. Boards that perform various roles have a positive effect on firm performance while boards that are majority shareholder oriented have a negative effect on the firm’s performance. It also emerged that corporate governance is perceived differently within various industries in Cameroon. Findings also suggest CG practices in Cameroon are very much nascent.

The study recommends that corporate governance in Cameroon should be made very visible by implementing separate corporate governance impetus geared at ensuring accountability and transparency in the way firms operate. It also recommends the protection of minority shareholders in firms where there exists concentrated ownership. Finally the study recommends owners of firms to hire directors who understand risk so that; while they control management, they can effectively and efficiently contribute towards firm’s strategy and direction to enhance firm performance.

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