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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Africa Eastern and Southern (AFE) | Africa Western and Central (AFW) | Sub-Saharan Africa
2021-08-23T16:16:27Z | 2021-08-23T16:16:27Z | 2021-08-12

Robust corporate governance is vital if power utilities are to perform well (Irwin and Yamamoto 2004; Foster and Rana 2020). Corporate governance has internal and external dimensions. Aspects of internal governance include board autonomy, the quality of board proceedings, separation of board and CEO roles, and clear expectations for the CEO’s performance. These expectations should then cascade down through management and staff. Employment policies help to ensure the presence of high-quality management and staff who can meet expectations. The methodical collection of data helps in monitoring performance of management, staff, and board. This means appropriate and supporting information systems must be available. This paper analyzes the data collected under UPBEAT’s T and A mandate to draw conclusions on the status of the region’s utilities. It also identifies what we call ‘quick wins’, simple achievements that could make utilities more transparent in the short term and spark important reforms. The paper first presents an overview of the literature and discusses objectives and methodology. It then moves on to present current T&A findings, making a case for certain improvements. Third, it recommends ways to obtain some quick wins. Fourth, and finally, the paper suggests ways to expand UPBEAT so it can track broader governance variables in the future.


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