KAMPALA – The League of East African Directors (LEAD) in partnership with Ernst & Young, on Wednesday launched the “Non-Executive Directors Awards” dubbed the NED Awards 2023.
Slated for 23rd November 2023 at Sheraton Hotel Kampala, the awards are aimed to honor the accomplishments of Non-Executive Directors who play a pivotal role in the daily success and growth of businesses across Uganda and the broader East African region.
This year’s event will be celebrated under the theme “Celebrating Excellence in Stewardship.” The Keynote Speaker will be Mr. Batho Makhakhe, Partner People Advisory Services.
Ms. Pheona Wall Nabasa – CEO, LEAD told the press that the event is dedicated to celebrating their expertise, strategic guidance, and their contributions towards fostering NEDs and enhancing the quality of board directors in the region.
She noted that the NED awards serve as a foundational platform for Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) aspiring to secure more prominent board roles and offer them an opportunity for professional growth within the governance sector throughout East Africa.
“We’ve seen an impact. From the first time that we launched the awards, one of the things that has happened is that the value of governance has increased. As you can understand, in 2017, the Auditor General’s office in Uganda released a report on governance and it was very damning on banks, private and public companies.”
“But also, we saw in the early 2000s the collapse of banks across the East African region and this was all due to governance issues. Most of these banks were family-owned, and they took a lot of governance issues for granted,” she said.
Ms. Wall revealed that they have registered a growth in the importance of governance.
“In fact, the courts have ruled that now that directors’ duties are no longer just judiciary, they are now legal. You can be arrested for the wrong decisions because the standard for our director now is a standard of skill. It’s no longer to just get anybody.”
Ms. Jackie Tahanizibwa – Corporate Relations Manager at Uganda Breweries noted that in most cases, because these board members are not executive members of the organizations, they do a lot but “we tend to forget to celebrate them.”
“So as UBL, we are very excited to be a part of the celebration, because we believe in celebrating life every day, everywhere, and that is our purpose. So we are really proud to be a part of this occasion where directors are going to be awarded and celebrated.”
“So we’re hoping that they can be inspired by these awards, and even the upcoming directors will pick a leaf from this occasion.”
Ms. Sandra Nakibuule Batte, Associate Director – Markets & Business Development Ernst & Young said “With a commitment to excellence, EY’s role as the Quality Assurance partner for the NED Awards is an embodiment of our dedication to maintaining the integrity and objectivity of the recognition process for outstanding non-executive directors.”
The NED AWARDS chairman organizing committee Mr. Jimmy Serugo applauded its partners Ernst & Young who felt compelled to create an opportunity through which the role and contributions of the Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) are appropriately appreciated.
Eunice Waweru- the Finance and Strategy Director-Uganda Breweries Limited concluded, “As UBL, we are proud and honored to be part of the 3rd NED Awards to recognize and honor all the non-executive directors whose contribution is key to ensuring sustainable business operations and overall performance.”
The awards will seek to recognize the role of NEDs in the categories of;
- Listed companies:
- Private, Public, and Not-for-Profit Sectors
- Lifetime Achievement: Honoring those whose wisdom and leadership have left an indelible mark.
- NED to Watch: Highlighting Rising stars, the future leaders in the Boardroom.