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Sub-Saharan African corporates: more transparency needed

A lack of corporate disclosure tempers the bullish sentiment towards Sub-Saharan African companies.

Apparently, tides are changing. Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the most undervalued markets in the world has upped its game. As global investors tap into the region’s economic potential, research houses are extending their nets to offer in-depth and up-to-date information on the region and domestic companies. As demand in African stocks increases, calls for better corporate transparency have snowballed. Companies in the region are being forced to divulge more and more information about their quarterly earnings, business strategy and revenue projections.

So - that’s the theory. But when this little old reporter for Euromoney approached companies in Sub-Saharan Africa – which were voted as the best in their categories in a brand new Euromoney survey - to ask them about investor relations and customer communications, they should have gushed at the opportunity to reveal their strategies.

However, a dispiriting number of companies are still woefully inefficient at communication. It’s a familiar investor gripe: many Sub-Saharan African companies are still dragging their feet and are only slowly developing their investor relations strategy and communication outreach.

Management at Nigeria’s agri giant Dangote Cement – a bellwether for the growing corporate ambitions of Sub-Saharan African corporate - should pay attention to these issues if it wants to make good on its promise to list in London.

Stay tuned for Euromoney’s survey of the best managed research houses and companies in Sub-Saharan Africa in our upcoming issue.

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