THE Institute for Sustainability Africa (Insaf) in conjunction with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) will next month host an investment conference in the capital.
Titled the 2nd Shareholders Forum & Responsible Investing in Zimbabwe conference 2014 the conference was aimed at encouraging responsible and sustainable investing in Zimbabwe by highlighting shareholders, including minorities and investors’ rights and responsibilities.
Organisers of the conference said it will encourage consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in investing decisions underlined by the United Nations Principles on Responsible Investing (UNPRI).
“The conference is part of a bigger and long-term goal of developing guiding principles for Responsible and Sustainable Investing in Zimbabwe. This conference is targeted at a broad range of shareholders, investors, minority shareholders, business leaders, companies and capital markets stakeholders,” Rodney Ndamba, chief executive of Insaf said.
He added that another key objective of the conference would be the building of sustainable companies through responsible investing by demanding good corporate governance through active shareholder participation in the companies people invested in.
The conference is expected to be officially opened by the Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Other key presenters will include Xolisa Dhlamini, United Nations — Principles on Responsible Investing, Network Manager for Southern Africa (South Africa) and Theo Botha, an Independent minority shareholder activist and consultant based in South Africa.
Experts argued that Zimbabwe’s capital markets required active shareholders to encourage more disclosures from public listed firms so as to protect investor interests.
Delegates at last year’s conference heard that most shareholders were not active enough as far as questioning and challenging decisions made by the board and management of companies in which they invested were concerned.
Shareholders were advised of the need to engage in activism so as to earn a return on capital invested, keep a watch over board remuneration and changes as well as keeping a tab on company viability.