Implementing a comprehensive and innovative governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) program enables organizations to address the multiple factors that are essential in managing and controlling enterprise risk. With an increase in activism among shareholders and increased scrutiny from the regulatory bodies, corporate boards and executive teams are more focused on governance related issues. Organizations have become sensitized to identifying and managing areas of risk in their business whether it is financial, operational, IT, brand or reputation related risk.
Strathmore Business School in collaboration with Thomson Reuters and financial services industry partners hosted the second East Africa Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Summit on 17th– 18th October 2018 at the Strathmore University Main Auditorium. The summit was themed Governance Risk and Compliance in the Digital Era.
Key speakers included Sheila M’mbijiwe – Deputy Governor Central Bank of Kenya, Prof. Bitange Ndemo – Head, Taskforce on Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Mutuku Nzomo – CEO, Retirement Benefits Authority, John Mwaka – CEO Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority, Julie Nyang’aya – Risk Advisory Leader, Deloitte EA, Denish Osodo – Director of Audit, Safaricom Ltd and Dr. Habil Olaka – CEO Kenya Banker Association.
In her remarks, Sheila M’mbijiwe noted that digital banking creates opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing costs, however, there are challenges in delivering a safe and secure service that may include; lack of adequate internal IT/cyber skills, inadequate customer awareness/sensitization to protect consumers and weak regulatory and compliance, internal audit & risk management functions. She further explained that there was room for banks to expand their digital solution through collaboration between Banks and Fintech and more usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools.
Speaking during the summit, Prof. Bitange Ndemo, Head, Taskforce on Blockchain and artificial intelligence, noted that opportunities come from blockchain. He insisted that for one to have a wealth of knowledge on blockchain one has to read a lot of content on blockchain to understand it.
Michael Maedon, Thomson Reuters, Enterprise Solutions and GRC Market Development Lead, in his presentation pointed out that corruption imposes a range of enormous direct and indirect costs on society, and disproportionately impacts the poor. Everyone both in the public and private sector has obligations to guard against corruption.
The panel took the audience through discussions around how financial institutions can support regulators in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. Financial crimes that include money laundering and terrorism financing are very costly to the economy. They threaten financial and non-financial institutions. They can easily ruin the soundness and integrity of a country’s financial system. Strathmore Business School takes part in training professionals in Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Training programmes.
“Culture of an organization is crucial when people are disconnected from the culture of an organization they don’t really care,” said Charles Wanyoike of Equity Bank group. A strong culture can be promoted by setting human resource policies to avoid mutual accountability, to promote open door communication and to develop a comprehensive training programme that builds skills to support behaviors such as detecting fraud red flags.