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I help listed companies communicate effectively.

How beneficial is your stock exchange listing and does your stock exchange offer you good customer and investor service?

Stock exchanges exist to serve the best interests of listed companies and their investors and stakeholders.

When was the last time your stock exchange reached out and asked for feedback?

Africa’s stock exchanges are requiring stakeholder-related sustainability reporting on listed companies while at the same time not applying the same principles to their activities.

Consider the sustainability reporting frameworks requirements on stakeholder engagement below (I have changed “stakeholders” to “stock exchanges” accordingly):

THE GRI – Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):

Under GRI’s Stakeholder Engagement Standard, stock exchanges must have an effective process to identify, engage and assess the needs of their stakeholders and define what constitutes meaningful engagement.
They must also consider whom to engage and “design communication channels” accordingly.

THE SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB):

The SASB recommends that stock exchanges consider stakeholders’ perspectives to understand financial material issues.
Specific disclosure guidance includes identifying key stakeholders (retail, institutional, foreign, local), outlining the purpose and process of engagement, summarizing the nature of the engagement and the main topics discussed, and disclosing the action being taken in response to stakeholder feedback.

THE IIRC – International Integrated Reporting Council:

The IIRC’s Integrated Reporting Framework focuses on how stakeholders interact with and influence the stock exchange and how it influences its stakeholders.
Stock exchanges adhering to the IIRC’s guidelines must identify the stakeholders affected by their operations, describe how their activities will likely affect those stakeholders, and document how they consider stakeholders’ views when making material decisions.

Recommendation

The African Stock Exchanges Association and similar pan-African and regional stock exchanges should launch a public initiative to standardise the identification of stakeholders across their markets, and then engage them (each stakeholder group) to discover areas in which they do well, and areas that require improvement.
The same format should be used across every African stock market.
Then the stock exchanges should aggregate all the reports into one pan-African stock market report on stakeholder engagement.

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AfricanFinancials works with Boards, CEOs and companies who want to build sustainable businesses through better corporate and investor communications. Our focus is online investor relations to promote secure two-way communications with investors and stakeholders.