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Africa Poses a Challenge to Multinationals Trying to be Compliant

The US applies stringent rules to multinational companies which do business within its territory under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This Act applies extra-territorially to companies, requiring them to provide evidence of their compliance with specific US financial regulations (eg the rules forbidding corruption). Inevitably the US (and similar EU rules) require compliance also in the countries in which these multinationals operate. 48% of global corporate leaders are struggling with Africa’s compliance landscape. A Baker McKenzie report based on interviews with global corporate leaders and legal advisors shows that Africa is considered among the most challenging regions in which to do business from a compliance standpoint. The rapidly evolving legal and regulatory landscape across Africa is making it hard for businesses to stay compliant and avoid risks. As the report notes, many Africa countries have more opaque legislative and regulatory frameworks, less predictable legal processes, and less consistent enforcement. The costs of non-compliance are also steep.

Alastair Tempest

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