Codes of Conduct

The following section deals with country- and region-based codes of business conduct. With regard to specific industry sectors you will find more information on the Useful Links pages of this site.

Business Codes in Africa

Business Association Against Corruption - Malawi 

Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC) is a governance programme involving both public and private sectors primarily in Malawi, but also in Botswana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Zambia. In addition, BAAC is a flagship governance programme under Business Action for Africa, established at the G8 summit in order to promote Africa's development. In May 2009, the BACC won the 2nd prize in the World Bank's Anti-Corruption Collective Action Competition.

The Business Code of Conduct for Combating Corruption in Malawi, endorsed by the Malawi President in December 2006, is a product of a longer term process by Malawian companies, developed, through a private sector initiative and coordinated by the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) in Malawi. The Code assists organisations to develop effective actions in combating corruption in all its forms.  It provides a framework for good business practices and risk management strategies for countering corruption. It covers principles to combat corruption, requirements related to the development of such a programme and standards, as well as requirements for implementing the Code of Conduct; including training, resources, concerns, monitoring and reviews.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is a unified organisation for business in South Africa and represents business on macro-economic and other high-level issues which affect business at national and international levels. Members are from about 50 business associations. BUSA, with the support of GTZ in South Africa has commissioned the Ethics Institute of South Africa (Ethics SA) to put together a charter and a set of guidelines for the private sector in South Africa.

The South African Charter of Ethical Business Practice sets out principles and guidelines on business ethics within a South African context. In order to promote ethical business practices, BUSA commits itself to responsibility, integrity, respect and fairness in line with standards set out in the charter. This charter is applicable to the South African business community.

ACIS - Mozambique

Associaçao Comercial e Industrial de Sofala (ACIS) in Mozambique is an apolitical, autonomous, private, non-profit association, which was founded in 2000. It contributes to the promotion and development of commerce and industry through the strengthening and sustainability of local business. It further aims to establish an economy based on private sector participation in Mozambique. ACIS is based in the Mozambican province of Sofala and currently has over 185 members. This represents a combined investment of 10 billion US dollars, with a combined workforce of more than 50,000 employees, working with more than 200,000 community outreach programmes.

ACIS, in keeping with its commitment to transparency and good governance, and as part of its ongoing fight against illegal trade and corruption has developed a Code of Business Principles. The code covers a broad spectrum, including employment, accountability, community, environment and integrity. It was originally signed by 22 companies and is published in English and Portuguese.

Business Codes in other countries/regions

German Corporate Governance Code

The Government Commission appointed by the Justice Minister in September 2001, adopted the German Corporate Governance Code on February 26, 2002. The German Corporate Governance Code presents statutory regulations for the management and supervision (governance) of German listed companies and contains internationally and nationally recognised standards for good and responsible governance.

The aim of the German Corporate Governance Code is to make Germany’s corporate governance rules transparent and understandable to both national and international investors, thus strengthening confidence in the management of German corporations. The Code addresses all major criticisms, like inadequate focus on shareholder interests; the two-tier system of executive board and supervisory board; inadequate transparency of German corporate governance; inadequate independence of German supervisory boards and; limited independence of financial statement auditors.

APEC - Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct for Business

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the only inter-governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants. APEC has no treaty obligations required of its participants. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis. The organisation has 21 members.

Its Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct for Business covers business integrity and transparency like the prohibition of, and a programme to counter bribery. The code also provides a brief differentiation between hospitality and expenses, charitable contributions, gifts, facilitation payments and political contributions. It includes short requirements related to business relationships, communication, leadership, financial recording and auditing, human resources, training, monitoring and review, raising concerns, seeking guidance, organisation and responsibilities.

Business Codes within Development Cooperation Agencies

The Codes of Conduct from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the Danish organisation DANIDA can be transferred into companies when dealing with collaborations between partners in the public and private sector.

Both the GTZ Code of Conduct and the DANIDA Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct, cover aspects like active and passive bribery, acceptance of gifts and other advantages, donation of gifts and granting of other advantages, employment of closely connected or related persons, the aspect of conflicts of interest and the respect for laws.  The DANIDA Code of Conduct specifically includes a chapter on anti-corruption.