Hawkamah and ISACA create MENA region's first IT corporate governance standard



Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance (Hawkamah), a subsidiary of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, today announced its partnership with ISACA, a leading global association in information technology (IT) governance, control, security and assurance. The two organisations today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will create the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s first IT corporate governance framework.

The new standards set by Hawkamah and ISACA provide a crucial step toward improving corporate governance standards in a critical risk area for public and private sector entities in the MENA region. Today’s signing has a number of core objectives, including to:

  • Improve the IT corporate governance practices of private and public sector entities within MENA, including listed companies, banks and financial institutions, and state-owned enterprises
  • Help develop national, modern IT related governance frameworks for entities within the MENA in accordance with international best practices for the public and the private sectors.
  • Co-operate on corporate governance and IT governance practices, which are critical components of sound banking and financial markets
  • Recommend the introduction of IT governance committees in public and private sector entities to continually audit the effectiveness of established systems

Dr. Nasser Saidi , Executive Director of Hawkamah, said:
“This is an important step for establishing and implementing IT corporate governance within public and private sector entities in the MENA region. IT governance is an integral part of corporate governance and has been largely neglected until now. It is key to ensuring that corporate governance works on a practical level and is of particular relevance to banks, which rely so heavily on IT infrastructure to service their clients.”

Saji Oommen, President of ISACA UAE Chapter, concluded:
“Good IT governance represent the ‘nuts and bolts’ of ensuring that a corporate governance framework is viable, especially as banks implement Basel II principles. As an integral part of any organisation, IT governance should be the responsibility of the board of directors and executive management. Having an IT governance standard ensures an organisation’s systems are able uphold the correct standards”.

Hawkamah and ISACA intend to undertake an IT corporate governance survey later this year to gauge the state of governance in the MENA region.

Hawkamah is an autonomous, regional entity whose mission is to assist countries and companies of the wider MENA region in developing sound and globally well-integrated corporate governance frameworks and practices. ISACA is a global association of information technology professionals, which develops international information systems and auditing and control standards.

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