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ESG Reporting Requirements from Other Organisations Besides NSE



By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), Winner of Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, ADR Publication of the Year 2021 and CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021*

Besides the Nairobi Stock Exchange and its ESG Disclosure Manual, there are several other organizations that have ESG reporting requirements relevant to listed companies in Kenya. These include the Capital Markets Authority, the United Nations Global Compact, various investment groups, the CDP and industry level reporting requirements like those imposed by the Central Bank of Kenya touching on the operations of licensed Banks. Here below, we explore the basics of each of these ESG reporting requirements and how listed companies in Kenya comply with it.

The Capital Markets Authority

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) published the Code of Corporate Governance Practices for Issuers of Securities to the Public in 2015. It requires listed companies to explain in their annual reports how they have applied the recommendations contained in the Code. Within the Code, the CMA also provides examples of topics that the Boards of listed companies should treat as material. The ESG Manual gives guidelines how the ESG reporting approach suggested in it can be used to meet the reporting requirements of the CMA code. These include by identifying the CMA as a key stakeholder for listed companies within the situational analysis and stakeholder engagement phases. Second, it involves analysing the CMA’s expectations of the organisation and the reporting requirements contained in the CMA Code.

Third, complying with the CMA code under the ESG Manual means including disclosures requirements on the Code as part of the assessed material ESG topics for disclosure. These have been proposed as a mandatory disclosure topic for all listed companies, that is, governance under general disclosure topics. In addition, it takes generating content on the organisation’s performance around these topics using the guide proposed in this manual and reference to the GRI Standards on governance disclosures. It also entails submitting extracts or the full ESG report discussing performance on these indicators to the CMA within the agreed timelines with the CMA. In this case, the ESG report should be published within the reporting timelines required for CMA submissions.

Investor groups

As a way of managing assessed environmental and social risk in debt and equity investments, some institutional investors typically require the implementation of an environmental and social management system. Thus, depending on the assessed risk profile, beneficiary organisations are required to report at least annually on performance on several pre-identified environmental and social performance metrics. Through the reporting process proposed in this manual, listed companies should be able to develop content around the organisation’s approach to these topics and demonstrate performance during the reporting period. It is noteworthy that environmental and social risk management is one of the mandatory ESG topics proposed for all listed companies. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability is one example of ESG indicators and metrics that investors commonly refer to when evaluating investments.

United Nations Global Compact

There are more than 200 organisations in Kenya, including some listed companies, that are participants of the Global Compact Network Kenya, the local arm of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The UNGC has developed a set of 10 principles that organisations can voluntarily adopt and integrate into their own strategies and operations. These principles cover four issue areas including Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-corruption. In turn, the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact is a key guideline in that regard.

The UNGC encourages participants to self-assess, prepare, and submit a Communication on Progress (CoP) report to the UNGC on their performance around these four topical areas. According to the UNGC, “Your CoP should be fully integrated into your company’s main stakeholder communications, most often your annual or sustainability report.” By developing an annual ESG report discussing organisational performance around these topics, listed companies can submit an extract of the ESG report to fulfil the requirements of the annual CoP submissions to the UNGC. Further, applying the GRI standards ensures compliance to the CoP reporting requirements. Organisations can also refer to the UNGC guidance document on Using GRI’s Guidelines to Create a CoP.

The Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP)

The CDP is a non-profit charity helps in promoting transparency in environmental reporting by cities and companies around the world. Signatory companies provide performance data on climate change, water security and deforestation on a selfdisclosure basis. This self-reported data is then used by investors and other stakeholders to make informed data driven decisions with regards to the reporting company’s environmental impacts. For example, investors can use data in the CDP database to calculate the carbon intensity of their portfolio. Investors can also select entities that demonstrate climate resilience by evidenced implementation of strategies that future proof their organisations against climate related polices and regulations. There is need to consider that the CDP and GRI use common metrics on reporting on carbon emissions. The ESG reporting presented in this manual can be used to collect and report data to the CDP. Organisations can select any or all the disclosure topics as part of their materiality assessment exercise and build reporting content within the ESG report that meets the CDP self-disclosure requirements.

Industry level reporting

Certain industry groups in Kenya have developed voluntary ESG related guidelines for consideration by member organisations. For example, in the banking sector in Kenya, the Kenya Bankers Association, the trade association for banks in Kenya, has developed the Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) industry principles for the banking sector. Further, recently the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has developed Guidance on Climate Related Risk Management for the banking sector. The aim of the Guidance is to sensitize the banking sector on mitigation of climate-related risks and harnessing of opportunities. It also offers guidance on the development and implementation of appropriate climate-related strategies and policies. Given the current trajectory of ESG and emphasis placed by investors on ESG integration, it is expected that more trade associations and industry groupings in Kenya will develop specific ESG guidelines for adoption by their members. Industry guidelines provide relevant insights on ESG issues impacting the industry and listed companies can refer to such guidelines when identifying material ESG topics for disclosure using the framework proposed in this manual.

*This article is part of an ongoing series on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) in Kenya by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya). Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized as one of the leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts by the Chambers Global Guide 2022. 



NSE, “ESG Disclosures Guidance Manual,” November 2021; Available at: on 10/02/2022).

News & Analysis

Why is THE LAWYER AFRICA Listing Top Law Firms and Top Lawyers?




The Litigation Hall of Fame | Kenya in 2023 (The Most Distinguished 50 Litigation Lawyers in Kenya).

We live in the age of information overload where too much information (TMI) is increasingly making it difficult to find actionable legal data about a good law firm or lawyer. At the same time, legal services are increasingly going digital and finding your next lawyer is a now a matter of a few clicks. Many existing, new and potential clients are interested to know more about the lawyer handling or likely to handle their next case or transaction as every HR Manager seeks to know how their In-house Lawyer or next hire compares to peers.

The biggest dilemma especially for commercial consumers of legal services  is where to begin the journey in finding the law firm or the lawyer to meet their immediate legal need created by their new venture,  business, transaction or dispute. In-house counsel are also called upon to justify opting for one lawyer or law firm or over the other.  Hence, the rise in the popularity of international law directories rankings as an attempt to fill the yawning gap by listing a few dozen lawyers and law firms in esoteric categories that often don’t align with the legal needs of the domestic legal market.

But ranking two dozen elite lawyers or big law firms in a big jurisdiction like Kenya there are over 20,000 lawyers is merely a drop in the ocean. The result is the same candidates are listed year after year and an In-house Legal Team looking to infuse new blood in their external counsel panel is left very little discretion. At best, International legal ranking only succeed to tilt the scales in favour of few big firms and their lawyers and to aid the choice of International Legal buyers who are constrained for time in picking their External Counsel in jurisdictions where they cannot find referrals.

The questions that beg are: What about the other top law firms and lawyers who are equally good if not better but don’t have the time to fill the technical paperwork that comes with International Legal Directories rankings? What about Domestic Legal Buyers who simply want to justify why they prefer a lawyer or law firm not listed in the International Directory? Can increasing the number of listed lawyers or law firms from less 0.1% of the profession (as captured by International Law Directories) to at least 1% of the profession or higher for those specializing in the practice area help in enhancing access to justice in Africa? Can ranking law firms by number of fee earners help in the quest for a more accurate bird’s eye view of a country’s legal landscape?

At THE LAWYER AFRICA, we have set out to list Top Law Firms and Top Lawyers in the various practice areas in a way that democratizes law rankings and listings and brings this essential value add within reach of most lawyers and every law firms doing top legal work. We don’t promise to list all the top lawyers or law firms, but we commit to make sure every lawyer or law firm we list is at the top of the game in the listed practice area. We aim to help both little known and already known law firms and lawyers doing top legal work in their area of specialization get discovered by discerning clients and possibly get more opportunities to do great work.

THE LAWYER AFRICA is looking to list up to Top 200 Law Firms in every African Jurisdiction based on their reputation and number of fee earners headcount with a goal of listing at least Africa’s Top 1,000 Law Firms which are leaders in their respective countries. We also seek to list up to Top 1,000 Lawyers in every country in Africa in at least five main practice areas, namely, Litigation, Commercial Law, Property law, In-house and Private Sector or more.

THE LAWYER AFRICA categorizes law firms in large jurisdictions as Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 50 and Top 100 (and allow tying where number of counsel is equal). The Top Lawyers are listed in three categories, namely, Hall of Fame (the Distinguished Top 50 or 75 Practitioners in a Practice Area), Top 100 (the Leading Top 100 Practitioners in a Practice Area) and Up-and-Coming (the promising Top 50 or 75 Practitioners in a Practice Area).  The placing of a listings depends on a number of key factors including the number of key matters or transactions handled, years in practice and experience, size of team working under a counsel, reputation and opinion of peers (where available) as established by THE LAWYER AFRICA.

THE LAWYER AFRICA prefers to list a counsel in only one listing, as far as possible. The Team tries (as far as possible) not to contact listed law firms or lawyers before the listing is finalized in the first. However, a listed law firm or lawyer may be contacted at the pre-launch stage of a list for purposes of selling merchandise relating to the launch but such engagement will not affect the listing. In case of future listings, it is expected that interested lawyers or law firms who feel they were previously left out of the list may to provide information for consideration to determine if they qualify for the next listing but that will not guarantee any listing.

THE LAWYER AFRICA undertakes not to charge for listing any lawyer or law firm. However, upon publication of a listing, as part of recovering the sunk costs we incur in the research and publication of the listings, we shall charge a token for printing and shipping of Quality A3 Certificate for listed Law Firms and/or A4 Certificate for listed Lawyers who wish to have or display the branded souvenirs or to use our proprietary digital materials in their business  branding. We may also charge listed and unlisted law firms and lawyers an affordable fee for limited banner advertising or publishing of enhanced profiles next to the listings.

For any question or feedback on any list or listing, feel free to contact THE LAWYER AFRICA PUBLISHER at info[at]thelawyer[dot]africa.

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News & Analysis

The Roles of the Three Parts of the Permanent Court of Arbitration




H.E. Amb. Marcin Czepelak, the Fourteenth Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

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News & Analysis

Brief History of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)




By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD, C.Arb, Current Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Representing the Republic of Kenya.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is a 124 Years Old Intergovernmental Organization currently with 122 contracting states. It was established at the turn of 20th Century during the first Hague Peace Conference held between 18th May and 29th July 1899. The conference was an initiative of then Russian Czar Nicholas II to discuss peace and disarmament and specifically with the object of “seeking the most effective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and, above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments.” The culmination of the conference was the adoption of a Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which dealt not only with arbitration but also with other methods of pacific settlement, such as good offices and mediation.

The aim of the conference was to “strengthen systems of international dispute resolution” especially international arbitration which in the last century had proven effective for the purpose with number of successful international arbitrations being concluded among Nations. The Alabama arbitration of 1871-1872 between the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) under the Treaty of Washington of 1871 culminating in the arbitral tribunal’s award that the UK pay the US compensation for breach of neutrality during American Civil War which it did had demonstrated the effectiveness of arbitration in settling of international disputes and piqued interest of many practitioners in it as a mode of dispute resolution during the latter years of the nineteenth century.

The Institut de Droit International adopted a code of procedure for arbitration in 1875 to answer the need for a general law of arbitration governing for countries and parties wishing to have recourse to international arbitration. The growth of arbitration as a mode of international dispute resolution formed the background of the 1899 conference and informed its most enduring achievement, namely, the establishment of the PCA as the first global mechanism for the settlement of disputes between states. Article 16 of the 1899 Convention recognized that “in questions of a legal nature, and especially in the interpretation or application of International Conventions” arbitration is the “most effective, and at the same time the most equitable, means of settling disputes which diplomacy has failed to settle.”

In turn, the 1899 Convention provided for the creation of permanent machinery to enable the setting up of arbitral tribunals as necessary and to facilitate their work under the auspices of the institution it named as the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). In particular, Article 20 of the 1899 Convention stated that “[w]ith the object of facilitating an immediate recourse to arbitration for international differences which it has not been possible to settle by diplomacy, the signatory Powers undertake to organize a Permanent Court of Arbitration, accessible at all times and operating, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, in accordance with the rules of procedure inserted in the present Convention.” In effect, the Convention set up a permanent system of international arbitration and institutionalized the law and practice of arbitration in a definite and acceptable way.

As a result, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) was established in 1900 and began operating in 1902. The PCA as established consisted of a panel of jurists designated by each country acceding to the Convention with each country being entitled to designate up to four from among whom the members of each arbitral tribunal might be chosen. In addition, the Convention created a permanent Bureau, located in The Hague, with functions similar to those of a court registry or secretariat. The 1899 Convention also laid down a set of rules of procedure to govern the conduct of arbitrations under the PCA framework.

The second Hague Peace Conference in 1907 saw a revision of the 1899 Convention and improvement of the rules governing arbitral proceedings. Today, the PCA has developed into a modern, multi-faceted arbitral institution perfectly situated to meet the evolving dispute resolution needs of the international community. The Permanent Court of Arbitration has also diversified its service offering alongside those contemplated by the Conventions. For instance, today the International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration serves as a registry in important international arbitrations. In 1993, the Permanent Court of Arbitration adopted new “Optional Rules for Arbitrating Disputes between Two Parties of Which Only One Is a State” and, in 2001, “Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and/or the Environment”.


PCA Website: (accessed on 25th May 2023).

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