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The ESG Reporting Frameworks Applicable in Kenya



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*

The Nairobi Stock Exchange has developed its ESG Disclosure Manual to guide listed companies in Kenya on ESG reporting. However, 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 05/06/2022).

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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News & Analysis

Former KCB Company Secretary Sues Over Unlawful Dismissal




Former KCB Group Company Secretary Joseph Kamau Kania who has sued the Bank for Unlawful Dismissal

Former KCB Group Company Secretary Joseph Kamau Kania has sued the lender seeking reinstatement or be compensated for illegal sacking almost three years ago. Lawyer Kania was the KCB Group company secretary until restructuring of the lender in 2021 that saw some senior executives dropped.

Through the firm of Senior Counsel Wilfred Nderitu, Kamau wants the court to order KCB Group to unconditionally reinstate him to employment without altering any of the contractual terms until his retirement in December 2025.

In his court documents filed before Employment and Labour Relations Court, the career law banker seeks the court to declare the reorganization of the company structure a nullity and amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in Article 41(1) of the Constitution. He further wants the court to declare that the position of Group Company Secretary did not at any time cease to exist within the KCB Group structure.

He further urged the Employment Court to declare that the recruitment and appointment of Bonnie Okumu, his former assistant, as the Group Company Secretary, in relation to the contemporaneous termination of his employment, was unprocedural, insufficient and inappropriate to infer a lawful termination of his employment.

“A declaration that the factual and legal circumstances of the Petitioner’s termination of employment were insufficient and inappropriate to infer a redundancy against him, and that any redundancy declared by the KCB Group in relation to him was therefore null, void and of no legal effect and amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in Article 41(1) of the Constitution,” seeks lawyer Kamau.

Kamau says he was subjected to discriminatory practices by the KCB Bank Group in violation of his fundamental right to equality and freedom from discrimination as guaranteed in Article 27 of the Constitution and the termination of his employment was unfair, unjustified, illegal, null and void.

Lawyer Kamau further seeks the court to declare that the Non-Compete Clause in the 2016 Contract is unenforceable by the KCB Group as against him and is voidable by him as against the Bank ab initio, byreason of the termination of the Petitioner’s employment having been a violation of Articles 41(1) and 47(1) and (2) of the Constitution, and of the Employment Act.

He also wants the Employment Court to find that finding that KCB’s group legal representation by Messrs of Mohammed Muigai LLP Advocates law firm in respect of his claim for unlawful termination of employment resulted in a clear conflict of interest by reason of the fact that a Founding and Senior Partner at the said firm lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga is also the Chairman of the CBK’s Board of Directors.

“A Declaration that the circumstances of KCB’s legal representation by Messrs. Mohammed Muigai LLP Advocates resulted in a violation of the Petitioner’s fundamental right to have the employment dispute decided independently and impartially, as guaranteed in Article 50(1) of the Constitution,” seeks lawyer Kamau.

Kamau is seeking damages against both KCB Group and Central Bank of Kenya jointly and severally for the violation of his constitutional and fundamental right to fair labour practices.

He wants  further wants court to declare that CBK is liable to petitioner on account of its breach of statutory duty to effectively regulate KCB Group to ensure that KCB complied with the Central Bank of Kenya Prudential Guidelines and all other Laws, Rules, Codes and Standards, and that, as an issuer of securities, it complied with capital markets legislation.

Kamau through his lawyer Nderitu told the court that he was involved in Shareholder engagement in introducing the Group aide-mémoire that significantly improved the management of the Annual General Meetings, including obtaining approval without voting through the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Kenya Commercial Bank Limited among others.

He said that during his employment at KCB Bank Kenya and with the KCB Group, he initially worked well with former KCB CEO Joseph Oigara until 2016 when the CEO allegedly started sidelining him by removing the legal function from his reporting line.

He further claims he was transferred from the Group’s offices at Kencom House to its offices Upper Hill under the guise that the Petitioner was merely to support the KCB Group Board.

He adds that at that point his roles were given to Okumu for reasons that were not related to work demands.  He stated that Oigara at one time proposed that he should leave his role in the KCB Group and go and serve as the Company Secretary of the National Bank of Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of the Group, a suggestion which he disagreed with to Oigara’s utter annoyance.

Kamau stated that his work was thenceforth unfairly discredited, leading to his being taken through a disciplinary process whose intended outcome failed miserably, and the Petitioner was vindicated.

“More specifically, the Petitioner contends that the purported creation of a new organizational structure towards the end of 2020 was in fact Oigara’s orchestration targeted to remove certain individuals by requiring them to undergo interviews in the pretext that new roles were created, and amounted to a further violation of the Petitioner’s fundamental right to fair labour practices under Article 41(1) of the Constitution,” said in his court documents.

He further adds that this sham reorganization demonstrates how the role of the KCB Group Company Secretary purportedly ceased to be and was then very briefly replaced with a new role of the KCB Group General Counsel. The role of KCB Group Company Secretary then ‘resurfaced’ immediately thereafter, in total violation of legal and regulatory requirements.

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