Corporate Board Characteristics and Voluntary Disclosure by Firms Listed in East Africa Securities Exchanges

Charity Muthoni Ndegwa ,Peter Wang’ombe Kariuki ,Kennedy Nyabuto Ocharo
Keywords: corporate board characteristics, voluntary disclosure, Listed firms, East Africa Securities Exchanges ,


Adherence to board characteristics will ensure that corporate voluntary disclosure is an indispensable way for the firms’ management to commune governance and performance to outsiders. The study sought to evaluate the influence of corporate board characteristics on the voluntary disclosure of firms listed in East Africa Securities Exchanges. The study was guided by agency theory. The study used the pragmatist research philosophy and ex post facto research design. The target population was comprised of 104 companies and census was used to study the 104 companies listed in the East African Securities Exchanges. Data was drawn from the annual reports and information circulars for the years 2011 to 2020 of all listed companies at the East African Security Exchanges listed in the said period from their respective websites.  It was found that only social and board information had a significant influence on voluntary disclosures. Board diversity did not have a significant effect. Social and Board Disclosure Index had a positive relationship with Financial Disclosures. On the other hand, the Social and Board Disclosure Index has a negative, statistically significant relationship with forward-looking disclosure. The study concludes that social and board information influences voluntary disclosures of listed Firms in East Africa Securities Exchanges. The study recommends the proper structuring, creation, and optimization of board structure in terms of optimal board size, the combination of independent and non-independent directors, and the diverse composition of the board in terms of gender and expertise to enhance voluntary disclosure. In light of other studies done in other countries that have shown significant relationships, it is recommended that the regulatory authorities in the four countries should benchmark against similar listed firms abroad so as to enhance disclosures and possibly improve the performance of listed firms.