Making A Difference In The Performance Of SAIs

A professionalisation strategy by Africa for Africa

Professionalisation strategy update – May 2017

In the last six months, we’ve made exciting progress on our AFROSAI-E Professionalisation Strategy. The strategy aims to bring stakeholders together at a regional level to “set the standard for public sector accounting and auditing professionals, and provide the 

tools to turn this standard into reality” (click here to obtain more information about the strategy). The strategy is currently in an awareness raising phase. The mantra for 2017 is to “Create awareness and build support. This update outlines the achievements to date.

Partnerships established

The Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) has partnered with AFROSAI-E to implement the professionalisation strategy. PAFA represents professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) across the continent. These organisations are key role players in driving professionalisation at country-level.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) also joined with us as development partners and are providing resources and expertise. This relationship is providing momentum for professionalisation and is opening doors to several key stakeholders at the regional and international level.

AFROSAI-E has been invited to participate in the public sector accountancy professionalisation implementation taking place in Zimbabwe with backing from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom (DFID). This participation is creating many synergies and opportunities for learning and resource sharing. As part of this process the project consultants reviewed the framework and, except for some enhancements, were comfortable with implementing it in Zimbabwe. This has confirmed the appropriateness and credibility of the framework and its relevance to the African public sector

Second meeting of the Interim Oversight Board for Professionalisation (IOB)

The second meeting of the IOB was held during February 2017 in South Africa. The meeting was attended by member auditor generals, PAFA, GIZ and the Public Accountants and Auditors Board of Zimbabwe (PAAB). Highlights from the meeting included:

  • A decision to invite representation of accountant generals and PAOs on the IOB
  • Acknowledgement of the importance of country-level ownership of professional qualifications in public sector accountancy
  • Approval of an updated working strategy and work plan
  • Discussion of and inputs to a regional level stakeholder map

Stakeholder engagements

The AFROSAI-E secretariat have conducted multiple stakeholder engagements over the past six months. These engagements are promoting awareness of the strategy and have provided an opportunity to receive inputs to the work from a variety of stakeholders.

Country visits were conducted to Zimbabwe and Sudan where the secretariat engaged with stakeholders at county level including political leadership, PAOs, supreme audit institutions, regulators and accountant generals.

Formal and informal engagements have been held with IFAC (including their PAO Development Committee and the International Accounting Education Standards Board), ACCA, CIPFA and the African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC). The strategy was also presented at the 2017 editions of the African Congress of Accountants, the Zimbabwe Accountants Conference and the ACCA International Public Sector Conference.

professionalisation brochure was produced to drive future stakeholder engagements and to support members of the Interim Oversight Board for Professionalisation to engage with their local stakeholders and broader network.

Upcoming work

AFROSAI-E and PAFA is currently finalising a position paper which will be presented to the African Union to seek a declaration of support for the role of the accountancy profession in the African public sector. The existing draft competency framework for public sector accountants and auditors will be taken through a development workshop (date to be confirmed) to obtain inputs from a broad range of stakeholders including representatives of PAOs, regulators and accountant generals. Development work will begin in the second half of 2017 on an accelerated learning programme which will be used to enhance the skills of incumbent public sector accountants and auditors.

For more information on the professionalisation strategy, or to offer your support and input, please contact