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African Professionalisation Initiative | Overview

OVERVIEW OF THE INITIATIVE

THE ISSUE

The African public sector experiences a severe shortage of professional accountants and auditors (generally referred to as “accountants”). Professional accountants that are in government have typically only been exposed to private sector theory during their initial professional development. They often lack an understanding of public sector challenges and expectations relating to their position.

WITHOUT SUFFICIENT PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS, AFRICAN STATES ARE VULNERABLE TO EXPLOITATION AND CORRUPTION.

THE GOAL

Grow the capacity of professional accountants and auditors who are equipped to support accountability, transparency and good governance in the public sector

goal

THE VALUE PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS BRING THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Scale

Balance regulation and policy with political objectives

Direction

Make and support sound and informed decision-making

Plant

Ensure economic growth without burdening future generations with public debt

Whistle

Act as guardians against corruption, illicit financial flows and exploitation of resources

Man

Enhance the accountability of government

Dice

Ensure that foreign investment benefits the country

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TO DELIVER ON THIS MANDATE, THE PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTANT REQUIRES A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF:

  • The legislative environment
  • The structure of the local public sector
  • Fiscal governance
  • Public financial and performance management
  • Applicable public sector accounting standards such as the IPSAS
  • [For external auditors] International auditing standards applicable to supreme audit institutions (ISSAIs)

OBJECTIVES OF THE INITIATIVE

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Coordinate efforts to professionalise public sector accounting and auditing

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Define minimum requirements for accountancy qualifications that address the needs of the public sector

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Invest in generic curricula and learning materials

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Develop implementation guidance for country-level implementations

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Advocate for the role of the accounting profession in the public sector

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Develop accelerated learning programmes for incumbents

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Mobilise funding for countries to implement accredited professional qualifications

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

OUTPUT:

Enhanced accountability, transparency and good governance in the public sector.

OUTCOME:

Public funds being used efficiently, effectively and economically to improve the lives of citizens

POTENTIAL VALUE CREATED MAY INCLUDE:

GOVERNMENT AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS


protecting resources and attracting foreign investment

DEVELOPMENT
PARTNERS


reliable information and stronger in-country PFM systems

CITIZENS, CIVIL SOCIETY AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS


high quality reporting on government performance

USERS OF
PUBLIC SERVICES


effective resource management and usage

BUSINESSES
AND FIRMS


more efficient and effective government

POOR AND DISADVANTAGED CITIZENS


enhanced service delivery and developmental efforts

GOVERNMENT MANAGERS AND OTHER PERSONNEL


improved skills training, job performance and career progression

question

THE BURNING QUESTIONS

Are you seeking to replace non-professional PFM staff?

No, we value the extensive knowledge and experience of incumbents in PFM roles. Local implementations will offer incumbents a pathway to obtain a professional qualification through an accelerated learning programme. This will help develop key competency areas which incumbents may not have been exposed to in the past.

How do we make the public sector attractive to students?

We believe a professional public sector is an attractive public sector. We will work with civil service commissions to find ways to address compensation and benefit issues. In addition, local PAOs, supreme audit institutions and governments will be encouraged to actively promote the public sector as a viable and fulfilling career path.

Why is my stakeholder group excluded?

While the information in this document is not intended to be exhaustive of all stakeholder groupings, it does reflect our willingness to  engage with you. We are following an inclusive approach and would be highly appreciative of your involvement in the initiative.

Will you award qualifications?

No, we will not award qualifications through the new structures. Qualifications will be awarded at the national level by local PAOs, to further ensure ownership. The regional structures define the competencies of public sector accountants and develop generic learning resources to reduce the costs of local implementations.

Will you establish new PAOs?

No, public sector competencies will be incorporated into the qualification frameworks of existing PAOs.

Will you facilitate lectures and classes?

No, generic learning resources will be developed and we will support local PAOs and academic institutions in customising and implementing these resources for their local context.

Working
together

THE VISION CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED IF ALL RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS WORK IN PARTNERSHIP.

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