Liberia, a West African nation, has taken a significant step towards strengthening the accountancy profession by professionalising their government accountants and auditors. The Liberian government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the African Professionalisation Initiative (API). The signing ceremony took place in Monrovia on the 29 September 2023. This collaboration between Liberian stakeholders and the API aims to enhance the skills, knowledge, and ethical standards of accountants and auditors working in various government agencies.
The partnership between Liberia and API signifies a commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance within the country’s financial management systems.
Some of the invited dignitaries representing government at the ceremony included, Victor S. Tanwone, Sr. President, LICPA; Hon. Janga Kowo, Controller and Accountant General, Liberia; Hector J. Wuor, Executive Director & CEO LICPA; Hon. Aloysius Tarlue, Governor Central Bank of Liberia; Nankak Winsley, Deputy Auditor General (Representing Hon. Garswa Jackson, Auditor General, Liberia); Mohammed B. Korleh, Council Member, LICPA & Deputy Director General for Administration, Internal Audit Agency, Liberia.
The address by the guest speakers focused on the need to professionalise government accountants in line with the Government of Liberia renewed focus on investing in education. Hon Janga Kowo, the Controller and Accountant General underscored the importance of education and professionalisation. He shared some statistics that demonstrate a doubling of the number of Liberians accessing education in line with governments increased budget allocation and spending on education as a sure investment in the pursuit of the goal of transforming people’s lives in line with the country’s national development vision and the African Union Agenda 2063 aspirations. He emphasised that the government is keen on taking practical steps to continue implementing programmes that benefit the common citizens.
Professionalism in Government Financial Management
The API aims to realise an African public sector capacitated with competent, ethical and influential professionals who support accountability, transparency and good finance governance. With the signing of the MOU, Liberia’s government recognises the crucial role that competent and skilled accountants and auditors play in ensuring effective financial management. By partnering with API, an organisation dedicated to advancing the professionalisation of accountancy across Africa, Liberia aims to improve the capacity and expertise of their financial workforce to deliver improved services for citizens.
Objectives of the MOU
The collaboration between Liberia and API outlines several key objectives to be achieved:
Capacity Building: The MOU focuses on enhancing the technical skills, knowledge, and competencies of government accountants and auditors through specialised training programmes. These initiatives aim to equip professionals with the necessary tools to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
Ethical Standards: The partnership emphasizes the importance of upholding high ethical standards in financial management. It seeks to promote integrity, transparency, and accountability in the work of government accountants and auditors.
Certification and Accreditation: The MOU aims to establish mechanisms for the certification and accreditation of government accountants and auditors. This process will contribute to raising professional standards and ensuring the quality of financial management practices within the Liberian government.
Exchange of Best Practices and Mobility: Through the collaboration, Liberia will have access to API’s vast learning resources and a rich network of accountancy professionals across Africa. This exchange of knowledge and best practices will enable Liberian professionals to learn from their counterparts in other countries, fostering innovation and continuous improvement while directly contributing to the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area with focus on cross border trade in accountancy professionals’ services.
Benefits and Implications of the MoU
The partnership between Liberia and API holds several significant benefits and implications for the country:
Improved Financial Management: Enhancing the skills and expertise of government accountants and auditors will lead to more effective financial management practices. This, in turn, will contribute to better resource allocation, reduced financial risks, and improved accountability as demonstrated through quality reports and clean audits.
Strengthened Governance: By promoting transparency and accountability, the collaboration supports Liberia’s efforts to strengthen its governance structures. Professionalising government financial management will help build trust between citizens and the government, fostering economic growth and development. This will close the gap between PFM initiatives and Gross National Product (Goods and services produced by citizens of a country) of the country.
International Recognition: The certification and accreditation mechanisms established through the MOU will align Liberian accountancy standards with international best practices consistent with International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) against which the API learning programmes are developed and benchmarked. This alignment will enhance the credibility and recognition of Liberia’s financial management professionals on the African continent and the global stage.
Setting a Case Example for Accountability
The partnership between Liberia and the African Professionalisation Initiative (API) marks a significant milestone in the professionalisation of government accountants and auditors. By prioritizing capacity building, ethical standards, and knowledge exchange, Liberia aims to enhance financial management practices, foster good governance, and drive sustainable development. This collaboration sets a positive precedent for other African nations to follow, paving the way for a more accountable and transparent public sector across the continent.
The API’s Purpose (Objective)
The API is an independent non-profit organisation whose primary objective is to strengthen the capacity and knowledge base of accounting and auditing professionals in the African public sector to enhance accounting and auditing service delivery to the citizens of Africa.
The API Vision and Mission
Our Vision: An African public sector capacitated with competent, ethical and influential professionals who support accountability, transparency and good financial governance. Our Mission: To grow the capacity of accountancy professionals in the African public sector for enhanced service delivery.
The API Houses / Learning Programmes
Please choose below what may work for you and drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
|Houses (Learning Programmes)|
|• House 1 – Incumbents (Experienced un-professionalised accountants and auditors)-Implemented|
|• House 2 – Specialisation – Ready for occupation from 2024|
|• House 3 – Students – Ready for occupation in 2025|
|• House 4 – Micro credentials (e.g. Performance Audits for the Health Sector) – Ready from 2024 (More Micro credentials to be developed)|
|• House 5 – Continuing Professional Development (CPD)|
The API Partner Organisations
The API Learning Programmes aim to achieve the above institutional goal as a partnership between the accountancy profession (represented by the Pan African Federation of Accountants (“PAFA”)), accountants general or their equivalent (African Association of Accountants General – “AAAG”)), and supreme audit institutions or courts of auditors (represented by the English (“AFROSAI-E”) and French (“CREFIAF”) language sub-groups of the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (“AFROSAI”)).
Contact the API Team for more details: email@example.com | www.professionalisation.africa