The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) held a strategic meeting with the API leadership on the 23rd of August 2022. SIDA is a key donor of the API program, and its funding support is channelled through the AFROSAI-E, which hosts the API secretariat. The agenda of the meeting was to provide updates on progress in the implementation of the API SIDA funded activities.
SIDA was represented by Therese Sjöström while the API was represented by Meisie Nkau (CEO, AFROSAI-E), Alta Prinsloo (CEO, PAFA); Evans Mulera (CEO, API), Neo Hlatshwayo (Tech Director, API) and other staff members from the API and AFROSAI-E.
Therese pledged SIDA’s commitment to support the citizens of the African continent through noble initiatives such as the API program.
African governments experience a severe shortage of public sector accountancy (Accounting and Auditing) professionals. The African Professionalisation Initiative (API) is an opportunity to grow the capacity of public sector accountancy professionals through partnership with various stakeholders, with the aim of achieving greater accountability and transparency in the African public sector.
Through productive engagement with SIDA the API has realised impressive milestones with the funding support. Progress has been supported by the work already achieved by the API partner Organisations – PAFA; AFROSAI-E; CREFIAF; and AAAG (Formerly ESAAG) as well as the continuing engagement and support of other donors and development partners.
Value Creation for the Public
The meeting received updates on how the API will contribute to enhancement of service for the citizens of Africa through greater accountability and transparency in the use of public resources. This will be realised through an African public sector capacitated by competent, ethical, and influential professionals who support accountability, transparency and good finance governance.
The success of the API is driven by donor funders such as SIDA as well as the “three-legged stool” represented by: a) Accountants General (ESAAG/AAAG), b) Auditors General (CREFIAF & AFROSAI-E); and Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAFA).
Contextualisation of the API in Francophone Africa
The meeting took note of a study that has been concluded with SIDA funding to contextualise the API in the Francophone region of Africa. The vision (the Why) of the API is commonly shared across the entire African continent. However, due to contextual differences in the professionalisation approach – and What – in Francophone countries, further engagement is being undertaken through CREFIAF’s leadership and other partners to determine the appropriate approach for implementation in the French speaking countries. SIDA is committed to supporting the realisation of the contextualisation objectives.
Success stories of the API
The meeting took recognition of the following success stories and achievements by the API that provide a healthy foundation for realisation of long-term success in line with the objectives and vision of the API:
- Governance – The API is effectively oversighted by the Interim Oversight Board in line with its terms of operation.
- Learning Resources – A high quality online learning platform is in place and the internationally benchmarked competency-based learning materials are ready for the roll out of the incumbents’ program.
- Stakeholder engagement and advocacy – API partner organisations have embedded the API in their strategies and awareness raising is on-going, in line with the draft stakeholder mapping plan and API strategic plan.
Conclusion and Next Meeting
The API will enable public sector accountants and auditors to make meaningful contribution to the development of society and economy in line with strategic objectives of each country, and the achievement of government national development goals and development plans, as well as other continental and international commitments such as support for the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area – AfCFTA; AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals -SDGs.
We are grateful for the support from SIDA and we will provide more updates on the news page of the API website to continuously update you on the progress being made by the API and its partners.