The first African Professionalisation Initiative (API) Virtual Public Finance Management (PFM) Conference took place on 27 September 2023, creating a groundbreaking platform that brought together public sector accountants and auditors from across Africa. This landmark event marked a significant step toward enhancing professionalism and promoting best practices in the field of public finance management on the African continent.
The API Virtual PFM Conference was a pioneering initiative aimed at strengthening the capacity and skills of professionals working in public finance management across Africa. The conference served as a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and innovative ideas, fostering collaboration, and addressing the challenges faced by public sector accountants and auditors in the region.
Joint Conference Organisers
The API is grateful to the joint partnering organisers: CGAIZ (Zimbabwe, an IFAC and PAFA member); BICA (Botswana, an IFAC and PAFA member) and PAAB Zimbabwe, the accountancy regulator, for contributing to the excellent coordination and organisation of the conference.
The conference provided an opportunity to connect the professional cords of partnership for relationship building and strengthening of technical and social collaboration among PFM leaders in Africa that will be critical for successful knowledge sharing in the implementation of PFM programmes in Africa thereby transforming lives of common citizens through enhanced and accountable management and use of public resources.
“There were 1108 registrations and a maximum of 463 delegates taking part in the live event. We have received overwhelming positive feedback from the attendees who were inspired by the topics covered”.
The conference various PFM topics including the following: Public Sector Finance Management Planning and Budgeting; Good Finance Governance – Strengthening Public Sector Supply Chains and Prevention of Corruption; Accounting and Reporting in the Public Sector – Towards Enhanced Transparency and Disclosure; Public Sector Performance Audits: Impact on Performance, Results & Public Value Creation.
Speakers at the Conference
Renowned public sector leaders and experts from across the African continent and international organizations shared their insights and expertise, providing valuable perspectives on key issues such as budgeting, financial reporting, auditing, risk management, and governance. Among the key institutions represented on the speaker panel included: The African Union (AU), Auditors General (AFROSAI), Accountants General (AAAG), Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAFA), The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), and the African Accounting and Finance Association (AAFA). among others.
The virtual format of the conference allowed participants to attend from the comfort of their own offices or homes, overcoming the logistical and financial barriers associated with physical conferences. This inclusivity enabled a broader participation from professionals across Africa, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and networking among individuals who might not have had the opportunity to connect otherwise.
The API Virtual PFM Conference emphasised the importance of professionalism in public finance management, emphasising the need for adherence to international standards and best practices. The event aimed to enhance the credibility and integrity of the profession, ultimately contributing to improved governance, transparency, and accountability within the public sector, thereby driving responsible use and investment of public resources for the benefit of citizens. Learn More
Key Lessons and recommendations
The following is a summary of the key lessons and actionable recommendations from the conference for consideration by public policy and technical leader as they craft theirs PFM and national development strategies:
- Increase public participation in public finance management and budgeting and enhance oversight to reduce corruption through legal enforcement.
- Address and facilitate embracing of technology and innovation for business success and advance the investment in and use of fintech to increase financial inclusion.
- Finance professionals to create new value by moving beyond traditional roles by becoming chief creators of new public value.
- Increase the percentage of professionalised finance, accounting and auditing government staff in line with the African Union Charter on principles and values of public service administration.
- Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs) and Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) need to partner and collaborate in professionalisation of government auditors and accountants.
- Step up corruption preventative measures to reduce public losses by working with PAOs and government enforcement agencies.
- Performance audits to focus resolutely on economy, efficiency and effectiveness of public socio- economic programmes and investments.
- Internal Audit plays a key role in PFM by working with accountants and external auditors and should take an active role in advancing greater accountability and transparency in the use of public resources.
- IPSAS 1 on presentation of financial statements and IPSAS 33 on first time adoption of accrual basis IPSAS are undergoing review and more updates to come out soon.
- Review and modernisation of how accountancy education is delivered needs to be reconsidered to align with a competency-based approach and redress of evolving employers and market skills needs
- There is need to activate/ reactivate and strengthen engagement between educators and employers to foster collaboration and relevance of education programmes.
- There is need to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship in education and at work.
- Develop policies and mechanisms to support workers impacted by unemployment as a result of economic slowdown and the rising cost of living.
- Create regulatory frameworks to ensure that technological disruptions are managed in a way that is fair and equitable.
- Foster collaboration and partnerships between professionals; governments; businesses – to develop solutions (The start-up mindset) and drive sustainable development.
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