Professionalisation Initiative: PAFA, AFROSAI, ESAAG Collaborate


Public sector professionalisation is firmly on Africa’s agenda


Leaders of the Accounting profession including Professional Accounting Organisatons, and Accountants/ Auditors General across Africa are collaborating to build capacity of accounting professionals that are incapacitated to meet the needs of the public sector.

The 5th meeting of the African Professionalisation Initiative’s Interim

Oversight Board (IOB) was held at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 2 May 2018. For the first time, the IOB was fully constituted with 15 members, as was envisaged in its terms of reference. There was representation from five accountants general, five auditors general and five professional accounting organisations. The meeting was observed by representatives from the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), the supreme audit institution of Senegal, the African Union Commission and the newly formed African Forum of Independent Accounting and Auditing Regulators (AFIAAR).

The IOB deliberated on various aspects of the African Professionalisation Initiative which is a collaboration between the African Organization of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E), the East and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) and the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA).

The members agreed that an Academic Advisory Committee should be established to; initiate the development of generic learning resources, quality assure these resources and advise accounting educators on the teaching of public sector content. PAFA CEO Vickson Ncube noted; ‘the public sector is changing globally, accounting professionals must play an active role in directing this change, and accounting qualifications need to deal more specifically with public sector issues.’

The IOB agreed on the process and criteria to identify countries where the initiatives learning resources and professionalisation methodologies could be piloted. Members also discussed a roadmap for the IOB to migrate into a permanent structure under the new brand, the African Professionalisation Initiative.


Finally, the three participating regional organisations, AFROSAI-E, ESAAG and PAFA, agreed to contribute their experience, expertise and resources to ensure the initiative progresses effectively and to the benefit of the continent. As Kenneth Hlasa, CEO of ESAAG, explains, “professionalisation is key for accountants general as it will support high quality financial reporting which is important for accountability, transparency and timely and accurate financial reporting.”

According to Meisie Nkau, CEO of AFROSAI-E, “the hosting of the meeting at the African Union Commission reinforced the initiative’s Pan-African aspirations and the recognition by IOB members of the vital role that the African Union and political leaders have to play if professionalisation is to take root in the public sector”. The IOB hopes that it will be the first of many engagements with the African Union and its organs.

Want to know more about the African Professionalisation Initiative?  

Click here to view the recently launched informative video.  The API website will also be going live soon.  

Writer: Bruce Vivian; Senior Manager : Professionalisation at Afrosai-E