Lesotho hosts 1 200 African accountants


Rethabile Mohono

MASERU – In pursuit of advancing a thriving Africa through comprehensive public finance management, the African Association of Accounting General (AAAG), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, held a four-day annual conference in Lesotho.

The conference that ended on Thursday this week attracted a diverse audience of 1,200 participants and visitors from various countries, including Lesotho, South Africa, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Chad, and Morocco.

AAAG, a non-profit organisation, is committed to enhancing the skills of accountants and directors general involved in budget execution and reporting for governments. The primary objective of the organisation is to promote good governance and effective public financial management practices within its member countries.

AAAG fosters collaboration among financial leaders, government officials, and public finance experts through events such as the 1st AAAG Annual Conference. The East and Southern African Association of Accountants-General (ESAAG) is another regional association supporting the offices of accountants-general in the region.

Both organisations play pivotal roles in strengthening financial governance and accountability in Africa. Officially launched on July 6, 2023, AAAG is poised to be remembered for centuries, recognising the critical role accountants general play in the success of public financial management reforms.

The decision by the Eastern and Southern Africa Accountants General to dissolve and support the formation of a continental body aligns with the progressive African spirit, inspired by the African Union Agenda 2063 aspirations.

The conception of AAAG was spearheaded by the African Union, ESAAG, and the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA). Dr. Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, expressed her joy in witnessing the gathering of accountants from both the public and private sectors.

In her opening statement, she commended the professionals for consolidating their efforts, innovations, expertise, and networks into the African Association of Accountants General.

“As public financial management professionals across the African continent, I wish to commend you on a great move towards consolidating your efforts, your innovations, your expertise, and your networks into the African Association of Accountants General. A lot is expected from you by your governments and by the world,” she said.

Matlanyane emphasised the importance of transparency, accountability, and good governance in public financial management. She highlighted the role of accountants as stewards of their nations’ taxes, ensuring effective and efficient service delivery for citizens.

She also stressed the significance of compliance with sustainability reporting and international public sector accounting standards. In the age of technology, Matlanyane emphasised the role of financial management information systems in enabling or disabling governments. She called for countries to share experiences, especially those that have achieved high levels of success in innovation, implementation, and compliance.

Lesotho’s Accountant General, ’Malehlohonolo Mahase, elected as the Chairperson of the Continental Body, expressed great honour for the nation hosting the first conference, especially during Lesotho’s bicentennial celebration. She highlighted the formation of AAAG in response to the resolution made in 2019 to work together as a continent.

AAAG aims to support countries in achieving the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063, including a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth, an integrated continent politically united, good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, a peaceful and secure Africa, a strong cultural identity and shared values, and a strong, united, resilient, and influential global player.

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