By Lawrence Gqesha

The African Association of Accountants General (AAAG) was officially launched in Mombasa, Kenya from 3rd to 5th July 2023. The objective of the launch was to finalise the transition from The East and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) to AAAG, to create a Pan African Association that represents Africa in the global world on behalf of the public sector accounting. The AAAG vision is anchored in good public financial governance for an integrated and prosperous Africa.

The AAAG launch happened over three days, the first day was introduced by the Accountant General of Kenya – Dr. Jona Wala, chaired by the Interim Steering Committee (ISC) Chair – Mrs. Malehlohonolo Mahase and the Accountant General of Rwanda – Mr. Marcel Mukeshimana. The second day was chaired by ISC Chair and the Accountant General of Botswana – Mr. Kealeboga Molelowatladi. The African Union Commission (AUC) – Director of Finance, Mrs. Edith Akorfa Lumor moderated the finalization process of the constitution during the first two days.  The final day was chaired by ISC chair, and the program director facilitated the adoption of the new AAAG constitution which was signed by all the thirteen Accountants General present.

The launch theme was “the future of public financial management and accountability to the citizens” which included the African Union aspirations as articulated in agenda 2063.

The partners present at the launch were The African Union Commission (AUC), The Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), Good Financial Governance in Africa Programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit Gmbh (GIZ), African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions English Speaking (AFROSAI-E), African Professionalisation Initiative (API) and other local accounting of professional bodies endorsing and supporting the formation of AAAG.

During the keynote address by Mrs. Edith Akorfa Lumor, the African Union Commission – Director of Finance, highlighted that the launch of AAAG epitomizes an important leg towards fortifying a structure of public financial management across our dynamic continent, which is also a symbolic manifestation of fostering a future of accountability, transparency, and integrity across Africa the continent.

AAAG was conceptualised in May 2018 during a meeting held in Ethiopia, which focused on public financial management and international public sector accounting standards (IPSAS). Further discussions took place in October 2019 involving AU, ESAAG and PAFA, at a high-level AU, World Bank and IPSAS Board public financial management forum.  A decision was made to formalize and operationalize AAAG, and an Interim Steering Committee was established.  In February 2021, the ISC met in Zambia to draft the constitution and subsequent meetings held in Ethiopia as well as in Cote d’Ivoire to improve the draft constitution, recruited new members, and advance the operationalization process.

Key issues from the launch:

  • Accountants General should be more accountable and responsible to ensure openness and transparency in managing public funds.
  • Public Financial Management systems should be in place and new developments must be implemented.
  • The need for public officials to conduct themselves in a manner that shows they are trustworthy.
  • Capacity development of public officials and good public service values.
  • Public service delivery.

The final word for the Association was to work together to implement and promote effective good financial governance principles.  To leave no one, no place behind as they embark on recruiting new members while the association is growing.

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