The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme promotes transparency and accountability in public financial management and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Its objective is to foster Good Financial Governance in Africa, more specifically to equip decision-makers in African public finance to use region-specific services, products and further education to improve financial governance.
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Auditors as change actors. In an intense meeting which went well into extra-time, the 54th Governing Board of the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) heatedly discussed SAI independence and their role in addressing corruption. The 11 Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) comprising the operative arm of AFROSAI moved forward on important organizational issues of the network such as sustainable financing, and identified common projects for the benefit of member SAIs in the years to come. Among others, a new taskforce for the reform of the network and its new strategic plan has been created and higher membership contributions were adopted.
SAIs fighting Corruption
On Thursday, the first day of the meeting, Governors and observers from Namibia, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Mozambique, South Africa, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Algeria, Burundi, and Nigeria appreciated the results of the continent’s first coordinated audit on corruption as a driver of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs). The audit had been coordinated by the Chair of the AFROSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee (KSC), SAI Kenya, and supported by GIZ’s Good Financial Governance in Africa Programme. In a joint session with the Chair of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption and the representative of the Office of Internal Audit of the African Union Commission, SAIs presented their role in preventing and detecting corruption and identified further need to foster closer cooperation with the African Union in the fight against corruption and the promotion of SAI independence. A delegation to the African Union led by the General Secretariat together with the GIZ GFG Program is following up on these discussions with the aim of further specifying areas of cooperation between the AU and AFROSAI.
Professionalisation of Auditors and accountants
On Friday, SAIs discussed Professionalisation, a priority of the strategic plan of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) to which AFROSAI contributes as the African regional group. Led by SAI South Africa, Chair of the INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee (CBC), SAI Kenya and SAI Senegal discussed the need for professionalization and the objectives of the African Professionalisation Initiative. SAIs also discussed the need to evaluate their performance regularly, for example, by undertaking SAI-Performance Measurement Framework evaluations.
Moreover, the Good Financial Governance in Africa Programme presented the innovative PFM-Reporting Framework that allows SAI to report comprehensively on the functioning of the Public Financial Management systems. As one of the official INTOSAI approaches to support the United Nations in the pledge to monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal, this African initiative has been piloted in selected Anglophone and Lusophone SAIs. For both the African Professionalisation Initiative and the PFM Reporting Framework, SAIs manifested their interest to extend these important initiatives to the Francophone members of AFROSAI.
Interregional Cooperation on Environmental Auditing
Last but not least, the 54th Governing Board of AFROSAI also served as a platform for a side meeting with the Latin American regional group of SAIs, OLACEFS to discuss the possibility and modalities of conducting a n interregional coordinated audit on protected areas in Latin America and Africa. Given the importance of protecting biodiversity in Africa as part of the SDGs, the project was received with interest by many of the participating SAIs of AFROSAI and will be further developed to start in 2019.