Press release

British accountants to develop accountancy expertise in Africa and Asia

The UK will help improve financial management and investment climates of developing countries by sharing British expertise and international best practice.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa is a bustling centre of business and trade. Picture: Simon Davis/DFID
Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa is a bustling centre of business and trade. Picture: Simon Davis/DFID

Teams of British accountants will help transform accounting standards and develop professional accountancy institutes in Africa and Asia, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced.

The UK will deploy staff from chartered accountancy institutes to developing countries such as Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia to improve their financial management and investment climates by sharing British expertise and international best practice.

Announced following a round-table meeting at DFID today, the Department also committed £4.5 million to the International Federation of Accountants to help up to 10 partner countries in Africa and Asia, develop international-standard professional accountancy institutes of their own.

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary said:

The UK’s financial sector is second to none and its skills and experience can boost development across the world.

By helping developing countries to manage their own resources better and attract investment we can create the jobs and growth needed to lift people out of poverty.

The first deployments of chartered accountants through DFID’s Investment Facility for Utilising Specialist Expertise will begin in May 2014. They will include teams from:

On request from DFID partner countries, teams are deployed on short term assignments to support efforts to improve financial management in both the public and private sector.

Fayez Choudhury, Chief Executive of IFAC said:

IFAC has a long history of working to build capacity and strengthen PAOs as part of our public interest mission, and we are delighted about this significant next step in that journey.

Well-functioning PAOs ensure a sustainable supply of professional accountants that support high-quality accounting practices and financial information in both the public and private sectors. They support enhanced confidence in business and transparency in use of public funds, giving rise to increased foreign investment and donor funding and improved government accountability and transparency—and therefore are essential to economic growth and stability.

CIPFA’s Director of Strategy and Development, Alan Edwards said:

CIPFA is thrilled to be launching its first DFID IFUSE project in Nigeria.

Our work there will equip ogvernment officials with the knowledge and skills they need to better protect the public purse from fraud and misappropriation and ensure that valuable government resources are spent well and where they are most needed.

CIPFA’s focus is on sound public financial management as the foundation of financial stability and economic growth. If, through projects such as IFUSE, we can improve the way public money is spent it will have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of individuals and on the business environment across the world.

ACCA Chief Executive, Helen Brand OBE, said:

ACCA is excited by the opportunity to work in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education through the IFUSE initiative. We will not only be helping Ethiopian organisations to comply with global financial reporting and auditing standards, which we believe will encourage greater trade and investment opportunities, but will also be working with lecturers to ensure there are future generations of qualified finance professionals.

ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza, said:

ICAEW has already delivered thirty five similar projects in markets including Malawi, Tanzania, Nigeria and Bangladesh, so we know this kind of project can improve the investment climate and growth prospects of frontier economies. This new £5 million fund recognises the value of a strong, robust accounting profession in economic development. Today we’re announcing a new project in Zambia, helping the national profession to strengthen auditing standards and regulation.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of The Association of Accounting Technician’s said:

I am convinced that better accounting practices will help developing countries build on the remarkable economic progress they have made in recent years.

Having confidence that their money will be properly accounted for will encourage even more investors to build businesses that create much needed jobs in Africa.

Fiona Harvey, CIMA Director of Emerging Markets said:

CIMA is dedicated to helping people and businesses succeed. With 203,000 members and students operating across 173 countries, CIMA fuels stronger businesses that power healthier economies and help nations compete in the global race. One of our key aims is to strengthen ethical business practices around the globe. The IFUSE programme, as well as our Quality Training Partnership with the World Bank, ensures finance professionals understand the value of transparency and the importance of making a positive contribution in the communities where they operate.

Notes to editors

  1. The 5 UK chartered accountancy institutes are part of the IFUSE programme, ACCA, ICAEW, CIPFA, Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA), and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
  2. The following countries are covered by IFUSE: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  3. IFAC will help build international-standard professional accountancy institutes in up to 10 DFID partner countries (as above). The 5 UK chartered accountancy institutes and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) are all members of IFAC.

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Published 10 April 2014