The 4th African Congress of Accountants Conference (ACOA) was held early this month from 2nd – 5th May, 2017, at Speke Resort Munyonyo. ACOA is an international event that is held once every two years – it brings together professional accountants and business leaders from the African continent and beyond. This year’s theme was “Accountancy & Accountability: Transforming Africa’s Economies”. The congress was hosted in Uganda after Kenya (2011), Ghana (2013) and Mauritius (2015). Representatives of the most important accounting bodies, top CEOs, members of major economic and financial international organizations attended the conference in Uganda. Through conferences, seminars and workshops accountants, auditors, tax experts, representative of accounting bodies, finance and business leaders, policy and standard setters discussed issues impacting the accounting sector and profession.
The opening ceremony was addressed by the His Excellency the president of Uganda, and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, former Chairperson of the AU Commission, former Minister of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Health who gave the keynote address. The congress kicked off with serious discussions on the various issues affecting Africa’s transformation. Ms. Rachel Grimes, IFAC shared opening remarks on how accounting & technology can transform economies.
Information on a range of topics was shared; Prof. Patrick Lumumba on Political Accountability and the role of the law, Simphiwe Zuma, Professional Market Lead at Case Ware Africa presented a paper on “Accountancy beyond figures’, Accounting & Accountability: Combating Illicit Flows presented by Prof. Samuel Sejjaaka, among others.
There 5 take aways from ACOA presented by the ICPAU CEO CPA Derick Nkajja were; Agenda 2063, offer accountants participation in the transformation of continent economies; accountants should adopt integrated thinking and reporting as this is a realistic reflection of the integrated environment; Continuous development of both profession and professionals will require research, innovation, adoption and adaptation; Adoption of technology and related emerging skills will be key to advancing the accounting profession and to the next generation; and accountants and accounting profession must engage in the transformation of Africa economies with the view of improving humanity.
Fraudulent mis-invoicing of trade transactions was revealed to be the largest component of IFFs in Africa.
The conference was also an opportunity for the delegates to experience Kampala; activities like a boat cruise, cultural night and Gala dinner at the Marina at Speke Resort where performances from Chameleon, Sheebah Karungi and Afrigo band were enjoyed, were on the agenda, to leave a lasting impression of Uganda.
The organiser, Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and the host, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) welcomed presidents and senior executives from key accounting bodies and leading accounting firms and practices from Europe, Africa and Uganda. Moreover, this high-calibre and prestigious conference is aligned with the African agenda of the Government of Uganda. Exhibitors had the chance to showcase their projects and services to more than 1,000 delegates.
This year’s ACOA was sponsored by Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, ACCA, Bank of Uganda, Stanbic Bank, among others.
The next African Congress of Accountants in 2019 is going to be in Marrakech, Morroco.
For more information about ACOA, get in touch with the team.