CIPFA chosen to boost Zimbabwe’s public sector accounting capacity

10 May 16

CIPFA is to help strengthen the capacity of public sector accountancy in Zimbabwe, it was announced yesterday.

The institute will join forces with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe and the country’s Public Accountants and Auditors Board to establish a project stakeholder advisory group and develop a plan to building capacity in Zimbabwe’s public accountancy sector.

Alta Prinsloo, executive director of strategy and chief operating officer at the International Federation of Accountants, which selected CIPFA for the role, said the partnership will ensure Zimbabwe’s accountancy profession can fully support its public sector.

This will also contribute to improved transparency and accountability, “which are crucial for all nations”, she added.

In 2014, IFAC received just under £5m from the UK’s Department for International Development to fund capacity building in professional accountancy organisations in 10 developing countries over seven years.

After expressing its interest in the partnership, CIPFA was selected following an extensive proposal and review process involving multiple global organisations.

Zimbabwe will join Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda, where projects making use of the funding are already under way.

Gillian Fawcett, head of CIPFA’s governments faculty, said CIPFA’s previous work, including conducting public financial management readiness assessments for the World Bank in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, means the institute is “geared up for this challenge”.

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis, with low commodity prices, the appreciation of the US dollar and severe drought taking their toll.

Earlier this year, the country’s president Robert Mugabe declared a state of emergency as crops failed and livestock perished, leaving many without food.

Last week, the country announced it would start printing its own version of the US dollar in the hopes of easing cash shortages.

The International Monetary Fund has been clear that in such times, fiscal discipline is a major priority and it urged the government to keep its accounts close to balance.

Fawcett said that, as the world’s only professional accountancy body dedicated to public finance, CIPFA is best placed to offer insights into best practice around the globe that might help Zimbabwe overcome its financial woes. 

“Working with our partners, we have a real opportunity to strengthen public financial management in Zimbabwe.”

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