Bridging the African infrastructure gap: Bringing accountants to the centre of the decision-making process

From ACCA: The accountancy profession can support infrastructure development in Africa in a number of ways: starting from improving the business environment and helping the government to assess the infrastructure project’s financial feasibility and economic impact through innovative models and methods. Until now, the profession’s role in supporting growth in the private sector has been demonstrated through the creation and dissemination of reliable and transparent financial information; accountants and auditors contribute to the efficient allocation and management of resources, helping companies to attract investment and access credit.

In the public sphere, the accountancy profession supports the development of a public sector that is transparent and accountable to its citizens. Effective financial reporting is critical to governments’ understanding of their achievements and areas of improvement. It is also crucial for providing legislators, markets, and citizens with the information they need to make efficient policy decisions and to hold governments accountable for their performance. In the aggregate, the accountancy profession supports an environment of trust that allows businesses to flourish. This is an essential role and we would like to emphasise that the profession also has an important role in stimulating, strengthening and expanding infrastructure in the African countries. Furthermore, the profession can contribute significantly to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The ability of countries and corporations to measure progress, monitor impact and report on achievements in these areas will be critical. This is where, in our opinion, accountants have a key, but easily overlooked, role to play.

Accountants contribute to bridging the infrastructure gap through improvements in the selection, prioritising, rationalising, financing, and delivery of projects and so add value to the public and private sector and local economies. International studies have shown that the level of development of a country is closely correlated with the involvement of the accountancy profession. Thus the 53 professional organisations that are members of the Pan-African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) are working to contribute to the emergence of African economies. When African accountancy institutes function effectively, they have the power to support the production of high-quality financial information and good governance, which will contribute to the development of the public and private sectors.

Download the report here.


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