Zim elected chair of new auditing body for Africa

HARARE - Zimbabwe has been elected chair of the Africa Forum of Independent Accounting and Auditing Regulators (AFIAAR), a new accounting and auditing body for African countries established to serve and protect the public interest.

The body, formed this month, is expected to enhance members’ oversight capabilities and improve the quality of auditing around the continent.

Independent accounting and audit regulators from 11 jurisdictions around the African continent last week met in the resort town of Victoria Falls, and unanimously elected Zimbabwe as the inaugural chair of the organisation, represented by the secretary of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) Admire Ndurunduru.

South Africa, represented by Bernard Agulhas, the chief executive officer of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), was elected vice chair.

Agulhas was also representing the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) at the meeting as a board member. Ethiopia was elected third officer, represented by Gashe Desta Yemane.

Countries represented were Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania.

The creation of AFIAAR, which will provide members with a platform for exchanging views and experiences on continental issues relating to audit oversight, was endorsed by IFIAR, a global body with 52 member countries.

AFIAAR aims to strengthen audit quality standards and regulations through continental and international cooperation.

Ndurunduru said independent regulation of the auditing profession provides a mechanism for protecting the public interest and building confidence in capital markets.

“Throughout the world, independent audit regulation plays a critical role in building confidence in capital markets and providing confidence to investors in the quality of financial reporting. In the context of the development of our continent, this is a momentous initiative for Africa because it will be one of the keys to increasing investment in our economies, public protection and contributing to the development of the continent,” said Ndurunduru.

The idea of setting up AFIAAR came after the realisation that there was minimal participation by African countries at the global level, with only four African countries, South Africa, Egypt, Mauritius and Botswana, having attained levels of independent regulations and oversight of auditors and admitted as members of IFIAR.

— The Financial Gazette

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