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ACCA Pakistan awards Afghan Graduates

ISLAMABAD – A number of international donor agencies have recently reported that there is a burning issue of lack of trained accounting professionals in Afghanistan. The agencies are primarily concerned about the sustainability of development and other projects in the absence of structured accounting processes in Afghanistan.

Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification offered by ACCA has emerged as the qualification of choice for many Afghan nationals.  ACCA felt it important that these students are provided with the high standard of ACCA services, which are available to other students around the world.  Keeping in view the situation in Afghanistan, these individuals are making a great effort to improve their standard of living and also are contributing in the development of accounting profession in the country which has lost its education system to war over the last three decades.  ACCA is facilitating these students in recuperating from effects of war by offering them a world class qualification at their doorstep.

In the 2007 CAT exams, 13 Afghan students graduated and it is gratifying to note that these young boys and girls are currently employed at middle and some at high level positions in well-known companies in Afghanistan including KPMG, USAID and Etisalat.

To recognise the success of these Afghan students who have attained CAT Qualification in 2007, ACCA Pakistan held the Graduation Ceremony today at the Serena Hotel, Islamabad.   

The Chief Guest, His Excellency, Mr Mohammad Anwar Anwarzai, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan graced the occasion along with Guest of Honour, Mr Beat Schuler, Sr. Protection Officer – Legal / Protection Unit, UNHCR and Mr Feroz Rafiq, President Afghanistan Society of Accounting Technician (ASAT).

In his address, Mr Arif Masud Mirza, head of ACCA Pakistan congratulated the graduates and said that ACCA will continue to work in Afghanistan by providing learning and development opportunities to young Afghans who choose to become accountants.  ACCA works closely with organisations such as UN, World Bank, donor agencies, educational institutions, accounting firms and the corporate sector organisations. He appreciated the effort put in by individual students in achieving the qualification despite socio-economic upheavals and the fact that they are employed by renowned organisations in Afghanistan, which makes ACCA qualification the best fit for Afghans.

Chief Guest Mr Anwarzai, Afghan Ambassador thanked ACCA for their commitment in providing qualification of international repute to the young citizens of Afghanistan. He said that we are living in a global village where financial planning, corporate governance is an essential part and Afghanistan is a part of this global village. Afghanistan has gone through three decades of war and is presently developing new infrastructure and I am grateful to ACCA for addressing these needs by providing world class qualification. There is lack of professional accountants in Afghanistan and the growing need for transparency requires more professionals. He urged more female Afghans to take up the CAT and ACCA qualification for a more balanced accountant community in Afghanistan.

Guest of Honour, Mr Schuler from the UNHCR congratulated ACCA and the graduates for the magnificent achievement.  He said this will help achieve transparency, fight corruption and bring good governance in Afghanistan. He said that ACCA is a wonderful programme and is imparting the right skills and experience to the students who are now working in the real world.  He said UNHCR is particularly happy to see thousands of Afghan refugees going back to their home country who are now studying, working and living a normal life and this process will be supplemented by availability of reputable qualification like CAT and ACCA in Afghanistan.  ACCA is a wonderful programme and this occasion is an example of best practice to encourage Afghan youngsters and also strengthen prospects in Afghanistan. It is heartening to see organisations like ACCA taking interest in the development of its neighbouring country.

Mr Feroz Rafiq, President ASAT said that during the war, many people fled Afghanistan which caused lack of educated human resource in the country. Today, we have a number of expatriates who are working in different parts of Afghanistan but we would like to see local boys and girls to take up key roles in the business and industry.  He congratulated ACCA for holding such an event by inviting Afghan graduates to Pakistan and appreciating their achievements.   

The event was attended by senior officials from Afghan Embassy, UNHCR and accounting and business community, ACCA tuition providers and employers both from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

About ACCA
ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It aims to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

Its supports 122,000 members and 325,000 students throughout their careers, providing services through a network of 80 offices and centres. Its global infrastructure means that exams and support are delivered – and reputation and influence developed – at a local level, directly benefiting stakeholders wherever they are based, or plan to move to, in pursuit of new career opportunities.

For further information, please contact:
Mr Shamez Mukhi
Head of marketing and communications
Tel: 111 22 22 75

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