DUBAI (March 14, 2012) – ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) hosted an event on 14 March to discuss the future of the accountancy profession in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Stakeholders’ Roundtable was held in Dubai, and was attended by a number of experts with interests in building the accountancy profession in the country, from employers representing a wide range of sectors including public practice, banking institutions and non-governmental organizations.
Other experts from the various multilateral agencies were also represented, including:
- Dr Ahmad Abdullah Almeghames, Deputy Chairman, PAODC, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
- Ms Jennifer Thomson, South Asia Manager, The World Bank; and
- Mr Richard Sunderland, Director, British Council.
The event was hosted by the ACCA Emerging Markets – Asia directorate and Ms Lucia Real-Martin, Director Emerging Markets – Asia for ACCA delivered the opening remarks and set the scene for the day’s discussions.
Speaking at the event, Lucia Real-Martin said: “Essentially, developing and growing economies need skilled and talented finance professionals, and Afghanistan is no different in this respect. The whole point of the roundtable was to understand what it means to grow the accountancy profession in Afghanistan, and discuss the benefits that the profession can bring to economies, not just in Afghanistan, but also on a global stage.”
Reza Ai, Head of Emerging Markets – Asia ACCA added: “The event also emphasised the need for ACCA to work in partnership with relevant bodies in Afghanistan, from employers to the government to universities and learning partners. Partnerships are incredibly important to ACCA and we have developed a substantial global network of partnerships which are central both to ACCA’s ability to deliver its qualifications and services internationally and which also contribute to developing the accountancy profession. ACCA is committed to supporting the development of the profession in Afghanistan in partnership with all the other key stakeholders in the country.”
The event came on the back of an ACCA Afghanistan Learning Partners Forum which was led by Dr Afra Sajjad, Regional Head of Education, MENASA, ACCA a day earlier. The aim of the forum was to share best practices in accountancy learning and education with representatives from Afghan universities including Bakhtar University and the American University of Afghanistan.
Speaking at the forum, Afra Sajjad said: “This event is the first step towards working with learning partners and universities in Afghanistan to developing quality learning support enabling young people of Afghanistan to realise their dreams of becoming global professional accountants.”
Rafiullah Sherzad, Senior Project Manager, Harakat Foundations, one of the delegates at the event said: “The Afghanistan Stakeholders’ Roundtable was the beginning of an inspiring and effectual development of accountancy and the audit profession in Afghanistan The involvement and assistance of ACCA in this emerging profession in a post-war country such as Afghanistan is very essential. I hope ACCA along with key stakeholders keep the commitments and overcome the challenges to support the profession and contribute to rejuvenating Afghanistan.”
Lucia Real-Martin concluded: “It was an incredibly interesting session, and one which filled me with a sense of optimism about the future for the profession in Afghanistan, but also across the whole of South Asia. Yes, there are challenges ahead, but by working together we can build capacity and look to the future. ACCA is committed to the development of the profession.”