, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – President Mwai Kibaki has reaffirmed the government’s resolve in dealing with the militant group based inside Somalia that has sought to destabilise not just Kenya but the entire Horn of Africa region.
President Kibaki pointed out that the transformation of the African continent will only be achieved through a secure and peaceful environment, adding that Kenya has taken a stand for peace and stability in the region and will not waver in that endeavour.
“This is the only way that we can develop our continent and implement infrastructure projects that are cross border in nature,” President Kibaki said.
The Head of State was speaking on Monday at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre where he officially opened the first ever Africa Congress of Accountants.
President Kibaki emphasised that a lasting solution to the long standing instability in Somalia is not only good for the Horn of Africa region but the entire African continent.
The President said Kenya intends to complete the work and operation that has begun inside Somalia in order to create a strong foundation for the continent’s prosperity.
President Kibaki, at the same time, said Kenya was privileged to have been accorded the honour of hosting the first ever Africa Congress of Accountants which has come soon after the inauguration of the Pan African Federation of Accountants.
“This is an expression of the confidence you have in our country and more specifically in the local accountancy profession led by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya,” President Kibaki said.
The President particularly welcomed the congress noting that it will discuss infrastructure and how it relates to the accounting profession, an issue that has taken the centre stage in Kenya’s development agenda.
Underscoring the importance of infrastructure development in Africa’s economic progress, President Kibaki said its role in the transformation of the continent will be more effective if it is undertaken in a coordinated manner in the context of regional integration.
“World class regional road, telecommunication and rail networks; modernised port facilities and investments in effective power pooling arrangements have the potential to completely change the economic and social landscape of Africa,” President Kibaki said.
The President, however, observed that while Africa has made substantial progress in infrastructure development, there is much more that needs to be done as the continent continues to face a huge financing gap largely because of its inability to mobilise sufficient domestic resources to finance the required investments.
President Kibaki called on the African continent to focus on the potential of its domestic sources of finance to bolster the support from development partners in bridging the financial gap.
On Kenya’s part, the Head of State said the country has been able to mobilise nearly $1billion through Infrastructure Bonds.
He said Kenya has also began engaging the private sector through Public-Private Partnerships in the development of infrastructure, which will go a long way in availing additional resources.
“As our own experience here in Kenya has shown, the domestic potential for financial resources is huge provided that we have the requisite policy and legal environment,” the President said.
Noting that the accounting profession plays a key role not only in infrastructure development but also in the sustainable development of the African continent, the President urged accountants to help both private and public corporations to mobilize resources and advise on financing of infrastructure as well as other projects.
In doing this, President Kibaki said the accountants must always uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in financial reporting, timely production of financial reports, as well as ensuring the accuracy and integrity of financial reports.
Said President Kibaki: “This must be your contribution to the infrastructure sector. This is critical because of the complex nature of projects especially in the roads and energy sectors.”
The President pointed out that the services of accountants are also important in many aspects of public finance management including budgeting, budget execution, procurement and auditing.
In this regard, President Kibaki said through the support of accountants, African governments will be able to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability in public financial management.
The President, therefore, appealed to those attending the forum to come up with recommendations on how the public sector can retain competent accounting staff.
“I am aware that over the years the public sector has constantly lost good accountants to the private sector,” President Kibaki said.
He commended the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya for hosting the congress and thanked the different sponsors and institutions who played a role in the successful organization of the forum.
Addressing the same forum, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta said Africa’s dominance in the global economy was being noticed adding that six of the world’s fastest growing economies are from the Sub-Saharan Africa.
He urged African professionals to respond to this scenario by taking their rightful positions in the global arena and thanked professional accountants in Africa for positioning themselves to face the challenge.
The Finance Minister urged other professionals to follow suit and join efforts by African governments to integrate the continent’s economies.
Other speakers included the chairman of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICIPAK) Mr Patrick Mtange, President of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) Major General Sebastian Owuoma and the representative of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Japheth Katto.