LICPA Elected To West Africa Accountants Presidency

The Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA) has made another great stride internationally by getting elected to the presidency of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA).

According to a LICPA release, the current president of the institute Mr. Nim’ne E. Mombo, Sr. was elected as president of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA) at its meeting held on Friday, July 19, 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Mr. Mombo succeeds Mr. Kofi Ekon, President of the Institute of Chartered & Certified Accountants of Togo (ONECCA-Togo) whose tenure of office in that post expired June, 2013.

Commenting on his preferment as the current President of Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa to members of the LICPA, Mr. Mombo remarked that the recognition and honor bestowed on him and the LICPA is ultimately for the benefit of young Liberian accountants.

He explained that the better known and respected LICPA is within and outside of Liberia, the more widely accepted and respected the professional accounting credentials the LICPA bestows on graduates of its credentialing programs are.

The presidency of ABWA and other positions are vested in a member institute, rather than in a particular individual, provided that the individual who is elected to the post is the current President (or where applicable, the Acting President) of a member body of ABWA.

The presidency of the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa and other positions are vested in a member institute, rather than in a particular individual, provided that the individual who is elected to the post is the current President (or where applicable, the Acting President) of a member body of ABWA.

Prior to his election as President of ABWA, Mr. Mombo, in his position as the current President of the LICPA, served as the Vice President of ABWA.

In keeping with the standing tradition of ABWA, the formal inauguration of Mr. Mombo into office will take place at the next Annual General Meeting of the Association in October, 2013.

Inauguration, a common practice within the British sphere of influence, involves a formal handing over of the trappings of office. This is done by a custom-made emblem of authority around the shoulders of the inductee.

Such formal induction is done only at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association. The next AGM is scheduled for October, 2013.

The LICPA President will serve as President of ABWA for the period of two years, i.e., until June, 2015. Thereafter, the Presidency of ABWA shall pass to another elected person who per the constitution of ABWA, must be from a French speaking member country.

The Constitution of ABWA (as revised February, 2013) requires rotation of the positions of President and Vice President of the Association between Anglo and Franco speaking member bodies of ABWA. On this basis, whenever the President of ABWA is from a member institute whose national official language is French, it is mandatory that the Vice President must be elected from among member institutes whose national official language is English and vice versa.

Although the LICPA joined ABWA very early during the foundation years of the Association, this is the first time that the Liberian Institute has assumed the Presidency of ABWA.

Liberia’s 14 year civil upheaval was in large measure responsible for the delay of LICPA not joining the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa because the LICPA was, for all practical intents and purposes, inactive during that period.

Under the Constitution of ABWA (as revised February, 2013), whenever the President of the Association is from an Anglo speaking country, the Vice President is required to be the official representative of a Franco speaking and vice versa.

The Accountancy Bodies of West Africa was inaugurated in 1982. It is comprised of the national Professional Accounting Organizations (PAOs) of all member states of ECOWAS, and is the only regional body of the Accounting Profession in West Africa.

In 2012, the national Professional Accountancy Organization of Cameroon (ONECCA-Cameroon) requested and was granted admission to ABWA even though Cameroon is located in central Africa. The Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria, is a founding member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), which is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Individual national members of ABWA also have direct membership in Pan African Federation of Accountants. Similarly, the member institutes of PAFA also have direct membership in the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), which is the highest authoritative standard setting accounting organization in the world.

The mission of Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa is to provide leadership in the development; enhancement and strengthening of the accounting profession throughout West Africa and to also provide service of consistently high quality in the public interest in member countries and thereby contribute to the sustainable growth of economies of the sub-region.

The Association’s flagship program towards this end is the Accounting Technicians Scheme, West Africa (ATSWA), a foundation credentialing program, which is currently being administered throughout English-speaking West Africa. The Association is now working to additionally put in place a full regional professional credentialing program, similar to the ones now being individually administered by member institutes such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) and the Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA).

When the regional professional qualification program comes into effect, the individual national credentialing programs indicated above will come to an end. This is what happened in the case of ATSWA.

Originally the national institutes of Ghana and Nigeria separately administered their national Accounting Technicians Programs. Later, in 2007, those two founding Institutes of ABWA agreed to combine forces in forming ATSWA for the benefit of member bodies that are not yet internally strong enough to mount credible professional credentialing programs of their own at that level.

The LICPA became the third member body of ABWA to join and administer the ATSWA Program within its national jurisdiction. The LICPA has been admirably successful in doing this notwithstanding differences in the British educational system, as practiced elsewhere in all of English-speaking West Africa, and the US system of education that Liberia follows. The authorities of ABWA have noted with satisfaction that the LICPA has successfully met all the challenges implicit in those differences.

Based on the success achieved, the authorities of ABWA have requested and the LICPA accepted to undertake promotion of the ATSWA Program in other member countries. On that basis, the LICPA, along with ICAN, has gone to Sierra Leone (2010), Cameroun (2012) and The Gambia (2013) to promote ATSWA to the national Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) in each country. As in the case of the LICPA, the Gambian PAO has commenced efforts to integrate ATSWA into the accounting curricula of tertiary institutions of learning in that member Country.

Commenting on his preferment as the current President of Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa to members of the LICPA, Mr. Mombo remarked that the recognition and honor bestowed on him and the LICPA is ultimately for the benefit of young Liberian accountants.

He explained that the better known and respected LICPA is within and outside of Liberia, the more widely accepted and respected the professional accounting credentials the LICPA bestows on graduates of its credentialing programs are.

 

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