Briefing from the recently concluded AAAG Interim Steering Committee (ISC) meeting
Attended by three of the five regions and five of the seven regional representatives.
Name unanimously agreed as Association of African Accountants General: AAAG.
All Accountants General present pledge allegiance and commitment to the cause.
The Chairman, Vice Chairman, secretariat and location thereof will be deliberated upon in the next ISC meeting.
The concept of forming an Association of African Accountants General was presented to the 26 Accountants General who were convened at Addis Ababa in October 2019, as invited by the African Union Commission and the World Bank to a Public Finance Management Forum. The meeting of the Accountants General was held alongside the forum as a separate agenda item.
An Interim Steering Committee (ISC) was elected at the meeting and was tasked with conducting the preliminary formation ground work, supported by the AUC, ESAAG (as they already had an established structure) and PAFA secretariat. The Committee consisted of regional representatives with two representatives from both the south and west regions and one from the other three. The regional representative countries are:
Central : Chad
East : Kenya
North : Morocco
South : South Africa (subsequently replaced by Lesotho) and Zambia
West : Cote de Voire and Ghana
Meeting timing, venue and funding
The meeting was supposed to take place in the first half of 2020 but could not as a result of COVID 19 travel restrictions. An attempt to hold it in Addis Ababa in December 2020 did not succeed due to stringent quarantine protocols in Ethiopia. Realising the delays, the two secretariats, which currently form the AAAG secretariat, (AUC & ESAAG) agreed to request Zambia to assist by providing a meeting venue. The meeting took place from the 15th to 17th February in Lusaka, Zambia.
GIZ, in discussions with both secretariats, agreed to fund the meeting.
Attendance and quorum
The meeting was held in both physical and virtual forms, as some of the representatives could not attend due to travel restrictions or some other reasons. The quorum, specified as five members and three regions by the draft constitution was therefore met. The members that physically attended were:
The member from Chad had initiated the travel but could not reach the destination due a combination of both technical complexities and Covid protocols.
The members who could not travel were:
Cote De Voire
Of those who could not travel, only Morocco did not participate.
The PAFA CEO was in attendance as a support mechanism, as was agreed in Addis Ababa in 2019.
For translation reasons, the Program Director was mainly from the AUC secretariat. The draft English version of the constitution, as handed over to English speaking delegates at the PFM forum and later electronically distributed to French speaking delegates was deliberated upon in detail. Even though the proceedings were translated to French throughout these discussions, there was consensus that proper translation in French will be attended to afterwards so as to make progress.
After two days deliberation, a transitional draft document was agreed upon. A high-level secretariat work plan, building up to the planned virtual end of March 2021 ISC meeting was also discussed and agreed upon. A more detailed work plan will be submitted to the ISC members for consideration and possible adoption for that date.
The Director Finance AUC closed the meeting by thanking the Government of Zambia through both the Ministry of Finance and Foreign Affairs, GIZ, the Accountants General, the PAFA CEO as well as both AUC and ESAAG secretariats for the hosting, funding, dedication and attendance. He warned the attendees that the real and difficult work has just begun.