Teams of British accountants will help transform accounting standards and develop professional accountancy institutes in Africa and Asia, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced.

The UK will deploy staff from chartered accountancy institutes to developing countries such as Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia to improve their financial management and investment climates by sharing British expertise and international best practice.

Announced following a round-table meeting at DFID today, the Department also committed £4.5 million to the International Federation of Accountants to help up to 10 partner countries in Africa and Asia, develop international-standard professional accountancy institutes of their own.

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary said: “The UK’s financial sector is second to none and its skills and experience can boost development across the world.

“By helping developing countries to manage their own resources better and attract investment we can create the jobs and growth needed to lift people out of poverty.”

The first deployments of chartered accountants through DFID’s Investment Facility for Utilising Specialist Expertise will begin in May 2014. They will include teams from:

– The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) who will train the Ethiopian Ministry of Education in accountancy practice. Overtime, this training will ensure more officials are trained in international professional standards.

– The Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) who will review Zambia’s audit regulation to ensure it complies with latest international accounting systems; and

– The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) who will train several government bodies in Nigeria to stop corruption in government procurement.

On request from DFID partner countries, teams are deployed on short term assignments to support efforts to improve financial management in both the public and private sector.

Fayez Choudhury, Chief Executive of IFAC said: “IFAC has a long history of working to build capacity and strengthen PAOs as part of our public interest mission, and we are delighted about this significant next step in that journey.

“Well-functioning PAOs ensure a sustainable supply of professional accountants that support high-quality accounting practices and financial information in both the public and private sectors. They support enhanced confidence in business and transparency in use of public funds, giving rise to increased foreign investment and donor funding and improved government accountability and transparency – and therefore are essential to economic growth and stability.”

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