President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) and President, Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA), Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong, has pointed out that with a population of over 350 million people and many diverse natural resources, the West African economy was yet to make its mark in the global economic development space.
He highlighted that the economic growth rates of the various countries are insufficient to make significant reduction in levels, noting that while the world has moved on from manufacturing to export of intangible goods and services as part of strategies to create more value, the sub-region still practices subsistence agriculture, exports primary products, earns little income, experiences poor savings, attracts poor investments and therefore, remains a poor sprinter in the global economic development race.
Prof Adom-Frimpong was speaking at the inaugural edition of the joint congress of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and ABWA hosted by the Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (GICA) under the theme “Accounting for stewardship and Sustainable Development” in Banjul, Gambia.
“The challenge of infrastructural development and citizens’ access to the basic needs of life remains profound. The situation is further worsened by leadership challenges at all levels. The narrative about West Africa should and must change,” he said.
He therefore called on leaders and influencers, professionals and individuals, to support good stewardship and uphold our professional and personal conduct and practices. Like tilling the soil, stewardship is not something that will produce earth-shattering results overnight, but over time, the results could be immense.
Gambia’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Mr Mambury Njie said it is their hope that the congress will be a catalyst for the deepening and transformation of Accounting landscape in Gambia impacting both the private and public sectors.
He said the theme of the congress is in line with the Gambia’s President vision as enshrined in NDP 2018-2021.
He also urged participants to pay attention to the judicious use of financial and economic resources to uplift the citizenry of their respective countries based on good governance and the principles of transparency and accountability.
He said it is their belief that the potential is embedded within Intra-African Trade far outweighs the benefits currently being derived from our individual bila-trade agreements within the estimated blocks with the European Union, USA and the Asian Countries.
He also noted that Accountants have a pivotal role to play in realization of these major transformational initiatives to benefit our people.
The two-day congress brought together professional Accountants from all ECOWAS member states including resource persons to discuss topical issues.