Congresses and Conferences

International Journal of Government Auditing – October 2011

AFROSAI General Assembly Held in Gabon

The African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) held its 12th General Assembly in Libreville, Gabon, July 18–23, 2011. Hosted by the President of the Court of Audit of Gabon, Gilbert Ngoulakia, the assembly drew delegates from Arabic-speaking SAIs (AFROSAI-A), English-speaking SAIs (AFROSAI-E), French-speaking SAIs (AFROSAI-F), and Portuguese-speaking SAIs. Over 50 countries sent delegates, while guests and observers included ministerial officials and representatives from the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI), the Institute of Internal Auditors, various international donor organizations, and this Journal.

The opening ceremony, held at the Laico Okoume Palace Hotel in Libreville, was attended by the Prime Minister of Gabon, Paul Biyoghe Mba, who made opening remarks to the delegates. Mr. Ngoulakia, incoming AFROSAI President, and Terence Nombembe, outgoing AFROSAI President and Auditor General of South Africa, also made welcoming remarks.

At the first plenary session, Mr. Nombembe underscored the importance of having all regions and language groups of Africa represented and participating in AFROSAI meetings. He noted that he was pleased to see such a large and diverse group attending the General Assembly and that he hoped this level of cooperation and participation would continue into the future. He also congratulated Mr. Ngoulakia on his new role as incoming AFROSAI President.

Mr. Ngoulakia thanked Mr. Nombembe and stated that it was an honor to take the role of AFROSAI President and that he looked forward to continuing the good work in AFROSAI that Mr. Nombembe had initiated.

In other opening business, the assembly approved the appointment of the Auditor General of Gambia, Bubacarr Sankareh, as Technical Vice-President for the 12th AFROSAI meeting. The SAI of Libya hosts the AFROSAI General Secretariat and, due to the situation in the country, was unable to attend. Alfred Enoh, Director of the Secretariat of AFROSAI-F, represented the secretariat ad interim and announced that the AFROSAI prize, normally awarded to an SAI for its role in supporting AFROSAI, would not be awarded this year because of the absence of the SAI of Libya. Mr. Enoh awarded the science competition prize to Khemraj Reetun of the SAI of Mauritius.

The assembly also heard remarks from Magnus Borge, the head of IDI, and Francis Salsmann, representing the Court of Accounts of France, who discussed the complexities of the relationship between SAIs and their parliaments.

Bame Gueye, President of AFROSAI-E and President of the Court of Audit of Senegal, delivered the AFROSAI General Secretariat report. He spoke about the status of AFROSAI dues, the upcoming introduction of the new AFROSAI strategic plan and procedure manual, relations with the donor community, and capacity building within the regional language subgroups.

Mr. Nombembe introduced the new 2012–2014 AFROSAI strategic plan, noting its three priorities—strengthening governance structures, technical capacity building of member SAIs, and institutional capacity building for member SAIs within their own jurisdictions. He also highlighted the section of the plan dealing with AFROSAI financing, which essentially comes from member dues and donor contributions. He noted that if donor contributions diminish, it will even more essential that AFROSAI ensures that all member dues are kept current and paid in full.

Mr. Gueye presented delegates with the newly completed AFROSAI Procedures Manual, which was adopted unanimously by the assembly. The assembly also unanimously approved the strategic plan.

In other business, Mounira Abd El Hadj presented the report of the AFROSAI Journal. Representatives of the AFROSAI language subgroups each made presentations, followed by remarks from Emma Kellner, representative of German development organization GIZ, who discussed 12 projects already completed with AFROSAI, including work on the strategic plan and procedures manual and seven more ongoing capacity-building projects.

The second plenary session focused on the presentation of papers and discussions on three themes:

  • performance audit (theme chair Ghana, rapporteur Namibia, and reports from Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Senegal, and South Africa);
  • audit of public debt (theme chair Mauritania, rapporteur Morocco, and reports from Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon, and Guinea); and
  • auditing government salary payments (theme chair Cameroon, rapporteur Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), secretary Senegal, and reports from Cameroon, DRC, Gabon, and Guinea).

In the third general plenary, the assembly unanimously approved the admission of four new members to AFROSAI: Guinea, Togo, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe. It also approved the election of new language subgroup representatives to the AFROSAI Governing Board: Algeria (AFROSAI-A), Cameroon and Senegal (AFROSAI-F/CREFIAF), and Namibia (AFROSAI-E).

Various issues regarding AFROSAI’s finances were discussed, with particular emphasis on the situation in Libya and the functioning of the General Secretariat. It was agreed that a decision regarding the General Secretariat would be taken at the Governing Board meeting before the next AFROSAI General Assembly.

Finally, the delegates unanimously adopted the Libreville Accords, and proposed that Morocco host the next AFROSAI General Assembly in 2014. The delegates approved the proposal, and Morocco accepted the invitation to host the 13th AFROSAI General Assembly.