“Good Governance Key to Sustainable Development” -Pres. Weah; As Ecowas-Abwa Joint Session Opens In Liberia

MONROVIA :  President George Manneh Weah has said that there is a positive correlation between the promotion and practice of good governance and the attainable of sustainable development in any nation and that the quest to achieving both is even urgent and germane now than ever before given the many problems being faced by the sub-regional group, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

President Weah made the assertion yesterday, Thursday, March 17, 2022 at the Farmington Hotel, Harbel, Margibi County, when he officially opened the 3 day Second ECOWAS-ABWA Joint Session currently being hosted under the auspices of the Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants(LICPA) and being attended by high profile individuals and institutions including members of the diplomatic corps, top government officials, delegates from international development partners , the academia, civil society, religious leaders, media institutions, among others.

President weah told the gathering that the theme of the conference, “Good Governance and Sustainable development for Regional Prosperity”, corresponds to the various international initiatives by the United Nations through its Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) , the African Union Agenda 2063 and the ECOWAS 2030 Agenda and called on the delegates to make use of the opportunities given them to brainstorm not only on strengthening the accounting profession in Liberia and the subregion, but also to assist regional leaders in addressing many of the issues surrounding good governance that have negatively impacted development in the ECOWAS Region.

He commended the leadership of the regional accounting bodies for choosing Liberia at this time to host such as important occasion that has brought professionals and other stakeholders from far and near thereby elevating the status and image of the local accounting body, the Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA).

“Let me take this time to extend many thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia to the leadership of the regional bodies through the Accounting Bodies of West Africa(ABWA) for the deeming it expedient for our country to play host to this very important occasion. I want to call on you to enjoy the hospitality of the Liberian people and wish you fruitful deliberations”, President Weah said.

In his Welcome remarks, the President of LICPA, Mr. Victor SBK Tanwone thanked ABWA for the honoring the request for Liberia to host the event for the first time ever and expressed hope that the benefits of hosting the program will be fully utilized.

He told the well-attended occasion that the ECOWAS/ABWA partnership seeks to strengthen regional integration, economic growth, good governance, ease cross – border trade, and many more within the sub region, adding that it also seeks to address money laundering, terroristic financing, illicit financial flows and cross- border trade, Digital Transformation and the future of work, Corporate Governance and Board Diversity, etc.

The elated LICPA President spelled out the significance and benefits of hosting the congress in Liberia and to LICPA which he said spins in two main areas , one being that hosting the congress in Liberia will first and foremost showcase the technical competence, potentials and capability of LICPA as a member a professional accounting organization that is ready at any time to support the initiatives of ECOWAS/ABWA and all of its development partners and secondly, it will boost trade and overall revenue ,impacting various sectors of the economy such as the aviation industry, hospitality industry, professional networking, exposure of Liberian made products and exposure of Liberian businesses that advertised their products in the congress brochure.  He said it will also afford first time visitors the opportunity to feel the beauty of the oldest independent nation in Africa.

Mr. Tanwone who also identified knowledge acquisition as a major component, said that the Congress is usually designed with a theme that seeks to expose participants to evolving issues within the accounting profession. The theme of this Congress, “Good Governance and sustainable Development for Regional Prosperity” cuts across various sub topics to include terrorism financing, Money Laundering and Illicit Financial Flows (Bane of Public Financial Management Reforms),  Cross –Border Trade and The Imperatives of Deepening Capital markets Across West Africa (The Role of The Accountancy Profession) and The Accountancy Profession, Digital Transformation and The Future of Work and Corporate Governance and Board Diversity (Enhancing value Creation for Stakeholders).

Goodwill messages to LICPA came from fellow professional bodies including the International Federation of Professional Accounts whose President Alan Johnson spoke via zoom and praised the organizers for such a unique program. He spoke about the challenges facing the world economies right now owing first to the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic and the current war between Russia and Ukraine and the urge to hold on to professional ethics and character in fighting corruption and theft in both the public and private sectors globally.

Mr. Cosme Goundete, President of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), for his part said that he was excited to be at the occasion and pledged the support of his institution to work with LICPA in achieving its goals. He said LICPA is dear to his heart because it was one of the institutions that promoted and campaigned for his candidacy and he came out victorious and as  such it is an obligation for him to reciprocate the gesture.

Also speaking as part of the goodwill messages that poured in, Mrs. Comfort Olu Eyitayo, President of ABWA said one of the achievements of the partnership with ECOWAS was choosing Liberia to host the session which was the first of its kind in the country and will go a long way to promoting and strengthening the accounting profession in the Country.

She commended the leadership of LICPA for the efforts thus far in making the institution a formidable body among its colleagues in the sub-region, and believes the Tanwone led leadership has written its name in history and will be remembered as such.

The Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA) is the successor of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Liberia (LICPA) which was established by an Act of the National Legislature in 1933. It was established by an Act of the National Legislature in June 2011 to regulate the accounting profession in Liberia. The LICPA is empowered to set standards, license accounting and assurance practitioners, build capacity and do all things appertaining to regulating the accounting and assurance professions aimed at building a strong and vibrant public accounting sector in the country.

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