In a bid to bridge the gap currently saddling heavily on the accountants fraternity in the country, the Botswana Institute of Accountants (BIA) Thursday evening organized a graduation ceremony at Gaborone International Conference Centre which saw over 80 CIMA and AACA professional graduates participating.
“As you might have been aware, our profession is constantly in the spotlight and in high demand world wide as opposed to supply,” observed Nigel Dixon-Warren, the vice president of BIC in a speech read on his behalf to welcome the participants. “Today’s finance industry requires robust finance experts and it is BIC mandate to confine to the requirement and produce such products as you would today witness.”
Dixon-Warren warned the new graduates to adhere to ethical standards and good governance.
“The growth in our economy should see before you a wide range of opportunities. You have attained a position that could be enviable for many since your skill is one that is scarce.”
Echoing the same sentiments, the guest speaker, the assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samson Guma Moyo, encouraged the graduates to capitalize on the disequilibrium in the demand and supply of professional accountants in the country, persuading the graduates to seize the ‘opportunity and exploit it to maximum benefit”.
Currently, Botswana produces a negligible number of professional accountants in comparison to the demand and on such a premise, Moyo was more than delighted that BIA was closing the gap with a considerable number of accountants graduating at the event.
“To see so many students graduating today in this profession is indeed a wonderful and memorable milestone to witness. This is an assurance that our efforts to address the critical shortage of qualified professional citizen accountants in Botswana are gradually beginning to bear fruit,” he said. “Exploit this cumulative deficit. Go on from here and satisfy the ‘Practical Experience Requirement’ and become professional accountants; and register with BIA. What you have achieved by graduating here is the first step but a significant one, towards becoming professional accountants.”
Concerned that most graduates wallow much in complacency, Moyo encouraged them to work hard with determination.
“Go out there and be true ambassadors of your profession, eschew corruption and unethical behaviour and be good role models to the young ones,” the assistant minister cautioned, congratulating the graduates for having triumphed where many “tried but failed to achieve the same feat”.
“We join you in your celebrations and welcome you to join us serve our country as best as you can possibly can in the development and the advancement of the mission and ideals of the accounting profession in Botswana,” Moyo commended.
In the face of the calamities that have impacted negatively in our midst, Moyo warned the graduates to desist from abuse of alcohol and other indulgencies attributable to the source of the devastating HIV/AIDS pandemic.
He said the government was determined to give priority to programs and efforts directed towards finding solutions to problems emanating from all these scourges.
“Our cultural values and norms are slowly eroded due to alcohol and precious lives are being terminated at a very tender age. It is on the basis of such challenge that government has taken an initiative to find ways through which alcohol abuse could be eliminated,” he said, appealing to the participants, especially the new graduates, to participate in helping government to pursue its efforts of building an “accountable nation, guided by good morals”.
The graduates received awards, with the best students obtaining money prizes. The sponsors of the event included Barclays Bank, Grant Thornton and Kgale Quarries, who also sponsored the students for the respective courses.