The recent nomination of a Motswana woman Internal Audit veteran, Lesedi Lesetedi, as the 2013 to 2014 International Internal Audit (IIA) Global Executive Secretary, contributes to sound governance entrenchment in the public and private sectors on the African continent.
According to the pedantic Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) founding Director of Internal Audit Lesedi Lesetedi, the global appointments places the IIA Profession in African hands providing global benchmarking for professional institutes in all Africa countries.
The Global IIA’s main focus is to develop, assist, strengthen institutes, provide local members need a professional home conducted under the auspices of non-profit organisation with a visible and contactable secretariat.
When Sunday Standard spoke to Lesetedi in Gaborone last week she explained: “The IIA push into Africa involves providing Internal Auditors (IAs) with standards and code of ethics, inter-country technical support, guidance, competence frameworks, centralised facilities, networking structures, training, and professional qualifications, among others, at relatively lower costs. For the IIA African chapters, the competency-based delivers tailor-made training for centres of excellence that can be accessed by stakeholders for professional guidance and advice, aligned to global best practice.”
She said IIA Inc is a global professional body for all IAs across the world of about 175 000 members, in nearly 170 countries from all industries and sectors with HQ in Florida USA. IIA Inc is a globally recognised owner of the Standards for Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and Code of Ethics. The African Federation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (AFIIA), ECIIA, ACIIA, UFAI, to name some, are associated organisations with the interest of the Internal Auditing profession.
Lesetedi says as AFIIA’s Co-Founder the African Auditors forum’s main focus and ultimate objective is to provide a unified voice of the members of the African Continent on common issues, adopting a collaborative approach which will best serve the interest of all African IIA members. And promoting and developing an effective internal audit profession supported by strong, recognized institutes, is a key ingredient. Thus value will be added to all stakeholders in the private and public sectors, by improving risk management, internal control and governance in all organizations.
Broaching on her global appointments, Lesetedi said: “Having been the Chairman short for Chair Manager of the AFIIA Governing Council for 2011 to 13, I was re-elected for another term up to 2015. I am also a Director-at-large for the IIA Global Board of Directors for 2011 to 13 as well as Member of the Institutes Relations Committee (IRC) for IIA Global for 2011 to 2014. Further to nomination as member of the IIA Global Executive Committee as Secretary for 2013 to 14, I am currently a member of the IIA Governance Task Force (GFT) from 2011, which amongst others reviewed the IIA Strategic Plan, Structure, and Core Principles. Apart from being member of the United Nations Children’s Emergence Fund (UNICEF) Audit Committee in February, 2013 with IIA Headquarters in New York, USA, the appointment also extended into the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) Audit Committee in April, 2013 with Headquarters at Rome, Italy.”
The happily married Lesetedi says she is a professional IA, who attained the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) qualification in 2004, enjoys strong relationships with and has been supportive of the Internal Audit industry. Having attained a University of Botswana UB) Bachelor of Commerce baccalaureate in 1993, she has enjoyed the privilege of attending numerous training seminars, workshops and conferences in Strategic Management, Internal Auditing, Fraud, Risk Management, Corporate Governance, to name some. Insatiable intellectual spurred to complete Masters in Internal Audit and Management in London, UK in 2001.
Lesetedi says she served as the IIA Botswana Board of Governors President and Chairperson from 2004 to 2011, and AFIIA Vice Chairperson and representative of the Southern African countries from 2009 to 11.
Growing through the ladder and hierarchy as an Internal Auditor from an operational level to executive positions, Lesetedi said she worked diligently for the Public and Corporate Sector entities as an IA practitioner from January 1996. Her work schedule encompasses Parastatals as the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) and Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and currently as founding BIUST Internal Audit Director. Prior to the current BIUST CAE, she worked in similar capacities for the for the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport and Communication, Ministry of Lands and Housing (CAE), State President Ministry, based at the Office of the President and revamped the functions for the Central Transport Organization (CTO.
A true veteran and ambassador of the IA profession, Lesetedi in addition to hosting IIA Botswana Annual National Conferences has been a resource person, speaker at workshops and conferences. She is also widely traveled; chaired sessions at various national conferences in Africa, including her own country Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Tunisia and Nigeria.
Lesetedi, who has also been attending global IIA International Conferences and IIA Global Council meetings, attributes her zeal and passion for the profession to her competencies. She enjoys working with people of diverse cultures and professions, given good interpersonal relationships, eagerness to learn new things; the importance to make a positive difference and adding value taking on board respect for other peoples’ views.