The adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for use by the public sector in Zimbabwe is part of the global efforts to improve transparency, accountability and uniformity in reporting by governments as a component of Public Finance Management (PFM) reforms. The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), is persuading governments the world over to adopt IPSAS for good governance, fiscal responsibility, and effective decision-making. In Zimbabwe, the implementation of IPSAS began in 2019 when the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) adopted IPSAS for use in Zimbabwe and the subsequent gazetting of Statutory Instrument 41 of 2019 by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Prof. Mthuli Ncube. The Government of Zimbabwe then launched the migration journey to
report under accrual-based IPSAS by 2025 for the entire public sector, with annual milestones as enunciated in the 2018/2019 National Budget statements.

Meeting the annual milestones and 2025 national goal
Capacitation of preparers and other finance roles has been considered as one of the major determinants of success in IPSAS migration projects. In a bid to meet the 2025 national goal for the full implementation of accrual-based IPSAS by the government and all scoped public sector entities in Zimbabwe, there is a need for concerted efforts in human capital development through upskilling of people in accounting and finance roles through professional training. Professionalisation, as one of the annual milestones in the migration journey targets all preparers and other finance roles in the Zimbabwe public sector to acquire accountancy professional qualifications and membership affiliation with at least one of the Professional Accountancy Organisations (PAOs), in terms of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act. The development of competencies in public sector accountancy practitioners is one of the critical areas of focus that has seen PAOs working with training institutes to capacitate preparers and other finance roles in government ministries, departments, state enterprises and parastatals, independent commissions as well as in local authorities. It is in this context that the Management Training Bureau forged a partnership to offer training services in collaboration with the Chartered Governance and Accountancy Institute in Zimbabwe (CGAIZ) to deliver public sector accountancy capacitation training under the African Professionalisation Initiative (API) programme.

What is the African Public Sector Professionalisation Initiative

Why choose the African Professionalisation Initiative route?

The African Professionalisation Initiative (API) is a partnership between accountant generals, the accountancy profession, supreme audit institutions and accountancy academics in Africa. API’s vision is to see an African public sector capacitated with competent, ethical, and influential professionals who support accountability, transparency and good financial governance. API has a mission to grow the capacity of accountancy professionals in the African public sector for enhanced service delivery by governments on the continent. API has been working to support African countries with capacity building through the production of learning materials that support the enhancement of public sector accounting and auditing competencies. In the face of a critical shortage of professional accountants and auditors for the public sector in Africa, the API was established as a strategy to offer high-quality but affordable training for public sector accountants across the continent through the online Accelerated Learning programme and certification processes complemented by face-to-face tuition where there is need. The API Learning Programmes are recognised by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) on a global scale, by the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) on the continent and, in Zimbabwe, by the regulator of the accountancy profession, the PAAB. The implementation of the API Learning Programmes in Zimbabwe is covered under an October 2022 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the PAAB and the API.

In October 2023, the Management Training Bureau (MTB), the Chartered Governance and Accountancy Institute in Zimbabwe (CGAIZ) and the African Professionalisation Initiative (API) signed a tripartite training MoU for the delivery of the API online training programme in Zimbabwe. Through the tripartite arrangement, preparers and other finance roles in government and public sector entities are going to enrol for the API Learning Programmes and receive training at MTB and, after they complete the API Programme, obtain membership affiliation at the CGAIZ and subsequent registration as public sector accountants by the PAAB. The tripartite training MoU was guaranteed by the PAAB and PAFA.