The Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (GICA) in collaboration with the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA) hosted the ECOWAS/ABWA joint Accountants congress.
The event was held at a local hotel at Cape Point, with the Theme 'Accounting for stewardship and sustainable development'.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mambury Njie, described the theme as a constant reminder that attention should be paid to the judicious use of financial and economic resources in order to uplift the citizenry of the respective countries; based on good governance and the principles of accountability and transparency.
Mr. Mamburay explained that "ECOWAS's collaboration with ABWA is born out of the realisation of its objective to promote cooperation and integration in all fields of economic activity", by ensuring Professional Accountants in the sub-region are positioned to drive accountability and transparency and promote best practices amongst others.
He highlighted the strides taken by ECOWAS and its member states to promote trade, free movement of goods.
"The recent ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) Treaty by almost all countries is a further impetus for ECOWAS and Member States."
He said this is to re-position economically to transition from their internal market of 350 million people to 1.3 billion African markets not to mention the global economy.
He assured the Council members of ABWA and GICA of his Ministry's commitment to continue to support the development of the institute.
The President of ABWA, Prof. Kwame Adom-Frimpong said the congress will offer professionals, policymakers and other critical stakeholders in the sub-region the opportunity to discuss, network and share ideas on how to move the sub-region forward.
He said the theme came at a time when discussions about the nature of corporate leadership, social responsibility and sustainability have begun to intersect and deepen.
'Stewardship is about building and growing sustainable businesses to produce long-term benefits for all stakeholders, and in the process contributing to the community and economy as a whole.
"The role of accountants in enhancing the communication between companies, their investors and management are critical. Directors and management rely upon financial information to make strategic decisions," create sustainable business value and invest in the future.
He said whether, at the corporate or public level, accounting occupies a premier position in governance.
Baboucarr Khan, described the Gambian Government through the Finance and Economic Affairs Ministry as an excellent partner and supporter of GICA playing a leading role in the securing of grant funding from the African Development Bank for the transformation of GICA from an Association to an Institute through legislation and also furnishing, maintenance and upkeep of the Secretariat for the past two years.