The Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) celebrated a big achievement last week – the graduation of the first chartered accountants from its stable. The six females were: Whitney Kalaote – the first ever Botswana’s Professional Chartered Accountancy Qualification graduate and others Onneile Maripe, Oreneile Kago Mudongo, Tumalano Dinake, Neo Shirley Kwape and Rinomasa Thalala Kamuvete. Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Dr Wilfred Mandlebe applauded BICA for the achievement, saying a strong economy like that of Botswana needs a strong accountancy profession.
He said in these uncertain economic times it is now more than ever that Botswana needs the expertise and innovative thinking of the accountant. “This is not only relevant to Botswana but this knowledge is important for a world that is living in flux for economies that need skill in the business that powers them and skills that are relevant to the markets that they serve,” he said.
He said the local economy needs more professional accountants because out of the 1180 professionals registered with BICA only 472 are locals while 702 are foreigners. “This is clear indication that Botswana economy relies to a large extent on the importation of professional accountants and in this regard BICA needs to have their work cut out to increase qualified registered accountants,” he said. BICA President Rudi Binedell said at the moment they have 343 active BICA qualification students and believe that in the coming years they will continue to produce chartered accountants through the BICA qualification. “I would also urge you ladies and gentlemen to register as Authorised Training Employers with BICA as this will assist in producing accountants that are ready for employment as soon as they qualify,” he said.
Binedell said they continue to ensure that more Batswana take up the profession by engaging the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research and Technology to continue sponsoring citizen BICA Qualification aspirants beyond their first/undergraduate degrees so that the economy can stop importing this much needed skill.
ICAEW President Hilary Lindsay said Chartered Accountants are not always in the thick of the action but as any good coach knows, they can see the game more clearly from their vantage point. “We know the rules, we prepare and build up our colleagues and they know they can turn to us for leadership and encouragement. We can think about the long game and how our clients should tackle the challenges that inevitably arise in uncertain economic climates,” she said.