Mr Zubaidur Rahman of the World Bank visited BAOA on January 9 2014 and had a meeting with BAOA Management. Mr. Rahman was impressed with the pace at which the Government of Botswana implemented the Financial Reporting Act 2010 which led to the establishment of BAOA. He said other governments in Africa have attempted to do the same but without much success. He said the need for the Financial Reporting Act (FRA), 2010 emanated from the need to address the gaps identified by the Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes ROSC 2006 (A&A) review conducted in Botswana from February to April 2006 through a participatory process involving stakeholders within the country, including the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Botswana, Botswana Institute of Accountants, Auditor General, banks, insurance companies, state-owned enterprises, audit firms, corporate accountants, and academics. These gaps included lack of clearer understanding by professional accountants, inadequate technical capacities of the regulators, absence of implementation guidance, lack of independent oversight of the auditing profession, and shortcomings in professional education and training.
He said the then Acting Accountant General, Mr Singh Gupta, requested for assistance from the World Bank to mitigate the gaps identified by the ROSC (A&A) and luckily the World Bank had an American consultant in Tanzania helping with the drafting of the law there and sent him here to draft the FRA, 2010. He said their dream was to make BAOA a centre of excellence on audit and financial reporting based on the UK model but taking only what is relevant to the Botswana context. He was happy that this dream is being realised through the progress BAOA has achieved as early as now.
Mr Zubaidur Rahman commended the BAOA management for the excellent job done in making BAOA known and achieving IFIAR membership. Botswana joins South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt as the fourth independent regulator in Africa. He said this opens a lot of opportunities for BAOA as it becomes eligible for consultancy work throughout Africa as a reviewer of accountancy institutes of the calibre of BICA. Mr Zubaidur Rahman encouraged BAOA to continue to maintain the independence of its regulatory work as that is crucial for the maintenance of its membership of IFIAR.
Mr Limited Nkani who welcomed Mr Zubaidur Rahman to BAOA expressed heartfelt gratitude to Mr Zubaidur Rahman and the World Bank for having assisted BAOA starting with the formulation of the law and with training interventions that equipped BAOA staff with the requisite skills in performing review work. He pleaded with the World Bank to continue supporting BAOA in capacity building.