SOUTH Africa’s first black governor of the Reserve Bank (SARB), Tito Mboweni, will headline this year’s annual conference of the Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) in Maseru from 17 to 19 October.
The first such conference was held in 2009 and brings together accountants and other stakeholders from the public and private sector to share ideas of mutual interest around an identified theme.
This year’s theme, ‘Reimagining Business in Africa: A Journey Towards Economic resilience’ is aimed at coming up with strategies to rethink the ways of conducting business with an overarching goal of growing resilient and sustainable economies in Africa.
Speaking during the recent launch of this year’s LIA theme, the association’s president, Moahloli Mphaka, said the annual conference had evolved from being just a platform for the discussion of purely technical issues about the accounting profession to include deliberations on wider societal issues.
“Accountants are no longer just number crunchers anymore, they now have a bigger role to play in society,” said Mr Mphaka who is the Government Secretary.
Mr Mphaka also called on accountants to participate in the fledging multi-sector reforms process that seeks to create a peaceful and stable national environment without which there cannot be any meaningful socio-economic development.
The Chief Executive Officer of the LIA, Monyaola Mosoloane, concurred with Mr Mphaka, saying this year’s conference would go beyond purely accounting issues and discuss how the accounting profession could play a more meaningful role in growing the economy.
Mr Mosoloane said the conventional accountant whose primary function was bookkeeping was being replaced with the modern one who was not only an advisor but also a partner and analyst in an organisation.
For his part, LIA vice president, Robert Likhang, said they would use the conference to create stronger relationships with stakeholders and ensure the profession remained relevant to the wider society.
He further said the presence of international guest speakers such as Mr Mboweni ensured that Lesotho kept abreast with global developments in the accounting profession.
“We intend to continue attracting international figures to our conferences so that Lesotho is aligned to what is happening around the world,” Mr Likhang said.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki as well as telecommunications mogul, Strive Masiyiwa have graced past LIA conferences.
Mr Mboweni is no stranger to Lesotho, having first come as young exile fleeing the then Apartheid South Africa in 1980. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the National University of Lesotho in 1985.
He is a founder member of the Mboweni Brothers Investment Holdings and international advisor of Goldman Sachs International.