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The Role of IFAC and the Sustainable Development of Africa

Göran Tidström | Deputy President, International Federation of Accountants
Sep 22, 2009 | Johannesburg, South Africa | English

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'm delighted to be here today to participate in this special anniversary event. My congratulations to Chief Executive Vickson Ncube, President Koos du Toit of ECSAFA, your past presidents and CEOs, and to you, members, on this milestone in your organization's history. I would also like to recognize the hosting institutes and our IFAC colleagues, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the South African Institute of Professional Accountants, and the chief or platinum sponsor, ACCA, as well as all the other sponsors who have contributed in one way or another to making this occasion a success.

My brief remarks today will focus on looking ahead, to consider what IFAC can--and already does--contribute to the Africa of tomorrow through  sustainable development. I suppose that if you walked down a main street in Johannesburg and asked someone at random what is needed for sustainable development in this country, you might find quite a few people who would say "more sports" and, in particular, "success for Bafana Bafana." But there was also the unexpected visit of the Indian Cricket Premiere League, which provided a big boost to the South African economy, particularly for the travel and tourism sector. And it was followed by another welcome event, this time the Confederations Cup. I also note that construction is moving ahead for next year's FIFA World Cup, which should continue to highlight South Africa's unique attractions, as well as spur its economy.

And yet, man or woman does not live by football alone--not in South Africa, as one of the G-20 nations, and certainly not in other areas of the continent that have much further to go in developing a sustainable economy. What they need is people and innovation, and an economic environment that encourages these entrepreneurs to succeed with their ideas, for this is key to building a sustainable business and social environment.