CGAIZ conference aims to accelerate economic transformation towards Vision 2030
STAKEHOLDERS in the governance and accounting sector would meet in Victoria Falls at the end of this month to deliberate on key strategies to accelerate economic transformation and ensure attainment of the Government’s vision of an upper middle-income status by 2030.
The Chartered Governance and Accountancy Institute of Zimbabwe (CGAIZ) would host the high-level Annual Conference in Victoria Falls between 27 to 30 September 2023.
The conference would be attended by local and foreign governance and accounting professionals, chief executive officers, managing director, auditors, human resource and marketing officials, students and academics, among others.
It would run under the theme: “Attaining Vision 2030, Chartered Governance and Accountancy Profesisonals – Catalysts for Economic Transformation.”
According to the preliminary programme for the event, CGAIZ chief executive Dr Lovemore Gomera, president Jonathan Dube, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya, Zimra Commissioner General Ms Regina Chinamasa, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce CEO Mr Christopher Mugaga, World Bank senior representative Patrick Kabuya, business consultants and development partner organisation leader, will be among the key speakers and panellists.
In a brief shared with the media, CGAIZ said in line with the theme of the conference, several topics will be discussed including the need to sstrengthen Zimbabwean institutional capacity for the attainment of Vision 2030, good corporate governance, ethical considerations, the role of public audits and mind renewal, among others.
“A lot of needs to be done to strengthen institutions in Zimbabwe and achieve the goals of Vision 2030. There is need to focus on improving the rule of law and reducing corruption. More emphasis is needed on strengthening the capacity of public institutions, such as the civil service and all government departments,” said CGAIZ.
“There is need for a commitment to good governance and transparency.”
In order to unlock the value and role of modern governance as an economic enabler, the CGAIZ said modern governance can play a crucial role in unlocking the country’s economic potential. With the right policies and institutions in place, it said Zimbabwe could see a significant improvement in its business environment, which would in turn attract more investment and create more jobs.
“There is the need to reform the Zimbabwean institutions’ governance systems and make them more efficient and transparent. This would require considerable reform of the civil service and the business community’s current way of doing business,” it said.
The CGAIZ further noted the need to embrace ethics at all leadership levels as an attribute that must go beyond compliance with rules and regulations.
“Governance and accountancy are very important professions where ethical leadership is a must. Governance professionals have a great deal of power and influence over the lives of people,” it said.
“As such, they have a responsibility to act with the highest level of ethics and integrity. Without ethical leadership, both professions could easily be corrupted and abused.
In tackling the good corporate governance aspect, the conference is expected to draw insights from global perspectives more so as companies and organisation operate within a global village setting in the face of digitisation and technology absorption.
“Good corporate governance is not just about following the law – it’s about having a strong ethical foundation and making decisions that benefit not just the company, but also its stakeholders and the wider community,” said CGAIZ.
Delegates would equally delve into the intricacies of public audits with the view of coming up with recommendations towards its strengthening. By providing independent, objective assessments of how well an organization is fulfilling its mandate, the CGAIZ says public audits can help to ensure accountability and transparency in a big way.
These will be tackled in close connection with the assessment of the future of business in Zimbabwe and how businesses could be assisted to grow the national cake from a banker’s perspective. This is critical coming at a time when Zimbabwe is facing some economic challenges that are impeding its ability to grow such as high levels of debt and lack of foreign investment.
“To turn things around, the country needs to focus on reducing corruption, improving infrastructure, and attracting foreign investment. Zimbabwe has the potential to become a prosperous nation, however, it needs to overcome some serious challenges in order to realize its potential,” said CGAIZ.
Given the growing global consciousness around environmental, social and governance (ESG) or sustainability imperatives, the conference would engage on the subject and its implications of chartered governance and accounting professionals, said CGAIZ.
“Chartered governance and accountancy professionals must consider ESG factors when making decisions and providing services. They also need to have knowledge and skills to provide ESG-related services to their clients,” it said.
The organisation also noted the need to mainstream the role of the corporate secretary and other governance professionals in response to the increasing demand for transparency and accountability. Traditionally, it noted, the role of the corporate secretary was largely administrative, focused on keeping records and managing the governance process.
However, today’s corporate secretary is expected to be a strategic partner to the board and management, providing advice on a wide range of governance issues, such as risk management, compliance, and ethics, said CGAIZ.
Overally, the organisation stated that the biggest challenge facing business leaders today is the need for “mind renewal”, an idea that to be effective, leaders need to continually challenge their own assumptions and ways of thinking. This will be one of the top discussion points during the conference.
“If you’re not changing, you’re dying,” said CGAIZ.