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Accountants Push For Real Cooperative Sector, Skilled Human Capital

CPAs Sserebe, Ntangaare and Mugisha explain the importance of the forthcoming forum

Accountants are pushing for the full restoration of cooperatives as one way to realise faster economic growth.

This is one of the outstanding recommendations that the professionals, through the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Uganda, have made to the government over time.

This comes as the institute prepares to hold its 11th annual conference due next month, at which new recommendations are expected to be tabled and outstanding ones renewed, mainly arising from the 2023/24 national budget.

They doubt the ability of the current cooperative movement characterised by savings and credit cooperative organisations, SACCOs, to transform the grassroots.

CPA David Sserebe Bbunya, the event manager, said that ICPAU nevertheless commends the government for taking the step, though the institute is looking at a bigger cooperative sector, as it was before the collapse in the 1980s.

ICPAU is an organisation created by the Accountants Act and is responsible for ensuring standards in the accountancy profession and occupation.

Asked how relevant its recommendations are and whether they matter to the government, Sserebe, also a senior partner at Serene, Opolot, Rugumayo and Associates Certified Public Accountants, said it is part of their mandate to advise the government on developmental issues.

Sserebe says they have made many recommendations including on the local content for oil and gas, government construction projects, and economic regional zoning of the country, among others.

Others that they say they have recommended include the rationalisation of government ministries, departments and agencies which is ongoing, as well as a stop on the creation of new administrative units.

He adds that the accountants’ body and its members have played a bigger part in the fight against corruption.

The institute is also concerned about what they call the continuously low standards in the education sector, which is still producing largely unemployable graduates, leading to high unemployment rates.

Ambrose Kariyo Mugisha, the Head of Education and Training says apart from oil and gas, tourism and national security among others, the forum will put a major focus on skilling for the labour export.

On education, Sserebe said the country cannot afford to continue exporting labour which cannot even be for semi-professional opportunities abroad.

This, he said is also important for the local market, giving the example of the tourism and hospitality industry which needs a lot of skilled labour to be more attractive to the world.

Sserebe said it was time that for example, top hotel management jobs were taken on by Ugandans.

The theme of the three-day forum: A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country, is based on the Third National Development Plan, according to the organisers.

The Director of Education, CPA John Bosco Ntangaare said the NDP3 implementation has been affected by many challenges and there’s a need to give it more time to realise its performance.

-URN

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