Sustainable Development Goals: Redefining context, risk and opportunity across Africa
Africa’s business and finance industries have a critical role to play alongside in helping governments deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and accountants can be at the frontline of mobilising collaborative action, says a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
The SDGs —an ambitious global framework for countries to achieve by 2030 —set out the building blocks of a new type of inclusive prosperity creation.
As the global economy increasingly comes up against new complex and interconnected challenges, the report notes that finance professionals are well-placed to bring together business, finance and government to deliver on this important commitment.
Commenting on the findings, Jamil Ampomah, head of ACCA Africa said, “The private sector operating across Africa is at the forefront of delivering the 2030 Agenda. At all scales, from multinational to microenterprise, businesses will be interacting with the issues that the SDGs set out to build this new type of prosperity.
“Countries across Africa are going through unique processes of economic transformation. Not only do they share new global risks and opportunities with other countries, but they also have their own context specific issues that are challenging and complex. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a roadmap towards building prosperity that is ready for the future.”
Professional accountants across Africa are facing growing demands for greater precision in reporting on performance beyond the financial, and to provide strategic advice about the impacts and opportunities that the new operating context horizons engender.
The implementation of successful strategies that deliver the inclusive, enduring prosperity required to take on global issues that the SDGs encompass will require an unprecedented degree of collaboration, innovation and problem solving skills that will test and overturn traditional orthodoxies.
“To make delivery of the SDGs a reality will demand investment, innovation, evaluation and communication. Across these areas the role for the professional accountant is clear. Their unique role in helping businesses with the proposition, creation and capture of value, and their trusted position in effective assessment and communication of progress made, will be vital towards achieving these new benchmarks and building a more sustainable future” concluded Jamil Ampomah.
Jimmy Greer, head of sustainability at ACCA commented, “Our global research has identified a clear role for professional accountants in delivery of the SDGs. Through learning and sharing experiences of ACCA members working in business and finance across Africa, and how they can be involved in the challenges and opportunities presented by the SDGs, we can continue to strengthen our knowledge platform and its on-going mission of activating the profession to play its part in building the global economy of the future.”
This short and practical report is a follow-up to ACCA’s 2017 report The Sustainable Development Goals: redefining context, risk and opportunity which recently received an Honours Award from UNCTAD’s Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting.
The full report is available here