The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Cameroon (ONECCA), The Accountant has learnt, making it the first partnership between the ACCA and a professional body in francophone Africa.

The ACCA has a number of students and members in the region, but the bulk of them are based in Cameroun.

"The main reason for that of course is that Cameroun is bilingual," ACCA director of Sub Saharan Africa Jamil Ampomah told TA. "So the ACCA has been running programs in Cameroun for a number of years and we have three exam centres there."

The MoU covers a number of areas in order to raise the profile of the accountancy profession in Cameroon, as well as the skills of Cameroonian professionals.

"Because there are so few accountants in francophone Africa, the extent of their skills and capacity is not very well known," Ampomah said.

"So under the MoU we will work with ONECCA to raise the profile of the profession through advocacy work in order to highlight the importance of having accountants in key positions, like in the public sector for example," he added.

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The MoU also covers joint training events for members of both institutes to upgrade their skills, Ampomah continued.

"We will also work together to have a better understanding of our membership criteria and the various routes to membership from ONECCA and ACCA sides."

While it is the first MoU signed by the ACCA in francophone West Africa it might not be the last, as Ampomah notes that there is a need for more professional accountants in the region.

As previously reported by TA, there is a huge gap in the education pathway to access the profession. According to Ampomah, ACCA is keen to explore this gap and grow its membership in the region.