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November 13, 2014

WCOA Rome: Former chairman of Kenyan institute receives IFAC Sempier award

By Vincent Huck

Rome, Italy (WCOA 2014) IFAC has presented former chairman of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) Ndungu Gathinji with the IFAC Robert Sempier award.

Created in 1991 the Robert Sempier award recognises outstanding contributions to the accountancy profession by an individual over a period of many years.

Gathinji represented Kenya in IFAC since 1987 were he pushed for the creation of the Developing Nations Committee, now renamed Professional Accountancy Organisation Development Committee. He was a member of the Standards Advisory Council of the International Accounting Standards Committee foundation.

He helped found the African Stock Exchanges Association in 1993 and has served as its honourable secretary ever since. He practiced as a chartered accountant for 26 years before retiring as chairman of EY East Africa in 1997.

In his acceptance speech, Gathinji reflected on his life within the accounting profession from the times of British colonial rule in Kenya and the Mao Mao uprising to today’s times and the appointment of Olivia Kirtley as the first female president of IFAC.

"We are still waiting for the first president of IFAC from Africa," Gathinji said before praising the continent’s achievement in the past 50 years.

For those who have preconceived ideas about African migrants who put their life at risk to reach Europe or other developed part of the world, Gathinji answered: "This do or die attitude is a prerequisite to bettering oneself."

"The best of Africa has yet to come," he concluded.

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