Economy Needs More Accountants

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK With a current unemployment rate of 36,7% in Namibia, it is safe to assume that many of the jobless in the country are young school leavers, as even those with a tertiary degree or a diploma are unable to find employment. So said the Managing Director of Standard Bank, Theo Mberirua, on Saturday at the official opening of the second annual ABAN Games in the capital. Representative groups from 24 schools attended the event at which the Deputy Minister of Finance also spoke. “A labour force survey indicated that the unemployment in Namibia has increased in the last few years. At present there exists a shortage of chartered accountants – one way of helping to resolve unemployment within the job market. Once you matriculate accounting should become a career opportunity,” Mberirua told the almost 200 high school participants at the business game, also to be staged at the coast in August this year. Deputy Minister of Finance, Tjekero Tweya, told the selected learners at the business game that the chartered accounting profession plays an important part in government and the financial world in the country. “Presently a professional qualification in accounting is very sought-after both in Namibia and internationally. Therefore, it is imperative that we should increase the numbers of bookkeepers, accountants, chartered accountants and auditors in Namibia,” said the deputy minister. According to him the country presently only has 200 chartered accountants. “If we want to compete effectively … in the SADC region, we need to increase the number to at least 1 000 in order that business can get the necessary financial expertise that chartered accounts can provide. By exposing young talented learners to how business works and to accounting in a real world type of experience that you as learners will be excited and stimulated,” the deputy minister said.