The first-ever inaugural meeting of the Association of Auditors General of West Africa (AAGWA) opened in Accra last Thursday with a call for convergence of strategies to optimize financial and technical resources.
To further improve the impact of various programmes of ECOWAS, a decision to reform its institutions was taken by the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
One of the reforms was the creation of the Office of the Auditor General to support the improvement of governance in ECOWAS institutions and agencies to ensure and promote accountability, transparency, efficient service delivery, and aligning ECOWAS to global best practice standards.
AAGWA is as a result of the reform of ECOWAS Institutions.
Mr Jean-Claude KassiBrou, the President of ECOWAS, said the creation of a supranational body encompassing Auditors General in the ECOWAS Region allowed for the transfer of best practices.
This is achieved through pooling and borrowing of key resources for audits at the regional and national levels leading to transfer of best practices and joint formulation of audit policies and strategies.
That, he said, would ensure that the ECOWAS Integration Agenda was managed on sound principles that guaranteed the integrity of corporate governance and foster economic growth and prosperity in the ECOWAS Region.
“The concept of AAGWA is not unique to ECOWAS. There are other organisations like INTOSAI, which share similar goals and objectives. Therefore, AAGWA will help ECOWAS to align itself to global best practice standards that are identical to other global organizations…”.
Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance, urged the Auditors General to rise up to protect the public purse by closing the leakage in revenue mobilisation.
He, therefore, advocated for the need to have a common voice to speak to the world about their goals and how they intended to achieve them.
Mr Daniel Domelevo, the Auditor General, in a speech read on his behalf, said the abuse of public resources had become rampant in the sub-region and yet, when audit reports revealed those infractions, the perpetrators took delight in attacking the Auditor General instead of correcting the wrong.