H.E Mwai Kibaki’s speech, at ICPAK’s inauguration in 1978

Hon. Mwai Kibaki, the then Vice-President and Finance Minister, delivered this speech at the Institute’s inauguration at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on November 1978.


We are present here today to witness the inauguration of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. This ceremony represents a milestone in the development of the accountancy profession in Kenya.

We are all aware that just after the attainment of our independence the Government took steps to accelerate the pace of development of the economy by first setting up for the profession of accountancy by expanding facilities in this field at the Kenya Institute of Administration, the Nairobi University and the Polytechnic for promotion of research into subjects of accountancy and research. These institutions have as a result, played a commendable part in training young Kenyans in the disciplines of accountancy and financial administration. The Government, with the assistance of all interested parties, also set up the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board to provide the necessary examinations leading up to the Certified Public Accountants (Kenya) professional qualification. The Board has, over the past nine years, conducted these examinations most successfully and today we have
over 70 graduates who have passed the final professional examinations and joined the ranks of the profession. Over 5,000 Kenyans have registered and are attempting these examinations and it is my hope that they will ultimately qualify and be available to play an active part in the management of the finance of our country. The standards of the examinations have been kept consistently high so that we may ensure that our professional qualifications are recognized internationally.

At the time the examinations board was set up we also appointed a Working Party comprising of all those concerned with the profession of At the time the examinations board was set up we also appointed a Working Party comprising of all those concerned with the profession of accountancy to advise the Government on the scope and dimension of the institutions necessary for the development of an indigenous accountancy profession in Kenya.

The Working Party, whose Chairman, Mr Denis, and Members who I am pleased to see are with us today, did a very thorough job and provided the Government with a comprehensive report. This report formed the basis of the new institutional framework for the profession as set out in the Accountants Act and which became operative from July 1977. At this point, I would like to say something about the role that the new Institute would be expected to play in Kenya -to give the local profession the status and function it deserves. The standard set must be such as would be acceptable both in Kenya and internationally. Members are expected to contribute to improving the management style for development of the economy. In their role as principal advisers to their clients they must also see to it that financial operations are kept consistently within the framework of the government’s taxation systems. The Institute can expect to have to spearhead activities together with other Institutions
The Registration of Accountants Board was created under the Act to register accountants and regulate their professional behavior. I am happy to record my appreciation of the prompt and efficient manner in which the Board, under the very able leadership of Mr Stanley Mbugua, has carried out its functions during the past year. Their work has resulted in over 500 accountants joining the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya and they will: by today’s ceremony, be forming an integrated Professional Accountants Institute in Kenya which it is understood would be unique in Africa.

like the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Institute of Administration, for promotion of research into the subjects of accountancy and finance. Such activities would have the distinct benefit of equipping members with modern accounting techniques for establishing efficient methods of financial management in our country. Membership of the Institute should also afford a healthy exchange of ideas between members from various disciplines and communities of interest. In all its activities, the Institute will also wish to bear in mind the need to develop good working relations and consultations
with other professions in Kenya.

All of what I have just said is meant to underscore the importance that we attach to the role of the professional accountant in Kenya’s development. As I have stated earlier, the Government has provided the necessary legal framework but this will clearly need to be improved on by members of this Institute. The government will continue to do its part but would look initially to the Institute to provide the lead. Mr. Mbugua, I did say that the Government would assist the new Institute. With a view to meeting certain initial set up costs of the Institute, I am pleased to hand you a cheque for Sh120,000 which I trust will assist the Institute as desired.

It has also been suggested that I do present Certificates of Registration to a cross-section of members of the new Institute. I now have much pleasure in agreeing to do so.

With these few words, I hereby formally inaugurate the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya.

HARAMBEE!