IIA–South Africa hosted its 17th Southern African Internal Audit Conference from 11–13 August 2014. Held in Johannesburg, the event was also a celebration of IIA–South Africa’s 50th anniversary. The conference theme, Guardians of Governance, lent itself to contributions to good governance made by the internal audit profession and the many challenges ahead in a complex and rapidly changing world.
The event began with a keynote address from South Africa’s Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. His talk on Africa’s Rightful Seat in the Global Leadership Arena sketched the broad context for the delegates. His remarks were a welcome addition to the global “Africa Rising” discourse which maintains that, despite the persistent and painful challenges that are so well-documented, the African continent is turning the corner and setting off on a better road ahead.
Other speakers discussed the state of governance in Africa. One panel, which featured South Africa’s public protector and other well-respected commentators, tackled tough questions, setting the example and reminding internal auditors to do the same.
A second panel discussed the topic of the role of rating agencies in a week that saw a major local bank downgraded by Moody’s. Panelist Kisso Diall, newly appointed interim country manager of Moody’s, addressed that issue.
A third panel discussion featuring Auditor-General of South Africa Kimi Makwetu discussed the consequences of failures in governance, especially in the public sector by addressing issues of poor service delivery, corruption, and social unrest.
Speakers from the internal audit profession engaged delegates with discussions on a variety of interesting and relevant subjects. Richard Chambers, president and CEO of The IIA, shared his insights on the issue of Implementation Capability: The Competitive Edge, with a helpful and practical treatment of the topic. Anton van Wyk, the first South African chairman of The IIA’s Global Board, weighed in on the governance theme with his address on Governance: Cost vs Benefit. Finally, Nicola Rimmer, president of the IIA-United Kingdom & Ireland, spoke about Your Brand, Your Credibility.
The conference concluded with a CAE luncheon at which Claudelle von Eck, CEO of IIA–South Africa, presented the institute’s research findings in the second edition of the Corporate Governance Index for South Africa. This was followed by a presentation by Chambers who shared his Leadership Lessons from the Audit Trail.
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