Mogae who addressed accountants at the annual Association for Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) gala dinner at GICC said the accounting profession was in high demand in Botswana and that of the more than 3000 accountants in demand, the market was only able to provide about 1 075.

“Of this number only one third are citizens and the remaining two thirds are expatriates mainly from surrounding countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and also from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

This is not a good picture at all for a vibrant economy such as ours. There is an urgent need to step up the training of accountants. It is important that young people graduating from secondary schools are encouraged to enrol for professions that are in high demand such as accountancy.”

Mogae said the accounting profession was under severe pressure to supply professional accountants and that the threshold set in the regulations of the new companies Act of 2007 implied that there was need to source out additional accountants from outside the country.

“Traditional sources of our professional accountants such as Zimbabwe and India, have become very competitive as they now prefer destinations such as Canada and Australia.

The recent vibrancy in the Indian economy also means that most professional accountants who targeted this region now prefer to remain in India.”

Mogae appealed to the education system to provide solutions to the skills shortage of professionally qualified and competent accountants. He said under the circumstances, the business community would continue to source expatriate accountants from other countries. Proceeds from the event were directed towards a charitable cause.