The growth of the extractive industries sector in Africa is escalating and continues to present challenges for the public sector. The regulatory framework that is needed to ensure sustainable development of the sector, a fair share of income and an equitable distribution of that income, is complex and challenging. As part of keeping abreast with the emerging risks in this sector, AFROSAI-E has designed, developed and launched a basic e-learning course on the audit considerations for the EI sector for public sector auditors.
The aim of the course is to introduce SAI auditors (Financial, Compliance & Performance) to the key concepts, principles and terminology in the audit of extractive industries by SAIs. Its main objectives are to:
- Enhance the understanding of SAIs unique constitutional assignment and responsibility for good national governance and sustainability in extractive industries.
- Enhance the understanding of the distinctive characteristics and considerations exceptional for the extractive industry sector (and how to apply these in financial, compliance and performance audits).
As a result of taking the course, we expect participants should be able to understand and comprehend the key concepts, principles and terminology in the audit of extractive industries.
Over the years, AFROSAI-E has obtained an understanding that the knowledge of the EI sector varies from one SAI to another and from one auditor to another. As such it is always the case that when we deliver workshops and courses on capacity building, participants are always at different levels of knowledge and understanding of the EI sector. This negatively affects the participatory learning environment and possibly the final take away from the workshop by participants. Going forward, AFROSAI-E intends to use this e-learning as a tool towards blended learning. We believe that through the understanding and comprehension of key concepts, principles and terminology in the audit of extractive industries – SAI staff will be able to participate actively at the AFROSAI-E; extractive industries training workshops.
Whilst the main target group of the e-learning is SAI auditors of all ranks and profiles who have never done an EI sector centric audit and possibly know little if anything about the subject matter, it may also be used by experienced EI auditors as it is based on some of the latest knowledge, practices and initiatives in the EI sector globally.
The e-learning course can be found on the AFROSAI-E Learning Management System (LMS). As such it can be accessed via various devices including smart phones, tablets and laptops at the convenience of the user. The course is based on the AFROSAI-E Guidelines on the audit of extractive industries. It has four chapters and an introduction with a background on the EI sector. Within each chapter there are knowledge checks which try to highlight some key learning points of the chapter. At the end of the course, there is a general 20 question assessment which has a 60% minimum pass rate for a participant to be awarded a certificate of completion. The certificate of completion is a pre-requisite for attending AFROSAI-E workshops on the EI sector. Throughout the course, we have created an avatar called Kichaka Mosiye who facilitates the e-learning. As a facilitator, Kichaka combines several delivery technics designed to optimise screen learning. These techniques include; audio, video, text, pictures, interactivities.
By Edmond B. Shoko.