AFRA is duly registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC/IT/NO 42879) as a non-religious, non-political and non-governmental organization which aims at “bridging the gap between the world of research and the world of practice in accounting and finance.” Its vision is “focusing on the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and research in accounting and finance to better serve the accounting and finance needs of the global community.” The association recorded huge successes in the past ten (10) years, especially in terms of viable sponsorship and participation.
The 2021 AFRA conference focuses on addressing the severe threats imposed by COVID-19 pandemic. Evolving research outcomes suggest that the emergency measures taken by individual countries to mitigate the spread of the virus (e.g. lockdown, restrictions, and policy adjustments) have widened inequality and eroded the little progress made towards inclusive and sustainable development. Those short-term policy actions are particularly found to be responsible for the spate of job losses in both the formal and the informal sectors, rising debt profiles, and worsening climate change risks. No doubt, these adverse consequences vary significantly across regions and gender. African countries are particularly the worst affected because of their already fragile socioeconomic conditions. More than any other region, Africa is overwhelmed by large size of informal sector, predominant low-skilled workforce that do not have the option of working remotely, constrained fiscal capacity to address public service delivery needs, food and security challenges, and shrinking revenue due to commodity price volatility. While the fiscal capacities of African governments have narrowed significantly, external capital flows from foreign direct investments, remittances, and development assistance are also drying up. The prediction is that a sustainable economic recovery in the region will remain illusionary unless public and corporate policies are informed by valid scientific and context-relevant research findings, and until the right sets of economic recovery measures are put in place.
The eleventh conference, hosted in Kings College University, Accra, Ghana from November 1 to 3, 2021, successfully gathered galaxy of scholars, professionals, practitioners, and policymakers to strengthen the quality of scientific findings that address all the threats COVID-19 imposed on African economies.