Take lessons and inspiration #findaba16 back to work: SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe

"Let's take the lessons and the inspiration from the Finance Indaba Africa with us and use it in our daily jobs," said SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe at the opening of day 2 of #findaba16. In an impassioned plea, he called on finance professionals to start contributing more to the future of South Africa, listing several practical steps for CA(SA)s and other finance professionals. "All of us need to be courageous enough."

Nombembe praised the event for its "amazing setting" and talked at length about the value of the Finance Indaba Africa and the value of collaboration with CFO South Africa that has been realised by the board of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. "This is a unifying event that will help us build the nation," he said, also alluding to SAICA's continued involvement in indabas to come. "We need to take this wonderful experience with us, use it in our jobs and come back together at Finance Indaba Africa 2017."

Interview - SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe endorses Finance Indaba Africa

"What can we do to help build a better South Africa?" That is how Nombembe took to the floor of a packed exhibition hall. "My message is one of sustainability,"he said. "As SAICA we have recognised that we have to go beyond our own corridors and collaborate, not only with other accounting bodies, but also with professional bodies of actuaries, medical professionals and others."

On several occasions, Nombembe referenced Vusi Thembekwayo and his opening presentation at Day 1 of the Finance Indaba Africa 2016. "When we have found a solution to something, we need the courage to do it. We need to be acting with a greater sense of urgency. Innovation and creativity are key to building a better society and economy. What is stopping us?"

As SAICA leader, former Auditor-General Nombembe has brought two important values to the profession: effective collaboration and responsible leadership. In his speech he boiled those down to four action points:

  • Sustainable relevant professionalism
  • Sustain employable skills pipeline
  • Sustainable basic service through PFM capacity building
  • Sustainable economic growth through SMME support

Nombembe's tenure signifies a remarkable shift at SAICA, from its more insular way of operating in the past. The CEO is also passionate about practicality. "The four action points I mentioned are easy to do to make a better South Africa. It doesn't help if we come to the indaba, visit great talks, get inspired, and then leave it at that. It is time for action."