Aspiring black professionals have the added intricacy of disadvantaged backgrounds and an education which does not prepare them adequately for the rigors of the accountancy profession. The African Women Chartered Accountants Forum (AWCA) espouses the vision of accelerating the advancement of qualified and aspiring African women CAs, recognising the difficulties and obstacles which confront them in their profession.
AWCA is a registered section 21 company that was founded in 2002 around the concept of mutual support and personal development by four African women pioneers in the field of accounting - Sindi Mabaso, Sindi Zilwa, Zodwa Manase and Tshidi Mokgabudi. Their success has made it easier for others to follow as a number of barriers have been overcome. In spite of this, there are still a number of challenges regarding transformation in this industry, and AWCA is designed to address both the short and long term challenges.
AWCA is a forum with deep convictions driven by carefully considered values, principles and ethics. With African women making up approximately 3% of the 26000 CAs in the country, AWCA has positioned itself to address the gender and continuing disparities that hamper the growth and advancement of African women in this sector, create an awareness of the profession and serve as a support base for aspirant and qualified African women CAs.
AWCA is committed to preparing aspirant and recently qualified CAs to understand what awaits them in the corporate environment and how to deal with circumstances and situations in an assertive manner. Information is power. In helping young CAs prepare for making informed choices and decisions, they can avoid mistakes which could hamper their personal development and careers.
AWCA is a forum where African Women CAs can interact and support each other, network for information sharing and business opportunities, encourage and support aspirant Black women CAs, and begin raising the profile of the profession.
AWCA has also established a bursary fund which provides educational opportunities to African women in pursuing the Chartered Accountancy profession. The bursary fund is administered under the auspices of the Thuthuka Fund operated by SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants).