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Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Research in Africa

Special issue call for papers from Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

Call for Papers: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Special Issue on: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Research in Africa.

Guest Editors

Grant Samkin, Associate Professor, University of Waikato
Robert Ochoki Nyamori, Associate Professor, La Trobe University
Abu Shiraz Rahaman, Professor, University of Calgary

Over the last three decades, the three major interdisciplinary accounting research journals (namely Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Accounting Organizations and Society and Critical Perspectives on Accounting) have opened up spaces for discussion on various socio-political dimensions of the practice of accounting in organizations and society. However, a recent observation (Rahman, 2010), highlighted a lack of significant accounting research including that of a critical nature that focuses on Africa, despite the research opportunities presented by the continent (exception include Josiah, et al., 2010; Neu et al., 2010; Rahman et al., 2007; Rahman et al., 2010).

Africa is the world’s second largest continent both in area and population number. The continent comprises 47 countries as well as 6 island nations with significant cultural and socioeconomic diversity, a very rich history and abundant natural resources.  For example, Africa holds an estimated 30 per cent of the global metal and other mineral reserves (Guzek et al., 2012), attracting a number of the world’s largest international mining companies, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Xtrata and Barrick Gold.

This concentration of resources has however, unlike in the West, not improved the well-being of the people in most parts of the continent. Of the fifty three countries and island nations, thirty-four are among the least developed in the world. The continent faces numerous issues associated with poverty, debt, corruption, HIV/AIDS, and water security (see for example Ashton, 2002; Bärnighausen et al., 2007; Poku, 2002). The poverty rate, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa is high, with about 48 per cent of the populations living on less than one dollar a day (Asiedu, 2006). Additionally, approximately 42 per cent of the continent’s population is below the age of 15 (Population Reference Bureau and African Population and Health Research Centre, 2008). There are limited employment opportunities for local youth, squalid living conditions, and growing inequalities (South African Press Association, 2012). Additionally, the existence of abundant natural resources (for example oil in Angola and Nigeria) is linked to high levels of corruption, and environmental degradation, particularly in those countries with poor democratic institutions (Asiedu, 2006; Bhattacharyya and Hodler, 2010; Kolstad and Søreide, 2009; Vicente, 2010).

Coupled with this, a number of mining companies operating in Africa have been accused of human rights abuse. For example, an investigation by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found that human rights abuse had occurred in relocating communities to make way for platinum mining (van der Merwe, 2008). More recently, Oxfam America has accused police and private security companies working for mining companies operating in Ghana of various rights abuses (Forres, 2011), while similar links have been made to the deaths of 44 people at the Lonmin mine in South Africa.

These are the negatives that require the attention of accounting researchers. There are however, a number of positive developments as well. After decades of military rule in a number of countries, the continent is currently witnessing a transition to democratic governance which presents significant research opportunities for accounting and public policy research. Reforms have been introduced to ostensibly improve public sector transparency, accountability and performance. For example, South Africa has gone through three iterations of the King Report on Corporate Governance (Institute of Directors of South Africa, 1994, 2002, 2009). South Africa has also embraced Integrated Reporting with companies listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) required to produce such reports (Güleş, 2014). A number of African countries have also published national codes of corporate governance. These include Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia (Rossouw, 2005). 

This special issue of AAAJ invites papers, both theoretical and empirical, that focus on accounting, auditing and accountability in Africa. We are calling for papers that explore how practices of accounting, auditing and accountability impact and are impacted by the socio-political environment in Africa.  We seek original research from any theoretical or methodological approach that addresses issues of accounting and accountability in Africa.  An indicative list of themes (but not limited to) includes:

  • Accounting in Africa’s colonial past including slavery
  • Accounting in traditional African societies
  • Corruption effects and approaches to dealing with corruption
  • Internal auditing and the role of Supreme Audit Institutions
  • Accounting for human rights
  • Accounting by companies working in extractive industries
  • Social and environmental reporting in African countries
  • Corporate Governance in Africa
  • Role of NGOs in Africa and their accounting and accountability
  • Accounting for HIV/AIDS
  • Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment
  • Accounting and sustainable development
  • Professionalization of accounting
  • Public sector transformations
  • Democratisation and new modes of government


Submissions for this issue open in June 2015 and close on 31 March 2016. Manuscripts in English should be submitted via Scholar One Manuscripts Author guidelines can be found here. When submitting, please choose this Special Issue from the list to avoid delay. The editors welcome enquiries and declarations of interest before submitting. These should be addressed to Grant Samkin at [email protected]. Early submissions are encouraged.


Ashton, P. J. (2002), “Avoiding conflicts over Africa's water resources”, AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. 31 no. 3, pp. 236-42

Asiedu, E. (2006), “Foreign direct investment in Africa: The role of natural resources, market size, government policy, institutions and political instability”, The World Economy, vol. 29 no. 1, pp. 63-77

Bärnighausen, T., Hosegood, V., Timaeus, I. M. and Newell, M. L. (2007), “The socioeconomic determinants of HIV incidence: evidence from a longitudinal, population-based study in rural South Africa”, AIDS (London, England), vol. 21 supp. 7, S29

Bhattacharyya, S. and Hodler, R. (2010), “Natural resources, democracy and corruption”, European Economic Review, vol. 54 no. 4, pp. 608-21

Forres, J. (2011), Human rights violations continue in Ghana's mining sector, Press Release Oxfam America, 24 August 2011, (accessed 31 December 2012)

Güleş, N. (2014), South Africa: Integrated Reporting, ACCA  6 March 2014, (accessed 8 June 2014)

Guzek, J., Kruger, L. and Alberts, C. (2012), “Identify value drivers and risks when expanding your mining operations into Africa”, Deloitte. (Accessed 31 December 2012).

Institute of Directors of South Africa. (1994), King Report on Corporate Governance, Johannesburg, South Africa

Institute of Directors of South Africa. (2002), King Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa

Institute of Directors of South Africa. (2009), King Code of Governance for South Africa 2009, Johannesburg, South Africa

Josiah, J., Burton, B., Gallhofer, S. and Haslam, J. (2010), “Accounting for privatisation in Africa? Reflections from a critical interdisciplinary perspective”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 21 no. 5, pp. 374-89

Kolstad, I. & Søreide, T. (2009), “Corruption in natural resource management: Implications for policy makers”, Resources Policy, vol. 34 no. 4, pp. 214-26

Neu, D., Rahaman, A. S., Everett, J. and Akindayomi, A. (2010), “The sign value of accounting: IMF structural adjustment programs and African banking reform”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 21 no. 5, pp. 402-19

Poku, N. K. (2002), “Poverty, debt and Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis”, International Affairs, vol. 78 no. 3, pp. 531-46

Population Reference Bureau and African Population and Health Research Centre (2008). “2008 Africa population data sheet”, Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC and African Population and Health Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya, (Accessed 31 December 2012)

Rahaman, A.S., Everett, J., and Neu, D. (2007), “Accounting and the move to privatize water services in Africa”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 20 no. 5, pp. 637-70

Rahaman, A.S. (2010), “Critical accounting research in Africa: whence and whither”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 21 no. 5, pp. 420-7

Rahaman, A., Neu, D. and Everett, J. (2010), “Accounting for Social-Purpose Alliances: Confronting the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Africa”, Contemporary Accounting Research, vol. 27 no. 4, pp. 1093-1129.

Rossouw, G.J. (2005), “Business ethics and corporate governance in Africa”, Business & Society, vol. 44 no. 1, pp. 94-106

Sian, S. (2006), “Inclusion, exclusion and control: The case of the Kenyan accounting professionalisation project”, Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 31 no. 3, pp. 295-322.

South African Press Association (SAPA), (2012), “Lonmin an example of exploitation”, Business Report, 17 August 2012,, (Accessed 31 December 2012).

Van der Merwe, C. (2008), “Angloplat’s actions ‘adversely affected’ communities – SAHRC”, Mining Weekly, 4 November 2011,, (Accessed 31 December 2012)

Vicente, P. C. (2010), “Does oil corrupt? Evidence from a natural experiment in West Africa”, Journal of Development Economics, vol. 92 no. 1, pp. 28-38