- 905 learners from 71 schools across all 14 regions participated in 2022
- 500 more accountants registered with ICAN since the inception of the NATS programme in 2011
The annual National Accounting Talent Search (NATS) Awards Ceremony, organised by the School of Accounting at the University of Namibia (UNAM), took place recently with students from various regions being awarded.
It was hosted in collaboration with one of the big four accounting firms, Ernst & Young (EY) as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN).
The NATS initiative, aimed at identifying accounting talent among grade 11 and 12 students, has been deemed a major contributor to building the accounting profession in the country. Largely, it creates awareness and interest at high-school level and informs scholars about accounting as a profession.
Giving welcoming remarks at the ceremony, held early December 2022 in Windhoek, UNAM’s Pro-Vice Chancellor: Administrations & Finance, Prof. Ellen Ndeshi Namhila remarked that the programme also aims to nurture participating learners and keep them in touch with prospective sponsors.
“Since its inception, 11 years ago, over 6000 students from schools all over the country have participated in this programme.
“Well-known about this competition is that NATS winners ultimately end up pursuing accounting at university – a clear indication that NATS also serves as a good marketing tool for accounting programmes.”
During his remarks, Mr Brian Masule, a partner at EY stated that his firm is committed to building a better working world – hence the continued sponsorship of this initiative.
“By sponsoring this event, we give the organisers the tools to go and look for talent that can then be cultivated to contribute to increased knowledge in the field of accounting,” he explained.
He further encouraged students who participated in the competition to take it further and become professional accountants, alluding that it can open doors for them since accountants are needed in every sector and industry.
The competition’s big stars
The celebratory event was characterised by loud cheers, congratulatory messages, as well as big smiles, as the top regional winners received their awards.
Daneel van de Walt ranked as the top regional winner for grade 12 (AS level), making Khomas region the top winner.
He elatedly expressed that this came as a total surprise to him, as he completely forgot about the competition.
“I am happy for my win here tonight and I am looking forward to furthering my studies to become a chartered accountant.”
Meanwhile, Deolinda Nghinamanu scooped the top regional trophy for grade 11, and in so doing, showcasing outstanding talent from Ohangwena region.
An ecstatic Deolinda expressed gratitude to the sponsors and UNAM for organising this event. “I had not considered pursuing a career in accounting, but after tonight’s win and all the advice we received here tonight, I am really looking into it now.”
Continued support by the sponsors
Both EY and ICAN have pledged their continued support for the National Accounting Talent Search competition, and there is a call for other accounting firms in the country to join in on backing this initiative.