The professional project : the case of accountancy in Kenya
This thesis charts the rise of professional accountancy in Kenya. The study sets out to examine: how the market for the provision of accountancy services was controlled in colonial Kenya; how the exclusionary practices of the expatriate accountants in colonial Kenya were reversed after independence; how the process of indigenous professionalisation in the 1970s was implemented and the extent to which the model of professionalisation adopted here deviates from others to be found in the literature. As far as possible, the study draws upon archival sources of data mainly to be found in Kenya. However, given the scarcity of such historical data and the relatively recent passage of Accountants’ legislation in 1977, the study also utilises oral history data to add density and detail. The Kenyan professionalisation trajectory is a product of the changing social, political and economic environment from within which it emanates. The study finds that at various points in the history of the Kenyan project, different groups of accountants adopted different closure strategies. In colonial Kenya, the expatriates mounted exclusionary closure and attempted to exclude unqualifieds on the basis of competence and non-whites on the basis of race. After independence, prompted by the state, Africans were encouraged to train for accountancy in the belief that successful Africanisation would permit the excluded Africans to “bite into” the privileges enjoyed by the expatriate accountants, effectively mounting inclusionary usurpation. Finally, both exclusionary and inclusionary strategies were adopted at different points in the processes leading to the formation of ICPAK (the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya) in order to command control of the profession.