profesor johannes kiflu


The Department of Accounting and Finance of College of Business and Economics, Addis Ababa University (AAU), hereby, informs, with deep sorrow and grief, the University Community, colleagues, friends and alumni of the Department the unexpected passing away of its most senior faculty member and the first Professor of Accounting and Finance in the country, Professor Johannes Kinfu Kidane. Professor Johannes Kinfu passed away on March 14, 2017 after an accident he sustained on March 2, 2017 and has been under medical treatment since then.

Professor Johannes was born on June 30, 1936 from his father Dajazmach Kinfu Kidane and his mother W/ro Wagaye G/Michael in Axum. He attended primary school at Asmara (Comboni School), junior high school at Khartoum (Comboni College), and senior high school at Addis Ababa (Haileselassie I Secondary School – Kotebe). He joined the University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA) and graduated in 1960 with BA Degree in Economics. He was one of the first three to graduate with sub-specialty in accounting field of study. After his graduation from the University College, he was employed at the Ethiopian Government Office of the Auditor General (OAG) as a senior auditor for one year and half.  He then left to the US to study for his masters degree in accounting with USAID grant. Having obtained Masters of Science degree in Accounting in 1963 from the University of Utah, he joined the College of Business Administration (CBA) at the then Haile Selassie I University (now AAU) as a lecturer. The CBA had just been established then under USAID technical support and he was the only Ethiopian staff member among the 25 expatriate staff, 16 of whom were peace-corps volunteers. Then, he went back to the USA for further education and earned his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Michigan State University in 1970.

Professor Johannes has been serving the university until he retired in 1998 and then appointed as Professor Emeritus of Accounting and Finance in 2004. During his tenure in the university, he served as a faculty member and as academic administrator in various capacities. He has been teaching accounting and finance courses for over 35 years. As a teacher, he was highly regarded by students and taken as a role model by many of his former students and colleagues for his strict discipline, punctuality, and perseverance. A Graduate Bulletin 1988-89 states that his name “expresses the word teacher more than the word can express the man (him)” (C.S.S Accounting Graduate bulletin p. 30). Besides, his students describe him as “absolutely strict on grades, his habit of keeping student busy through the semester apparently painful experience, nevertheless students love and worship him… during his lecture hours… all students are attentive and alert”. Professor Johannes published more than 10 journal articles, 14 conference papers, 42 other papers and writings on newspapers and bulletins, 2 teaching materials and 2 books in relation to accounting, finance and other social affairs. In academic administration, he served as Assistant Dean of the CBA, Dean of the CBA  (the first Ethiopian Dean of the College), Chairman of the Department of Accounting for several terms at different times, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE), Director of Institute of Development Research (IDR), University Planning Officer and Vice President for Business and Development (as care taker). He has also served as a member of various committees and task forces during these times and actively participated in the university affairs.

Professor Johannes has also been actively involved in and had a profound contribution to the accounting education and professional development in Ethiopia. He was the founding member, deputy and then chairman of the Ethiopian Professional Association of Accountants and Auditors (EPAAA), member of the Board of the Ethiopian Institute of Banking and Insurance, Board Chairman of different private and public enterprises including Meta Brewery, Yekatit Paper Factory and Construction Material Supply Enterprise, Ethiopian Management Institute (EMI), founder and first Board Chairman of Lion International Bank, Director of Training MIDROC-Ethiopia and Deputy GM of MIDROC Education and Training Institute (METI). Moreover, he served in different capacities and was a member of many university-wide, nation-wide and international committees and professional associations including the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, Think Tank on Education and Society (Ethiopia), Ethiopian Accounting and Finance Association (EAFA), Accounting Society of Ethiopia (ASE), BEN Africa, American Accounting Association (AAA) and International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). He was the elected President of the Association of Ethiopian Alumni of American Universities (ASSETAU), and member of the Ethiopian Economic Association, and founding member of the Institute of Internal Auditors Ethiopian Chapter. He was a member of the expert working-group on the revision of the accounting and auditing provisions of the Commercial Code of Ethiopia and was the resource person on Corporate Governance for the AA/Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce. Professor Johannes has also served as consultant, resource person and trainer for different organizations. These include UNECA, UNSAPAM (Special Action Program for Administration & Management), UNDP/ECA, ICPE (International Center for Public Enterprise – Ljubljana), Association of African Universities (AAU), Commission for Higher Education in Ethiopia (CHE) Ethiopian Airlines, Senior University Management Workshops (sponsored by AAU, CHRD, CIDA AND University of Zimbabwe), Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and many industrial and commercial public enterprises in Ethiopia.

Professor Johannes was a recipient of several awards both from international and local bodies for several of his contributions. He was Fulbright Scholar in 1985/86 and Fredric Elbert Foundations Research Fellow in 1986. He received an ACCA award recognizing him as “Father of Accountancy in Ethiopia” (2007), BEN Africa award for his contribution in Business Ethics Network in Africa (2008), Global HR Excellence Award in Training & Development Leadership (2011-2012) and “Emeritus Professor Award” by the African Education Leadership Award (2013).

Professor Johannes is survived by his two children, a son and a daughter, who have completed their masters degree in universities in the USA. Currently, both live in the USA.

We, at the Department of Accounting and Finance express our deep sorrow and grief for the loss of our most esteemed former member of the Department and respected fatherly figure and prominent scholar. Professor Johannes will always be remembered for his love of and enthusiasm for teaching accounting and finance.

May God rest his soul in peace.