Rwanda Standard Board has signed an agreement with the African Academy of Sciences to promote transparency in use of funding among local organisations and curb instances of fraud and malpractice.
The development comes at a time when reported cases of financial malpractice such as embezzlement and mismanagement in institutions such as cooperatives have become increasingly common.
For instance, the government recently revealed that they were investigating cases whereby over Rwf 900M had been embezzled or stolen from cooperatives in the last two years.
The initiative dubbed “Global Funding Standards – Good Financing and Grant Practice (GFGP), is a digitally-supported system where donors and grantees can jointly access and share assessment data about the development assistance provided to organisations.
Effective December this year, the system will enable all involved parties to jointly access data online, share financial expertise on management of funds and exchange experiences through regular assessment.
According to Jean Bosco Harelimana, Director General of Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA), the move will contribute a lot to harmonise funds and grants management within financial and non-financial cooperatives.
“For long, cooperatives would apply for grants and loans but could not clearly explain how the finances were used up which also saw instances of mismanagement and fraud,” Harelimana said.
He added that such standards will help to ensure that the loan and grants are well managed.
Raymond Murenzi, Director General of Rwanda Standards Board, said that Rwandan cooperatives, SMEs and institutions of any size could benefit from the use of the new standards as it promotes transparency as well as proper management of funds.
“We have been facing management related issues in the financial sector. We will be sharing information online going forward to avoid interactions that can lead to corruption,” Murenzi said.
RSB welcomes the move saying that the implementation of the standards will enable the Board to strengthen collaboration with regulators, stakeholders and partners in financial sector towards the improvement of the governance of organisations that receive funding from the government such as cooperatives among others.
Prof. Nelson Torto, the Executive Secretary of the Africa Academy of Sciences said that they expected that the system will allow the parties to harness their capabilities to promote the implementation of quality standards for the efficient, transparent and accountable delivery of products and services.
Africa Academy of Sciences links academicians, researchers and experts with work places.