KIGALI - After one year of power vacuum, the School of Finance and Banking (SFB), yesterday, got Dr Reid Whitlock as its new Rector, replacing Prof Krishna Govender whose contract was terminated by the government last year.
Whitlock, who has been hitherto the Director of On The Frontier (OTF) Group in East Africa, brings to the institution vast experience, according to Prof Manasseh Nshuti, the Chairman, SFB Board of Directors.
“He has vast experience both in the academic and real world which is what we want, given the direction that we want the institution to take,” Nshuti said. “We are soon implementing changes within the school’s curriculum to ensure that it produces real professionals.”
Some of the changes that he said would be championed by Whitlock include having all students graduating to partake relevant professional courses on top of the degrees that they will be awarded.
“For example, for those graduating with a degree in banking, it will be a prerequisite for them to undergo a diploma with the chartered institute of banking,” he said, adding that all these courses will be fully paid for by the government.
Whitlock has been in the country for two years working with OTF which has its regional offices in Kigali.
According to Nshuti, given the time the US national has been in the country, and the work he has been doing at OTF, an international think tank, he is well acquainted with the country’s development aspirations.
“He understands our challenges; that are why we chose him from a host of other academics who had expressed interest in this particular job,” said Nshuti, who is also a Presidential Advisor of Economic Affairs.
He said that they had a list of academic dons from the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and Nigeria, and Whitlock was selected after series of interviews.
“I can’t promise heaven on earth but I will do all that I can to uplift the image of the institution and ensure that it produces professionals,” said Whitlock during an interview at the Gikondo-based campus.
He said that as his first assignment will be to meet various departments to identify the problems they are facing.
“Most of the time we expect better output from our workers before we even give them time to express the grievances they may be facing,” said Whitlock.
He said that besides heading the institution, he will also be lecturing.
Dr Papias Musafili, the vice rector in charge of academics, has been acting Rector, a position he assumed after having taken over from his predecessor Prof Erasmus Kaijage.