More than 35 students who graduated in Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) are expected to bridge the existing skills gap in the financial sector.
Introduced in 2006 at the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) mainly for employees in the accounting profession, the course has been expanded to other universities and colleges with government and non-governmental organisations increasingly sponsoring their workers.
“The figure is still small compared to the demand from the financial sector,” said Papius Malimba, the Vice Rector Academic at SFB.
Malimba was speaking at a one day consultative meeting that brought together different stakeholders including bankers, the Ministry of Finance and the central bank. The meeting focused on professionalism in the financial sector, especially among Microfinance institutions.
The course is expected to address challenges of poor management in some financial institutions, especially MFIs, by responding to the skills needs of many students, financial practitioners and academicians.
Most MFIs, however, said the course is expensive and time consuming, calling for alternative courses that positively impact on their operations.
“We need process mapping in the whole system, in design, vision and mission to have both social and economic aspects,” said Rita Ngarambe, the Executive Secretary of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda.
Ngarambe cited lack of financial resources to hire professionals as one of the industry’s biggest challenges.
Reid E. Whitlock, the Rector of SFB said professional services contribute to the achievement of the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
“Professional services can push Rwanda at the forefront where other areas are not competitive because of geographical constraints,” he said.