The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, yesterday, said that the government plans to have 500 professional accountants in the next three years.
Musoni made the remarks while appearing before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain what the local government was doing to ensure proper management of state funds.
“Part of the plan is to train accountants; five years ago, we came up with a plan of having 500 professional accountants by 2015; before then we only had 50 in the whole country,” said Musoni.
He added that training accountants is one of the solutions to the capacity gap that have, at times, led to loss of public funds in public institutions.
The minister pointed out that the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR) was created to stimulate the increase in numbers.
ICPAR is a professional accountancy organization mandated to regulate the accounting profession in the country.
Currently, ICPAR is the only body authorized by law to register and grant practicing certificates to Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
The Auditor General, Obadiah Biraro, pointed out that having 500 professional accountants by 2015 is very possible if all thr strategies available were exhausted.
Biraro proposed that, if public funds are to be well managed, districts should invest in training accountants.
“If every district sponsors training of about three accountants and the government trains others, I have no doubt we would have even more than 500. What we need to look at now is sourcing the right people for auditing,” said Biraro.
He added that if a proposal is well drafted by district officials, development partners could release funds for training.
“If these people are trained and sign a contract to stay working with the district for about four years, this would highly improve the financial management,” said Biraro.