Friday, May 23, 2014

Strengthening capacity of accountants from AfricaRice member countries

As part of a series of training programs designed for accountants from member countries of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) to improve the quality and timeliness of financial reporting for rice R&D projects conducted by AfricaRice in partnership with national agricultural research systems (NARS), 16 accountants from eight countries (Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda) participated in a training course, 14-16 May 2014, in Cotonou, Benin.

“AfricaRice and its national partners in its member countries jointly carry out R&D activities with support from various donors,” said Dr Olupomi Ajayi, AfricaRice Interim Rice Commodity Specialist under the African Development Bank-supported project “Support to agricultural research for development of strategic crops in Africa (SARD-SC).”

 “The main concern of donors is the effective implementation of planned activities within the allotted time and the timely justification of expenditure for the funds provided,” Dr Ajayi explained. He emphasized the need for each country to indicate how much it contributes to each project in terms of in-kind contribution or counterpart funding.

The objective of the training course was to explain the use of AfricaRice financial reporting templates and highlight the importance of correct and timely financial reporting.

“It is very important for our national partners to use these templates and to submit financial reports at the times stipulated in the agreements,” stated Mr Denis Huneault, AfricaRice Director of Administration and Finance.

The training course is being run in three sessions – one for the Anglophone and two for the Francophone member countries. The first session of the training was held, 18-20 March 2014, for Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger and Republic of Congo. The third session will be held at a later date for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Senegal, and Togo. 

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