Yesterday was the last of three days training for a group of church accountants from across Rwanda.
The course was presented at the request of the Protestant Council of Rwanda which is made up of the main Protestant churches in the country. The churches had requested a repeat of a course which we presented a few years ago.
Rwanda faces a challenge in that it has very few qualified accountants (last count, around thirty in a population of 13 million!). These people are not working for the churches, many of which are running projects involving significant sums of money in addition to their own administration. Add to this that the income of many of the smaller churches does not extend to purchasing expensive accounting software.
Things have also moved on in the accounting world, especially in Rwanda and this week's training was updated to include the advances that have been made in banking and technology in recent years.
A key issue faced by churches in Rwanda is that in order to receive funding from western donors for aid projects, they need to be able to demonstrate that the money is being used as intended. The skills and resources required to do this are not always available.