Western Africa

Financial Management Capacity Building: meeting held for SARD-SC accountants and others

To facilitate smoother fund management and easy financial reporting of the four commodities (maize, rice, wheat, and cassava) under the SARD-SC project, a 3-day session on financial management was held for accountants, some commodity specialists, monitoring and evaluation specialists, procurement specialists, and other staff from AfricaRice, ICARDA, and IITA. The training took place 23-25 July at the Africa Rice Center, Cotonou, Benin Republic, and was organized by the SARD-SC project. Oluseyi Fashokun, IITA/SARD-SC Project Accountant, facilitated the meeting.

The training aimed to, among other things, familiarize project staff the required processes and format of financial reporting and the fund management guidelines of the African Development Bank, the sponsor of the SARD-SC project. The use of proper reporting procedures and templates will aid in the timely submission of fund requests, accountability, and hence timely execution of the project. The discussion centered on finance and issues relating to processes and procedures inhibiting speedy financial reporting.

Some of the issues discussed and resolved include the following: Acceptable format for project financial statements, modality for timely project financial reporting acceptable to AfDB, process involved on reimbursement request, process and procedure for special accounts replenishment, process and procedure for direct payment request, external audit requirements, next external auditor’s institution visit and work schedule, and plans and brainstorming for the next replenishment

Dr Chrys Akem, Project Coordinator, chaired the last day of the meeting and discussed issues as well as upcoming events in the year such as the following: preparation for the project’s mid-term review, relevance and validity of the Project Implementation Manual, content and volume of all reports required by AfDB for the project, SARD- SC Project web site, AFDB’s review and last External Auditor’s Report.

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