The SARD-SC Tanzania Team held a one-day Financial Management Workshop for project partners and their Accountants in February 2014, at the IITA Office in Dar es Salam. The purpose of the workshop was to acquaint the participants with the accounting, procurement rules and procedures of the African Development Bank(AFDB), the SARD-SC project sponsor, before funds were disbursed to them. The Bank has a set of guidelines which the partners are expected to adhere to for the preparation of their reports.
Dr. Veronica Uzokwe, the project Agronomist welcomed the participants on behalf of the team and commented on their impressive attendance and expressed the hope that at the end of the training, they would have imbibed the essence of the workshop. Declaring the workshop opened, Dr. Adebayo Abass, Country coordinator, SARD-SC project, on behalf of Dr. Victor Manyong, Director, Eastern Africa Hub, urged the participants to ensure the implementation of the projects and the results benefit local farmers directly. He said: “The farmers are poor, especially those who grow cassava or maize. There is a need to develop and advance agricultural technology in order to improve the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers in Africa.”
Dr. Abass advised the participants to spend money judiciously and follow the rules and guidelines set by the donors. “The banks want to get value for their money and ensure it is spent on projects tasks. The bank wants to know whether the receipts we submit are for the right payments we made,” he said.
Dr. Edward Kanju presented an overview of the SARD-SC project, with the objective of raising the profitability and productivity of four mandate commodities, such as cassava, rice, maize and wheat in Africa. He reiterated the need for participants to understand and adhere to the Bank’s rules on expenditure.
Mr. Alex Omodo, Regional Financial Manager gave a lecture on the AFDB accounting and procurement guidelines for SARD-SC project which was divided into four components: IITA’s role, Disbursement, Audit and Reports of accounts and procurement. He advised participants to ensure they compile and attach all the necessary documents concerning purchases as well as the accounts made in the SARD-SC project.
Mr. Omodo explained to the participants IITA’s role in projects, which requires it to submit report to the donors accordingly, and this helps the donors to easily monitor the flow of activities as well as the expenditures. He elaborated much about the rules and guidelines required by the donor in relation to SARD-SC project goals and objectives. At the end of the workshop, some of the participants said they were satisfied with the lecture and promised to abide by the Bank’s guidelines.
On behalf of the participants, Dr. Rose Shayo, Gender Specialist from the University of Dar es Salaam, thanked IITA, AFDB and SARD-SC project for organizing the workshop. She concluded by saying: “We appreciate IITA and AFDB for giving us this opportunity to learn about the Bank’s guidelines on accounting and procurement for the project. However, I think there is a need for us to meet regularly for project implementation ’’.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Kanju thanked the participants and said the workshop was a beneficial one as it has imparted new skills and knowledge into the people, necessary to achieve the objectives of the SARD-SC project.