Home NewsNational ICPAR, Chancen International Enter Partnership To Finance Professional Accountants

ICPAR, Chancen International Enter Partnership To Finance Professional Accountants

by Daniel Sabiiti
12:56 am

Representative of ICPAR and ATPs in a group photo after signing the tripartite MoUs

In order to tap into this education financing opportunity and the need to meet the current demand for professionally certified accounts in Rwanda (10,000 in the next ten years) the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR) has entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chancen International and ten ICPAR accredited training providers (universities, colleges and hubs).

The MoUs, signed on March 15, 2024, in Kigali city, aimed at improving access to study financing for students through ICPAR-accredited training providers, opening a window for all Rwandans who want to pursue a professional career in accounting without worrying about where their tuition fees will come from.

Amin Miramago, ICPAR’s CEO, conveyed enthusiasm about resolving the shortage of qualified accountants. According to him, the signed memorandum of understanding will allow ICPAR to tackle government concerns about whether these gaps stem from a capacity deficit within the country.

The signing of this MoU represents a commitment from all parties involved to support the Government of Rwanda in addressing the persistent skills gap in the Public Financial Management sector partly caused by limited financing to ensure the development of a critical mass of competent, professionally qualified, certified, and motivated staff employed in the public and private entities in Rwanda,” said Amin Miramago, the ICPAR CEO.

Miramago revealed that following the signing of the MoU, ICPAR will be able to bridge the capacity gaps in at least five years instead of 10 years. Miramago said that this will reduce poverty constraints for Rwandans seeking to take professional courses and that growth in the numbers of certified accountants will respond to the public and private sector demand for professional certified accountants.

Ross T. Nathan (left) and the ICPAR CEO Amin Miramago, (right) sign a Tripartite agreement with one of the 9 university representatives (middle) at the ceremony held March 15, 2024

Ross T. Nathan, the Executive Director & COO at Chancen International with two decades development banking experience, expressed that the advancement in increasing student financing products represents a long-awaited achievement in the financial sector addressing the common challenges faced by families in low income groups seeking financial assistance to support their children’s tertiary education and fulfilling their career dreams.

Chancen International uses a model called “Income Share Agreement(ISA)”, which is STUDY NOW and PAY LATER, where the repayment is based on students’ future income determined on quality education obtained. ISA model was first tested in Germany for 25 years before expanding its first global operations in Rwanda in 2018. This model does not require any collateral or guarantor, which has been a major barrier for youth to access credit or to be financially included.

The model managed to finance 2000 students in Rwanda in the first two years and has since grown to over 3,500 beneficiaries to date (in Rwanda alone) and approximately 500 students in South Africa. Chancen recently expanded to Kenya and Ghana and are very focused on a gender-inclusive approach to have 60% women beneficiaries.

Nathan said, that in order to finance as many Rwandans seeking professional career courses, the organization has created a Future of Work Fund of $ 21 million to achieve this goal, of which so far they have pooled $ 14 million and the fund is domiciled under Kigal International Finance Center(KIFC). Given the increasing demand among the student community, Chancen aims to raise this fund to $40 million to finance tertiary education for 20,000 students in Africa in the coming years. He alluded that the increase in Accounting professionals will boost investors’ confidence and contribute to increased investment in Rwanda.

Representatives of ICPAR accredited Training Providers who signed the MoUs said that this is generally going to increase the number of tertiary education applicants and reduce the financial burden of managing physical classrooms especially since the lessons will be digitized, but also significantly reduce applicants drop-out from professional courses such as CPA.

Nancy Karaka telling her story with Chancen

Nancy Gihozo Karake, who gave a testimony during the event, completed her secondary school and enrolled at Akilah Institute. Due to financial constraints, she was not able to afford the required tuition fee to pursue her dream to graduate in hospitality and tourism management.

Fortunately, she heard about Chancen and applied for student financing support to complete her studies.

In 2017, while completing her secondary school, she was introduced to the Income Share Agreement of Chancen and discovered that she could start her studies and pay later. “ Some of my schoolmates were expelled from the university because they couldn’t afford tuition fees”, Karake recalls.

Currently, Karake is employed and she is paying back her ISA (Income Share Agreement) and plans to pay off in three years to give back to the community.

How This Will Work

Under the terms outlined in this memorandum of understanding, students enrolled at an ICPAR-accredited training provider will have the opportunity to participate in Chancen’s Income Share Agreement (ISA) model, which allows them to study now and pay later. The actual number of beneficiaries and the financing terms will be evaluated by Chancen and coordinated with the Accredited Training Providers (ATPs).

The ISA enables the payment of tuition fees to training providers, with students not required to make any repayments until they secure employment which pays them a monthly income exceeding 80,000 Rwf. Repayment under the ISA is based on a fixed percentage of monthly net income and extends over a predetermined period. The beneficiaries only pay if they are employed after graduation.

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