Benjamin BYIRINGIRO from Rwanda is looking forward to help the educational institutions in his home country to remain economically viable
Consultations with the guide, visits to library and constant reviews are keeping Benjamin BYIRINGIRO busy these days. A PhD scholar at Jain University, Benjamin is from Rwanda. He is currently in the process of finalizing his synopsis. “I joined the PhD programme at Jain University last year and have completed my course work,” says Benjamin.
He decided to come to India for his research work. On a scholarship from the Rwanda Education Board, Jain University became a natural choice for him when he learnt that many of his fellow Rwandese were studying here. With a background in auditing and commerce, Benjamin joined as a consultant for some of the auditing firms in his home country, Rwanda after finishing his studies but soon realized that his calling lay elsewhere. Academics appealed to this Rwandese and he started working with different educational institutions. He is at present a full time Assistant Lecturer at Independent Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali. He was also working as a part time lecturer at the Adventist University of Africa and Kigali Independent University. Apart from these Benjamin was also working as a consultant for recruiting accountants and other business oriented workers in local governments. Now on sabbatical, Benjamin is exploring new horizons of academics through his research. His research title is ‘Assessment of the Internal Control Systems Effectiveness in Governmental Income Generating Institutions’ and he is pursuing his studies under Dr. Mahabaleswara Bhatta.
Being involved in consultancy in Rwanda and Uganda gave Benjamin an insight into business and commerce while working for educational institutions made him realize that gradually several of the publicly funded educational institutions were being privatized. “This made me wonder. When an institution is privatized the income generated belongs to a single person or organization who only pay taxes. But, the income generated by institutions owned by the government can be used for public good,” shares Benjamin. The researcher from Rwanda felt that it was important to ‘measure the level of compliance with internal control system requirements, and see the impact it has on financial performance in some selected governmental higher income generating institutions.’
The underlying factor that made Benjamin look into the area was an audit report regarding Rwandan Governmental Institutions of the Rwandan General Auditor that was presented to the Rwandan Parliament in 2013. The report in one of its sections points out that many public institutions are showing signs of financial mismanagement. “In the study I am trying to evaluate the extent to which internal control components are being implemented in the select few institutions of Rwanda in terms of control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication and monitoring among others.” Benjamin is looking forward to teach and continue with consultancy after completing his research studies. But, more than anything else he wants to share his ideas and research findings with the world through publications. “What I like best about academics is the freedom it gives you to express your ideas and the number of lives you can touch,” shares Benjamin. He felt that keeping himself confined to just accountancy firms would limit his ideas and academic aspirations propelling him to get into teaching and then research.