By Kefa Senoga
Mid last year, Carroline Nyange Kihumuro stumbled on an advertisement by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), calling for applications from graduates who wished to pursue a course in professional accountancy as scholars.
“When I applied for the scholarship in June last year, I was required to write an essay, stating why I needed the scholarship; I was also required to provide my grades,” says Kihumuro, an alumna of Uganda Christian University (UCU) and one of the three female students of the 10 who got a scholarship for the two-and-a-half-year Certified Public Accountants Course.
The beneficiaries of the scholarship are expected to have scored a First-Class Degree or Second-Class Upper Division. Every year, ICPAU admits students to its programs. In every cohort, the institute sponsors 10 students from either public or privately-owned universities. Kihumuro is in the fourth cohort of the Student Scholarship Program.
According to ICPAU, becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant offers opportunities, such as international recognition and affiliation with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), access to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs, opportunities to represent the accountancy profession on the ICPAU Council, access to accountancy information and updates through ICPAU portals and platforms, as well as enhanced credibility with the CPA professional designation, among others.
Kihumuro says enrolling for the course is a big milestone towards achieving her dream career. She has long had a strong passion for working in finance-related fields. And it is this desire that influenced her to pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration. “When I joined UCU, I didn’t have second thoughts on pursuing business studies,” states Kihumuro, who will write her first CPA exams in August.
ICPAU is mandated with regulating and maintaining the standard of accountancy in Uganda, as well as prescribing and regulating the conduct of accountants and practicing accountants in Uganda.
Kihumuro joined UCU in 2018 and graduated on October 2, 2021, with a First-Class degree. However, had it not been for the outreach by the UCU career and guidance department to the western-Uganda school of Kyebambe Girls School, where Kihumuro studied A’level, perhaps she would have ended up at another institution of higher learning.
“I got the chance to meet Madam Connie Musisi, the then careers officer at UCU who encouraged me to join the university and pursue my dream career in business and finance,” Kihumuro says, noting that she wanted a university that would also groom her spiritually.
She says the schools she attended gave her the opportunity to hone her leadership skills, something she believes gave her lots of exposure.
While at UCU, Kihumuro served as a student leader in different capacities. She was the guild representative for the School of Business and a residential assistant in the Sabiti Girls Hall of residence. She was also a student leader at the UCU Honors College, which is designed for exceptionally motivated and high-achieving students. At Kyebambe Girls School, she was the deputy head prefect in her O’level and the head prefect during her A’level.
Kihumuro attributes the successes she has attained over the years to God and her single mother, Martha Tusiime, who she says was quite supportive and paid all her tuition fees.
Besides her mother, her fiancé, Patrick Shikobo, has played key roles in her life. “When I thought of changing my career due to some disappointments that emerged, Patrick encouraged me to push on.”
Kihumuro is currently employed as a banking officer with Bank of Africa, a commercial bank in Uganda, where she has been for over a year.