When Denis Sylvestre began teaching a business strategy course to students at the Université des Grands Lacs in Burundi, he began by citing the example of McDonald’s Corporation – and drew blank stares. He then rattled off the names of four other well-known multinational firms that he had used in the past while teaching at Quebec universities, and still there was no signs of recognition. Just as he had to set aside his PowerPoint presentations and use the chalkboard because of a lack of stable electricity, the Montreal CPA quickly realized his teaching material was out-of-step with the realities faced by students living in one of the five poorest countries in the world.
“I had to adapt my course on the go,” said Sylvestre with a chuckle. “Over here we use examples of very large corporations to teach but the students in Burundi had no idea of who they were so we had to use local examples.”
Sylvestre is part of a growing group of nearly 100 Quebec accountants who over the past 18 months joined the ranks of the nascent CPA Without Borders,