From the Secretary General September 2015
t was quite an eventful journey through the year 2015 especially the last couple of months with regards to the numerous activities and programmes that were implemented by Afraca with support of members and partners. Some of the activities include but not limited to the International Exposure Programme on Mobile and Agency Banking held in Nairobi, Kenya and the recently concluded Training on Financial Marketing Assessment for the Agricultural Sector (French edition) held parallel to the African Microfinance Week in Dakar, Senegal. All activities were highly successful and highly appreciated by the participants.
I am particularly pleased with the Harare Conference, held from June 10 – 13, 2015 which was preceded by the 69th AFRACA Executive Committee Meeting. The AFRACA Southern Africa Sub region workshop traditionally known as ‘SACRAT’ opened its doors not only to Eastern and Southern African region but the continent as whole. The Conference, theme: “Regional Experiences on Knowledge-Sharing and Networking in Rural and Agricultural Financing” attracted over 200 participants including AFRACA member institutions, Development partners, Agricultural Investors and other stakeholders.
AFRACA network highly appreciates the role of the host institutions namely; Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, CBZ Bank Holding and Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd for their commitment and tireless efforts in making the conference a success. Support from IFAD, other partners and participants are equally appreciated.
You can catch the highlights of the Harare Conference and other sector developments in this edition of the AFRACA News as well as visiting the AFRACA website. We are to introduce Techfortrade who provide insights into their newly launched Trade Transparency platform and Agritools, a platform that keeps track of emerging innovations in ICT platforms in Agriculture within the continent. Members are encouraged to visit the platform and upload any innovative Agri-based ICT innovation for knowledge sharing purposes.
As we inched towards the end of the third quarter, Afraca has lined up numerous activities for the period July – December 2015 to drive the campaign of developing an inclusive financial sector in Africa. In this regard, I am happy to inform our leaders that among the upcoming programs are: The Training of Trainers on Agricultural Value Chain Finance (Tools and Approaches), 31st August – 4th September 2015, Lome, Togo (For Francophone members); Central Bank Roundtable Meeting, 14th-15th September2015, Nairobi, Kenya; Training on Islamic Banking, 16th – 23rd November 2015, Jakarta, Indonesia. International Exposure Visit Programme on Women Empowerment and Microfinance, 28th September – 2nd October 2015, Dakar, Senegal; Training Program on Agricultural Loan Analysis, 19th – 23rd October 2015, Accra, Ghana; International Exposure Visit on Agency Banking, 9th – 13th November 2015, Brazil and the International Study Visit Programme on Microfinance and SMEs Development in China, 30th November -5th December 2015, Beijing & Tianjin , China.
Meanwhile, as we transit into Ebola free phase in the Continent as the positive signs indicate, there is equally considerable interest from Afraca, Development partners and other Stakeholders to mobilize efforts of revitilatizing Agriculture in the Ebola affected countries. I want to urge AFRACA members in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to refer to our recent announcements on the grant opportunities announced by the USAID and other partners.
Happy reading! As we look forward to partnering with you in improving the rural and agricultural finance space in Africa and beyond.
Saleh U. Gashua
AFRACA Secretary General