From the Secretary General
he year 2015 has seen AFRACA make significant strides towards fulfilling its mission to improve the rural and agricultural finance environment through the promotion of appropriate policy framework and to support member institutions to provide sustainable quality financial services.
Top on the Afraca agenda, is to ensure that rural and agricultural finance forms core of financial inclusion campaign in Africa. Our vision is a rural Africa where people have access to sustainable financial services for economic development.
This feat was recorded through various initiatives supported by members and development partners centered mainly around five AFRACA Strategic focus areas: Policy Development & Advocacy, Partnership & Networking, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management & Information Sharing and Creating Opportunities for Value Chain Finance in Africa.
One of important activities carried out in the first quarter 2015 was the International conference on Microfinance “New Frontiers in Microfinance & social Business in East Africa” Organized by AFRACA in partnership with Grameen Credit agricole foundation, PROPARCO, DID and AFD. The Conference was attended by over 150 participants who discussed various topics such as how innovation opens new frontiers in microfinance and social business, green microfinance and the social business developed, promoted by Prof. Yunus which seeks to design and implement business solutions to poverty.
Other related activity carried out back to back with the Conference was the AFRACA international exposure visit on women and microfinance held in Kenya from 10 to 13 March 2015 with participants drawn from South Africa, Ghana, DRC and Kenya. The programme included extensive experience sharing by Kenya MFIs and banks on women empowerment programs through access to financial services.
As part of the Afraca Capacity building programmes and effort in creating opportunities for Agricultural Value Chain Finance (AVCF) in Africa, three batches of the Training of Trainers in Agricultural value Chain Finance were held in Kenya, Togo and Nigeria within the first half of 2015. The fourth AVCF Training attended by Afraca members was organized by a Sister network the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) from 7th -11th December 2015 at the Royal Princess Hotel, Larn Luang, Bangkok, Thailand.
AFRACA also in collaboration with FAO held two batches of trainings in Kenya and Ghana from 24-26 August 2015 19-21 October 2015 respectively on Loan Appraisal for Agricultural projects featuring the Loan Analyzer.xls Tool to enable loan officers overcome the time-consuming perennial challenges involved in loan analysis and project formulation.
Similarly to further support members and partners network, create and strengthen existing partnerships falls under the Technical Cooperation among developed countries. AFRACA organized an International study visit on mobile and Agency Banking and the International exposure Visit programme on youth empowerment and agricultural development in Kenya and South Africa respectively.
Other key activities implemented in 2015 include:
- AFRACA East &Southern Africa Regional Rural and Agricultural Finance Thematic Conference held in Harare Zimbabwe between 10-13 June 2015 at the Meikles Hotel hosted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, AgricBank and CBZ holdings Ltd,
- AFRACA Western Africa Francophone and Central Africa sub-regional workshop held from 18-20 November 2015 at Azalai Hotel, Cotonou, Benin organized with the support of CTA and IFAD,
- Training on Financial market Assessment for the Agricultural sector: principles and market assessment of key tools and product design back to back with the African Microfinance Week held from 25-27 June2015 at the Palais des Congrès in Dakar, Senegal
- AFRACA/KMP consultative meeting for the financial literacy project held from 17 to 18 December 2015, Nairobi, Kenya supported by AGRA.
As we welcome the year 2016 termed in Afraca as the year of consolidation, several programs and activities has been lined-up on emerging and crosscutting rural and agricultural finance. The key 2016 programs include but not limited to:
- The 5th World Congress on rural and agricultural finance jointly being organized by AFRACA and sister networks namely: APRACA, ALIDE, CICA and NENARACA to be held from 23 -26 November 2016, Dakar, Senegal alongside the AFRACA 19 General Assembly
- The AFRACA 2016 Central Banks Forum
- International Conference themed ‘Catalyzing the diversification of the Nigerian Economy through effective Agriculture Finance from 11 – 13 April 2016, Abuja, Nigeria. Other side event during the conference include Afraca Board meeting and Social Reporting Web 2.0 Training
- The International Study Visit on Mobile Banking and Agency Banking, 22nd – 26th February 2016, Nairobi, Kenya.
For details of the AFRACA 2016 activities, please visit Afraca Upcoming Events
AFRACA acknowledge and highly appreciate the outstanding support from member institutions, development partners and industry players in developing an inclusive financial sector aimed at empowering the rural and agricultural communities in the Continent. We have learned and shared competences that will guide us through 2016 and beyond.
Happy and prosperous 2016 – THANK YOU ALL!
Saleh U. Gashua
AFRACA Secretary General