Value Proposition and Members’ Benefits

{1977 - The Establishment of AFRACA as part of the Evolution Process in shaping Agricultural Finance in Africa}

The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) is a regional association of Sub-Saharan Africa’s financial and non-financial institutions involved in promoting rural and agricultural finance. The concept of Regional Agricultural Credit Associations (RACAs) originated from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)- sponsored Regional Seminar on Agricultural Credit for Smallholder farmers held in Accra, Ghana in 1973.

Subsequently, delegates at the 1975 World Food Conference on credit for smallholder farmers in developing countries, which was held in Rome, recommended that the FAO should assist its member countries in establishing such associations in different parts of the world. Thus, AFRACA was established in 1977 alongside the Near East, North Africa Agricultural Credit Association (NENARACA) and the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) (and later a similar Association (ALIDE) was established for the Latin America Region). Each institution was established to serve as the lead advocate and coordinator of rural and agricultural finance in their respective regions.

1. Facilitate Peer-to-Peer learning and replication of innovative models among member institutions

AFRACA offers its members various opportunities to connect with other institutions within and outside its network to share learnings, new innovations, experiences and develop collaborations. AFRACAs strong convening power is able to bring together key financial sector stakeholders both regionally and globally. This is achieved through various thematic learning events and experiential learning aimed at deepening understanding of issues across its different member categories.

A. Thematic Learning Events

The AFRACA Central Bank Forum, is a policy-oriented dialogue that brings together financial policy makers and regulators to discuss new policy strategies of addressing the challenges facing rural and agricultural

AFRACA Best Practice Conference in Rural and Agricultural Finance
Best practices and innovations in rural and agricultural finance are emerging every day in different regions of the world, and more so in Africa. The Conference is a unique gathering of financial institutions, financial policymakers and regulators, international, regional, local experts and practitioners in rural and agricultural finance (RAF), who convene biennially to share their best practices and experiences.

The World Congress in Rural and Agricultural FinanceThe World Congress in Rural and Agricultural Finance, convenes biennially and is organized under the auspices of the five regional agricultural credit associations (RACAs) namely Confederation Internationale du Crédit Agricole (CICA), African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), Asociacion Latino-Americana de Instituciones Financieras para el Desarrollo (ALIDE) or Latin-American Association of Development Finance Institutions, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), and Near East-North Africa Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (NENARACA). These five RACAs have a total membership of more than 300 finance- and agriculture-related institutions and organizations operating in more than 100 countries all over the world.

B. Experimental Learning

Experiential Learning through Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC).AFRACA TCDC Programmes are meant to give members an opportunity to visit other actors within the sector who are doing something differently with an aim of getting first hand and practical experience. Exposure visits for instance on Mobile and Agency banking are meant to re-inforce principles and concepts learnt during the classroom training. The visits are designed for participants to engage with Institutions and industry experts who are currently implementing or have previously participated in the development of functional models in rural and agricultural finance.

2. Facilitate linkages and access to a wide network of partners, stakeholders and resources

AFRACA’s broad network of partners offers linkage opportunities to members with diverse benefits such as;

a) To contribute knowledge in various regional and global platforms through participation and speaking opportunities.

b) Provide visibility and facilitate members to build strong relationships with development partners to further business opportunities for example; to access concessionary credit lines, risk management tools and other complementary partnership opportunities.

c) Opportunity to share and generate new knowledge through research publications, surveys and paper presentations.

3. Training and Capacity building opportunities

For financial institutions to actively lend to agriculture there is need to capacitate staff with requisite skills and a basic understanding of agricultural practices. Afraca organizes various capacity building activities targeting member and non-member institutions within the continent. To date AFRACA has introduced and successfully conducted over twenty different specialized trainings and capacity building programmes training over seven hundred (700) practitioners from diverse institutions. AFRACAs training programmes are fee-based but are highly subsidized for member institutions. From time to time, AFRACA incentivizes learning for its members through partial and full scholarships.

4. Opportunities for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC)

AFRACA has over 40 years’ experience as a leading promoter and facilitator of SSTC in rural and agricultural finance. Traditionally, SSTC is incorporated in AFRACAs programmes and activities and is a key delivery target on its mandate. SSTC became more formalized and institutionalized in AFRACAs activities and features regularly in AFRACAs annual Work Plan. AFRACA offers members opportunities for cross-learning, benchmarking visits with other like-minded institutions beyond Sub-Sahara Africa.