No. 61, March 2008
Newsletter of the African Rural and ear readers! important. It
Agricultural Credit Association would be
Greetings from the AFRACA
useful to read
AFRACA Secretariat Address on how
As you are aware the AFRACA Secretariat is
P O Box 41378 00100, technology is
based in Nairobi, Kenya, we would like to
Nairobi, Kenya assure you that all the Secretariat staff and making it easy
Tel: (254) –20 – 271 7911/271 5991 to transfer
Fax: (254) –20 – 271 0082 their families are well. However, AFRACA
member institutions in Kenya as well as money to the
none members each suffered some degree remotest parts Mbita Mary NANDAZI
of loss during the trying time. In this regard Secretary General
we wish to thank all the institutions and Also an
experience of Land Bank of Philippines in
The Newsletter is originated, compiled and individuals both in Kenya and abroad who
came to the assistance of the rural poor who partnership with a private company shows
were seriously affected. how farmers and agricultural based
Ms. Mbita Mary NANDAZI -Secretary General
entrepreneurs would benefit if internet based
Mrs. Dorothy Nduku K. Kipsang – The activities for the year are gaining
momentum with WACRAT II workshop information on prices of various commodities
could be made available and accessible.
having been held at the end of March in
○ The issue of global warming and climate
Banjul, Microfinance forum coming up on ○
Designed and Printed by Information
change has come closer to all of us now than
18th-20th June and the last of the sub
Management Consultants Ltd. 4444903/874
regional workshops, the East African sub ever before. Rural financial institutions are facing
regional will be held in Addis Ababa in July both greater threats and opportunities due to
The Newsletter is published on a quarterly 2008. It would be useful to confirm your climate change and its impact on primary sector
basis. The Editor welcomes articles, institution’s participation early. The detailed economic activities. Natural disasters have
comments and contributions from members notoriously increased in the world throughout
programme of activities for the remaining
and readers for publication. They can be sent
part of the year is shared in this issue. Please the last decades with direct economic effects.
by e-mail to the Secretariat for publication.
note these activities and start planning your Natural catastrophes may be such that the
The Editor reserves the right to edit articles
for brevity and reasons of space. participation in them. financial soundness of banks, insurance and
On TCDC, we have received a number of reinsurance companies could become
vulnerable. However, due to the current
AFRACA’s Executive Committee Members requests for the TCDC programme this year
across Africa. There are however a few competitive market pressures these institutions
Chairman BACB Burkina are reluctant to include such trends in the
remaining chances for a few more
Mr. Leonce KONE
Mr. L eonce K ONE
institutions to participate. Send in your areas pricing of their services. In addition, the net
Vice Dar es Salaam of interest to the secretariat immediately. In effects of climate change on agricultural
Chairperson Community Bank
the same breadth we wish to thank all those production levels are unknown. Read on how
Mr. Edmund MKW A W A
Mr. MKW institutions who have continued to host the Mexican government aims to mitigate
West Africa I CNCA Senegal members of staff from other institutions
climate change effects and how institutions and
Sub-Region Mr. DAFFE
Mr. Arfang D AFFE as they have acquired knowledge which has individuals need to seriously start reflecting and
been invaluable. doing something towards conserving our
West Africa II Bank of The Gambia
Sub-Region Mr. A.O.
Mr. Basiru A.O. NJAI The second world Congress which was held environment.
in Bangkok, Thailand last October and The 16th AFRACA General Assembly and
Central Africa Central Bank of DR
hosted by APRACA in conjunction with Technical workshop on, “Innovations in
Mr. Jean-Marie EMUNGU
Mr. AFRACA and other RACAs provided a addressing Rural finance challenges”, will
learning platform. This AFRACA issue be held in Dar es Salaam from 24th – 28th
East Africa Association of
shares some of the ideas which came up as November 2008. Book this date!
Sub-Region Microfinance Institutions in a way of presentations and papers during
Uganda (AMFIU) Many thanks for continued support through
Mr. David BA GUMA
the forum. The issues range from technology paper contributions and many other financial
use to climate change and rural finance.
support. If you have an article which you
Southern Africa Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
In the world today the use of technology would like to share widely please send it
Sub-Region Mr. N.
Mr. N. NCUBE for expanded outreach has become very
Secretary Ms. Mbita Mary NANDAZI
General Number 61, March 2008 1
Asia - Africa Dialogue
T he Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association
(APRACA) hosted the first ever Asia-Africa (A-A) dialogue
APRACA member institutions and projects: New approaches,
Best Practices and Lessons”.
in Bangkok, Thailand on 30th October 2007. This forum was The report focuses on emerging rural finance development strategy,
for disseminating innovations and best practices in both continents challenges in rural finance in major APRACA represented countries
as well as discussing common efforts and ideas, commitments and presents a conceptual framework in the analysis of rural finance
and lay ground work for in-depth and sustainable plan of action. innovations and best practices. Areas covered are institutional
The A-A dialogue which was facilitated by Dr. Richard Meyer innovations, new products and methodologies in rural finance,
(former professor of Ohio State University and a Consultant) microfinance and Agricultural finance that emerged in the ‘90s.
was attended by CEOs and senior officers from member In major countries of Asia, 80-90 percent of the poor live in the
institutions of AFRACA, APRACA and NENARACA. rural areas (IFAD 2007). In reducing poverty, access to financial
At the end of this meeting the RACAs agreed to work together services as this affects productivity, asset formation, income and
to enhance information and knowledge exchange in rural finance. food security among the rural poor is a crucial issue being discussed
In this regard, discussions are underway on implementation plans by donors and governments of developing countries of Asia. They
of the recommendations. In the mean time, AFRACA will take are also in the next phase of poverty reduction with people living on
advantage of this opportunity to send interested members of US$ 2 per day while we in Africa are still on spending of US$ 1 per
staff from various interested member institutions to learn about day scenarios.
the rural finance activities, specifically microfinance in Asia. Financial Innovation has been defined as something new that
This is because Asia has lessons for others to learn from as the reduces cost, reduces risks or provides a new product,
microfinance industry there has evolved tremendously and is instrument or service that better satisfies the participant’s
well developed. demand (Frame and White 2002). Innovations thus can take the
During the A-A dialogue, various presentations were made and form of new products, new services e.g. internet banking, New
we share some ideas from a paper, “Review of Rural Finance “production” processes e.g. credit scoring or new organizational
Innovations in Asia – Pacific Region with focus on forms. Under this view the innovation is driven by the desire of
strategic financial institutions to remain competitive.
Before the emergence of the financial systems approach in the ‘90s
the old directed credit approach saw borrowers as beneficiaries
Asia - Africa Dialogue selected by targeting while the new financial systems approach
borrowers and depositors are seen as clients choosing products. The
Successful Bank Financed Technology financial systems approach focuses on:
Empowering Project at Grass Roots
Level • Creating conducive Policy environment for healthy financial
system to include policies on interest rates, policies against loan
M-PESA Money Transfer Technology targeting, promoting political independence and autonomy of
Microfinanza Rating financial institutions.
Implications of Climate and • Building financial infrastructure to include information, legal
Environmental Changes for Rural and regulatory systems that directly affect financial transactions
Financial Institutions and transportation and other infrastructure that directly affect
cost and risks of finance.
Bridging the Digital Divide
• Institutional development - building up capacities of institutions
Announcements that target the disadvantaged sector like women and the rural
2 Number 61, March 2008
Some common elements of successful microfinance: - reform has seen it develop the largest outreach of small
farmers by any Agricultural bank, 93% of total farmers in
Microfinance institutions know their market,
Thailand while maintaining institutional viability.
Lending outlets are located near clients,
The important elements of reform include:
Application process is easy and loans are disbursed quickly,
• Government’s respect, though not complete, for its
Interest rates are market oriented to cover financial and
• Corporate culture emphasizing cost effectiveness,
productivity and efficiency
Innovative approaches and practices
• Lending schemes attuned to Thai culture
Agricultural development Banks are major players of rural • Improvement in loan portfolio creating depositor
finance in Asian countries. The following are some examples of confidence
Banks which have innovated and stayed in service of the poor.
• Shift in financial
1. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI of Indonesia) resource base to
BRI has succeeded in attaining financial sustainability while rural savings
providing credit and saving services to the rural low income mobilization
families that previously had no access to formal financial By 2001 BAAC had
services. It had also attained unprecedented level of 5.2 million direct and
profitability. The most fundamental policy change in the indirect borrowers of
BRI village banking program was the “shift from which 2.7 million
disbursing credit to motivating loan recovery and farmers are active.
mobilizing savings”. The bank expanded to
Its loan portfolio increased from US$ 162 million in 1985 1,476 branches and
to US$ 1,178 million in 1995. Deposits growth was also outlets with 12,960
Her highness princess Maha Chakri
exponential during the same time. members of staff. Sirindhon in the exhibition areas
BAAC had 9.57 million when she opened the 2nd World
2. Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives savings accounts with Congress in Bangkok in October
(BAAC) of Thailand an average of US$ 2007
The BAAC hosted the 2nd World congress in Bangkok, 270 per account. With the shift to deposit mobilization, 10
Thailand. In his welcome remarks the President of BAAC, million rural depositors were reached by 2003. Productivity
Mr. Thiraphong Tangthirasunan (Left) highlighted the among credit staff also saw progressive improvement in
theme of the Congress as “The Contribution of that by 2003 one credit officer was responsible for 500 –
Agricultural and Rural Economies to Sustainable 550 loan clients.
and Equitable Development”. He also shared a wish Among the lending approach of BAAC, the most extensively
that the Sufficiency Economy used one was the joint liability group lending. Under this
philosophy (initiated by His Majesty scheme BAAC extends non collateralized loans through
the King Bhumibol Adulyadej) is groups of farmers who guarantee each other. A typical
applicable and used at an international group has 12-15 members. Loan size is set at about 60% of
level. projected revenue of sale of the crop.
During the past four decades BAAC The two cases above inform us of real success in outreach
underwent transformation from and financial sustainability. Yaron et al 1998 cites the following
specialized agricultural lending key factors in attaining efficiency:
institution to a diversified rural
a. High degree of autonomy from government in
development bank. The result of this
formulating operating policies
Number 61, March 2008 3
b. Policies that provide for staff accountability, 5. Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural
investment in human capital and reward and incentive development
system related to sound financial performance and This bank has an approach to physically reach out
sustainability. to its clients through the use of “Mobile banking
c. Innovative low cost delivery and mobile banking offices”. This approach was initiated in 1998 and
systems is modeled after similar programmes in other Asian
d. Innovative and flexible loan terms adapted to local Countries. It started with 159 vehicles equipped
social, economic and cultural circumstances for all terrains enabling its bank staff to reach
remote areas. After 5 years they reached 315,000
e. Close monitoring of loan performance resulting in
households representing 6% of the bank’s total
high on time collection rates.
clients. This led to substantial increase in loan
f. Development of domestic saving amongst rural farm
portfolio and deposits.
The success requires that the normal best practices in
g. Positive and high interest rates that ensure adequate
microfinance were followed: offering appropriate loan
spread to cover costs
products, linking lending and savings, use of joint liability
h. Control of administrative expenses and effective use and solidarity groups.
of economies of scale
The bank applied cost recovery interest rates. Repayments
i. Advance management information systems that
are good and each vehicle is reported to have on average
facilitate effective planning, control and timely
generated US$ 1,000 monthly in profits. Each mobile bank
monitoring of loan repayments
disbursed an average of 1,921 loans, collected an average
j. Concentration in rural markets with high population 1,387 payments and transported cash on 75 occasions to
densities 16 points monthly. The programme mobilized 1,983 small
3. Land Bank of the Philippines saving accounts each month.
The Land Bank does not enjoy any government
subsidy on its operations nor in sourcing of funds. It
operates as a universal commercial Bank
and has to compete with the rest of the
private banking sector in mobilizing
deposits from the general public. The
Bank opted to concentrate on the
“Wholesale lending approach” in reaching
out to clients by using partnership with
other institutional forms this has proved
4. Agricultural Bank of Nepal
The Agricultural Bank of Nepal has
focused on Small Farmer Cooperative
Limited which provides a unique
institutional transformation from joint
liability groups of small farmers in ‘80s
to Small farmer Cooperatives comprising Chairmen of (from left) of ALIDE, M. Kone of
AFRACA, NENARACA and M. Carron of CICA
over 90,000 households.
4 Number 61, March 2008
Successful Bank Financed Technology
Empowering Project at Grass Roots Level
By Zachariah Chianda Cooperative Bank of Kenya
T he significance of financial services to economic and
social development of any nation is now understood
Cooperative Bank of Kenya
The Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited was formed by
to go well beyond credit. Secure high quality savings rank
co-operators through the Cooperative Societies in 1965 with
amongst the most needed financial services by poor
the founding philosophy, “to deliver financial services to the
households. There is a common need by all households, co-operative movement in general for maximum benefit of
irrespective of economic classification, to manage their the societies’ members”.
finances to reduce vulnerability due to fluctuations in cash
flows and also the need to accumulate savings for The emphasis has been to continually focus on benefits to members by
investment, social function consumption and other availing more banking services and products that can improve their financial
productive opportunities. welfare.
The Cooperative Bank is owned 100% by the co-operative
Evidence from a diverse range of institutions in Kenya
movement in Kenya and it is the only Co-operative Bank of
and internationally shows clearly that financial services can
its kind in Africa. In order to serve unique clients- SACCOS,
be provided to low income markets and small scale
the Bank has a fully dedicated Co-operatives Banking Division
enterprises on a profitable basis. The key challenge
to serve the movement and a well staffed SACCO Training
therefore is to find new and innovative ways of Unit.
broadening access to financial services to include these
markets. In addition, the bank has a dedicated subsidiary- Co-operative
Consultancy Services Kenya limited to give advisory services
Accessibility to affordable financial services will therefore to over 650,000 clients of the movement.
be determined by among other things:
A few facts about the Co-operative Movement in Kenya
Number of financial institutions operating in the
• With over 10,000 registered co-operatives, Kenya has
country, their total number of outlets and
the most developed co-operative movement in Africa.
distribution (outreach) countrywide.
• There are 5,000 savings & credit co-operatives (SACCOs)
Range of products/services available and how
who have mobilised over Kes.150 Billion (USD 2.14
well they cut across the various economic sectors Billion) in savings representing about 25% of total
and market segments. Domestic Savings in Kenya.
Cost of doing business -which shall therefore • With over 6.3 Million registered members, the sector
determine cost of banking service. directly or indirectly touches the livelihood of over 25.2
Use of appropriate technology to come up with Million Kenyans, about 72% of the population.
innovative products and delivery channels • 163 out of 5,000 SACCOs are operating front office
Suitable regulatory frame work to ensure stable activity (FOSA) which offers basic ‘banking services’ to
and efficient financial system it members.
Number 61, March 2008 5
• The 163 FOSA‘s serve over 2.3 million members or In this initiative Co-op bank offered whole sale banking
about 34% of all customers served by various financial services plus technical advisory services to both the District
institutions country wide. Co-operative Unions and the affiliate agricultural marketing
co-operative societies. The District Co-operative Unions
• Any member of a SACCO with FOSA can have a on the other hand offered retail banking services to the society
COOP debit card issued by the Cooperative Bank for general membership through newly established Union
use with the Cooperative Bank ATMs. Banking Sections (UBSs).
During this campaign about 20
Union Banking Sections were
established in different parts of the
country to cater for society members
involved in coffee, pyrethrum, dairy,
cotton and cashew nuts farming.
During the same period there was the
birth and coming of age of the
employee based Savings and Credit
Co-operative Society Model
(SACCO) mainly in the urban areas.
In Kenya today there are about 5,000
urban SACCOs with a savings
mobilization of over Kes 150 billion
Mr. Zachariah Chianda making the presentation In 1980’s & 90s, several District Co-
operative Unions experienced financial strains partly due to
“One of the key ingredients to the development of downturn in the economy (local and global) affecting
a strong and sustainable economy of any nation is agricultural prices, poor weather patterns and management
the accessibility of affordable financial services to problems among other factors.
a vast majority of the population”.
A few Union Banking Sections (UBSs) ceased operations
Mutual Partnership with the Co-operative Movement leading to loss of members’ funds and low confidence among
–Key Milestones the members. Arising from that negative developments Co-
op Bank in partnership with the Government and other
The partnership with Co-operative Movement dates back to
development partners undertook intervention measures whose
the early 70’s and has the following key milestones:
aim was to protect members funds in the UBS’s, ensure
In the 1970’S & 1980’s the Cooperative Bank partnered with continuity of service and expand this service to other
the Government and other Development Partners to bring agricultural sub sectors in rural Kenya.
together primary agricultural marketing co-operative societies A Rural Banking Unit was then set up in the Co-op Bank to
to form District Co- operative Unions (DCUs) with a spearhead:
mandate to offer transport, book keeping, management,
merchandise, savings, credit and payment services to affiliate 1. Transformation of UBSs into fully autonomous
societies and their respective members. member- owned Rural Savings and Credit Co-operative
Societies (Rural SACCOs).
6 Number 61, March 2008
2. Carry out regular inspection (this function ceased Urban SACCOS to establish Front Office Service Activity
after 1997 legislative changes) (FOSA) for use by their members as salary pay points and
3. Carry out training and capacity building in rural as suitable avenue for savings and short term advances.
SACCOs To date the Cooperative Bank has 163 FOSAs countrywide
4. Promote growth of Rural SACCOs country wide (both urban & rural) has mobilized over Kes.150 billion in
savings and serving over 2.3 million members.
In the 1990’s and based on the Cooperative experience
with regard to Union Banking sections, the successful Of these 45 are agro based while 60 % of the employee
urban based/employee based SACCOs the Bank based Urban SACCOs either have their headquarters in
working with other stake holders came up with rural towns or have opened rural branches to reach out to
SACCOs model to cater for farmers who receive their members.
regular incomes from the sale of their agricultural
commodities. This initiative saw the launch of many Over 90% of the FOSAs are computerized to a fair degree
rural SACCOs based on the following agricultural though there is scope for improvement.
activities tea, sugarcane, rice and dairy among others. To keep up with the current development in the sector
The Co-operative Bank has supported these Rural (Competition and need to reach more clients), SACCOs
SACCOs by: in partnership with Co-operative Bank have therefore
embraced new strategies among them:
1. Conducting feasibilities studies to start front
office services (FOSA) 1. Opening the common bond so as to attract
2. Supervising Implementation of the FOSA membership from other employers, economic
project (project management) sectors and geographical zones.
3. Staff and member Training on banking and 2. Targeting the un-banked especially youth and
related services women through self help groups.
4. Advisory services on corporate planning, 3. Modern technology - SACCOs have vigorously
computerization, product development etc. been computerizing their services to remain
Launch of Urban Fosas
During the 1990’s, the large multinational commercial 4. New products/services - SACCOS have
banks withdrew their services from rural areas of Kenya developed new products in an endeavor to offer a
allegedly due to the poor performance of the economy one-stop- shop experience to their members.
and the resultant operating losses. Commercial banks 5. Franchise banking arrangements with Co-op Bank
also drastically increased the account opening and wherein SACCOs have been able to offer the
minimum operating balances as well as monthly account following Co-op Bank services over their counters
maintenance fee/charge. The result of all this was that a by use of appropriate technology:
majority of Kenyans were literally kicked out of the
formal banking system. i. Bankers cheque
At this point in time Co-operative Bank decided to Sacco members are able to purchase Co-op Bank
upgrade its Rural Banking Unit to also cater for Urban bankers cheque over the Fosa counters to pay school
SACCOs. The bank embarked on a campaign to assist
Number 61, March 2008 7
fees instead of going to commercial banks. The accounts with their FOSAs to have access to their money
bank shares commission with the SACCO. and other banking services through Co-operative Bank
ii. Money Gram-International money transfer
service The benefits of this system are enormous; the over 6.3
million members of the movement will now be able to
Sacco Members are able to send or receive
carry out numerous transactions even though they do
money worldwide within 10 minutes. The bank
not have a bank account.
shares commission with SACCOs for this service.
Co-op bank is responsible for system installation, SACCO members who previously had to carry cash
training and marketing. whenever they traveled away from the locations of their
FOSAs do not have to do so anymore.
iii. Jumbo link- electronic funds transfer
SACCO link card is a debit card which is VISA based
SACCOs use the Coop Bank electronic funds
which means SACCO members will enjoy the
transfer service to disburse loans to members
convenience of using the card to buy goods and services
who bank elsewhere especially in remote stations.
at all shopping outlets that accept visa cards not just in
This has boosted efficiency and customer service
Kenya but world wide.
The SACCO link service is a land mark achievement not
only for the co-operative movement but also for the
This is an office banking service enabling entire economy in that it has become one of the important
SACCOs to access their accounts at the bank via tools for expanding access to financial services to majority
internet for purposes of balance enquiry, of Kenyans who are currently out of the mainstream
statement printing, inter account funds, cheque banking system.
book ordering and utility payments
v. Sacco link
The Bank’s efforts have been focused towards an
The Bank has invested in a multi million project Integrated Co-operative Financial System that empowers
– The Co-opswitch project - which has the Co-operative Movement at the Grass Roots Level
facilitated the issue of the - Sacco Link Debit through key interventions among them appropriate
Card – to individual members of the SACCOs technology, innovative value adding services, business
(Fosa customers) across the country. models and outreach strategies to offer state of the art
services to the Cooperators.
The SACCO link service is a state-of-the-art IT-
based service that will take Saccos to a complete
new level in terms of sophistication and quality
of service rendered to their members.
SACCO link is uniquely designed to enable FOSAs
get real time, online banking connectivity to Co-operative
Bank. This will enable members of Saccos who have
8 Number 61, March 2008
Money Transfer Technology
M -PESA is an electronic money value [e-money] backed Cashing M-PESA value
by real money in a conventional bank account. This
To cash the M-PESA you go to an outlet, choose
service was designed to provide Financial Services for the
“Withdraw cash” in your phone menu & enter the amount,
many Kenyans without access to conventional banking. It
agent short code and your pin. The agent will then give
is a Business based upon high volumes of low value
transactions and operates through registered cash you the cash upon receiving a confirmation of withdrawal
outlets. via SMS.
M-PESA service can be used by both the Moving M-PESA in the system
banked and un-banked as it requires a Agent outlets will have M-PESA e-money in their store
simple SIM card for transactions and floats which clients buy it for Cash.
assures greater availability. Users of M-
PESA can buy e-money for cash, send Benefits of M-PESA
it to others by SMS instruction, buy To consumers M-PESA is convenient, quick service,
airtime as well as sell e-money in exchange affordable, and a pay as you go model.
To businesses on the other hand, M-PESA is useful as you
Buying M-PESA value
have access to potential customers, it is a cost effective
One easily walks in a branded outlet means of revenue collection / funds disbursement. It
and the assistant uses his/her phone offers additional income & ‘feet through the door’ for
to send e-money to your M-PESA account (your phone). Agents, it complements other services and it is safe and
You will receive an SMS easily available.
confirmation and give him/her
This technology has proved useful for both individuals
cash in return.
and institutions and could be replicated as a way of
Sending M-PESA value enhancing access to financial services by clients.
Once you have bought
For any enquiries, information or clarification about
M-PESA value, you can
send whatever amount M-PESA please contact:
you want from your Head of M-PESA: Pauline Vaughan -
phone as long as you have Pvaughan@safaricom.co.ke
the phone number of the
M-PESA BD Manager JOSECK Mudiri -
recipient and you have a
pin number which you
receive on registration with
Number 61, March 2008 9
From Rating to a Process Towards
Transparency: Better Serving the African Market
M icroFinanza Rating is an independentmissionrating agency
specialized in microfinance. Our
consists in √ Rating Number of ratings/assessments -
facilitating the flow of investments towards the microfinance sector, √ Pre-Rating MicroFinanza Rating
fostering transparency while supporting and contributing to the services (institutional
consolidation of microfinance institutions. diagnostic and mini- 100
MicroFinanza Rating is one of the most active and experienced rating) 80
specialized rating agencies, with more than 220 ratings and √ Services for
assessments conducted in 37 countries worldwide. We operate in investors and 20
Africa through our office in Nairobi, Kenya, one of our 5 offices information/ 0
worldwide. transparency 2005 2006 2007 2008
Traditionally, our core product is the Microfinance Rating, an services
institutional and financial analysis focusing on operations, √ Social rating
performance and risk profile of the MFIs (including cooperative √ Credit Rating
structures and banks).
Serving the above-mentioned purpose, MicroFinanza Rating
A large and increasing number of investors and donors use our launched a Social Rating product, developing an innovative and
reports, and among our clients are MFIs belonging to the large flexible methodology, which can be customized according to
international networks. Nevertheless, in order to leverage the specific priorities. Feedback from our clients shows that social
demand for rating services from potential users, sensitization actions rating is very useful as an internal management tool and as a
are still important, not only within the community of specialized reporting tool for external stakeholders.
investors, but also among donors, technical partners and regulators.
Finally, based on the experience developed so far on the rating
In the direction of a wider scope of the microfinance rating goes
market, we need to keep in mind that the rating itself must not
the introduction of rating as a legal requirement for regulated
be limited to the output only, isolated and finished. Microfinanza
MFIs (in some Latin American countries). This goes together with
Rating considers that the rating constitutes a process: a path
the need to adapt the rating product to the regulatory framework.
towards transparency and quality of services on offer. The rating
MicroFinanza Rating is the first specialized rating agency to be
as a product seems to address mainly investors, while as a process
licensed by a national regulatory authority to carry out mandatory
it also concerns public and private stakeholders (MFIs, donors,
credit ratings for regulated financial institutions in Ecuador.
networks, regulators, etc.).
This is just an exemplification of our approach, claiming the need
to render the microfinance evaluation industry more diversified The expected achievements of this progressive approach to
and capable of recognizing the variety of experiences present on transparency include: 1. stimulating innovation in rating services;
the market. Therefore, MicroFinanza Rating considers that the 2. expanding the market of MFIs initiating a rating process, where
development of a mature, long-lasting evaluation industry of the rating itself is just the last step in a longer transparency path;
microfinance requires the supply of products meeting the needs 3. harmonising the entry/exit strategies of donors and social and
of diverse stakeholders: commercial investors.
MF Rating HO MF Rating Africa
20149 Milan – Italy Prima Apts., Gichugu Road, Kileleshwa
Tel: +39-02-3656.5019 Fax: +39-02-3656.5018 Nairobi, Kenya
www.microfinanzarating.com Tel: +254-20-300.6423 Mob: +254-73743.9297
10 Number 61, March 2008
Implications of Climate and Environmental
Changes for Rural Financial Institutions*/
Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura (FIRA)1 Banco de México (Banxico)2
Introduction surface rocks, and water, within which life occurs. Producing energy
R ural financial institutions are facing greater threats and
opportunities due to climate change (CC) and its impact on
to power our economies has increasingly modified the environment
to such an extent that further changes may affect world economies
primary sector economic activities. The changing composition of by destabilising them.
greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere is raising the Climate Change is a new and complex threat to long term economic
temperature of the earth’s surface; this phenomenon is modifying interests in the finance and insurance industry. The frequency and
weather patterns and is known as global warming (GW). Climate intensity of weather shifts may increase with CC and this will affect
shifts do not necessarily have universal global effects. They can most sectors of the economy. The main sectors of the economy
generate counter-intuitive scenarios because even if the earth as a which may directly suffer from impacts of CC include agriculture,
whole continues to warm up gradually, large regions may experience forestry, fishery, food and beverage distribution, infrastructure,
a disruptive shift into colder climates. Moreover, the greenhouse transportation, health and the financial sector. The combined effect
effect has a potential negative impact on the world’s sea level and of severe climate changes and the underlying socioeconomic trends
climate. In consequence, natural disasters have notoriously increased such as population growth and unplanned organisation have the
in the world throughout the last decades. potential to undermine the value of businesses assets, diminish
The uncertainty of future incomes complicates both short-term investment viability and stress insurers, reinsurers and banks to the
production decisions and long-term planning (e.g., expansion of point of impairing profitability and even insolvency. Financial
production or capital investments in machinery and equipment) in institutions will be increasingly compelled to respond and they will
the primary sector economic activities. Since the probability of need to estimate the full extent of consolidated financial liabilities
default is relatively high, lending institutions are less willing to provide throughout all sectors of the economy and in all regions of the
loans to farmers. In synthesis, CC is increasing the frequency and world to fully inform their investment banking, assets management,
severity of extreme catastrophic events with an unknown net effect equity research and portfolio risk management activities. In the
in primary sector economic activities. banking industry, the risk which is most likely the cause of banks’
failure is the effect of significant credit losses which in turn may
Impacts on Primary Sector Activities cause liquidity crises. The risk of default from CC would mainly
Since 1980, Mexico has had at least one major natural disaster per come from uninsured costumers. As yet, insurance is not readily
year. In addition, consistent with international statistics, Mexico has available for some risks such as floods in agriculture in some
also undergone an increasing number of documented catastrophes countries. Nevertheless, the main insurance institution for the
over the last years. The most common natural disasters in primary agricultural sector in Mexico offers the following services:
sector activities are: floods, desertification, droughts, hurricanes, reinsurance services for excess of loss, damage appraisal for natural
soil erosion, fires, land slides, pests, volcanic activity, changes in disasters, reinsurance schemes, and damage appraisal and insurance
water temperature, and El Niño-like phenomena. for zones affected by natural disasters.
Economic Effects The Government Environmental Policy
The atmosphere is a global environmental asset and this is a layer The Mexican government is interested in carrying out CC mitigation
mainly composed of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and argon. and adaptation strategies. The Climate Change Intersecretariat
Although their exact measurements are difficult to estimate, any Commission (CCIC) represented by a number of Secretaries of
change in the composition of GHG in the atmosphere will alter the Mexican government was created in order to coordinate the
the biosphere which is the part of the earth, including air, land, design and implementation of national policies for the prevention
FIRA may have developed or may develop in the future, other reports that are inconsistent and reach different conclusions from the information
presented in this report. Those reports reflect the different assumptions, views and analystical methods of the analysts who prepared them and FIRA is
under no obligation to ensure that such other reports are brought to the attention of any recipient of this report
Trust Funds for Rural Development
Bank of Mexico
Number 61, March 2008 11
and mitigation of GHG emissions, to respond to the CC effects and, in material damages and the new financial capacity. This technical
general to promote the actions, programmes and strategies established advice is normally used to regain production capacity, lessen financial
in the United Nations Convention for Climate Change (FCUNCC) and risks and improve profitability. In both cases the refund may not
other agreements derived from it such as the Kyoto Protocol. exceed an annual amount of 1,458 US Dollars per economic
FIRA will increasingly participate in financing and providing technical
support to Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. Nowadays, New Opportunities for Rural Financial Institutions
there are 9 kinds of CDM projects in Mexico. These are related to: i) Climate Change is considered to be the main global environmental
manure of waste in pigs’ farms, ii) manure of waste in cattle stables, iii) challenge of this century and the international community has
utilisation of methane in sanitary fillings, iv) production of Aeolian increased its commitment to reduce GHG. The Kyoto Protocol
energy, v) production of hydroelectric energy, vi) incineration HFC-23, shows the commitment of industrialized countries in relation to
vii) N2O mitigation in the chemical industry, vii) cogeneration and the reduction of GHG emissions. As a result, the World Carbon
energetic efficiency, and ix) transport. At the moment 156 projects have Market (WCM) was created to offer sustainable development
been registered involving 8,243 thousands of tons per year reductions opportunities for the participant countries. Mexico has a great
of CO2. potential to reduce GHG through the implementation of CDM
projects. Nevertheless, not many CDM projects have been
FIRA’s Contingency program for Natural catastrophes
developed by Mexican entrepreneurs because of the absence of
As a bank of rural development FIRA is fully committed to the federal massive promotion of the opportunities offered by the WCM and
government strategy. FIRA looks for feasible projects in order to allocate the lack of public and private institutional support. In contrast,
its resources and promotes research and development by the transfer foreign enterprises have been more successful in developing CDM
of Technological Subsidies and the use of its Centres of Technological projects, particularly in the animal husbandry sector.
Development (CDTs). Insurance companies should be equipped to analyse the new risks
There are two main programs that FIRA applies to address natural of CC, and to help customers manage these risks. Such institutions
catastrophes which are: the Program of Liabilities Restructuring and should closely monitor direct impacts of CC, or impacts of
the Permanent Program of Support for Regions Affected by Natural regulations aimed at mitigating CC. It is in the best interest of
Disasters. Firstly, the Program of Liabilities Restructuring is to help financial institutions to increase the awareness of the consequences
accredited farmers who face a delay in production or undergo total of CC within the general public. This could be done either directly
loss. A specific agreement is issued between the financial institution and through usual media means, via their network of distribution agents
its debtor in order to modify the terms and conditions of the initial and outlets, or via institutional investors, so that their clients
debt. In addition, in the case of difficulties to pay actual and written-off understand measures or decisions made in relation to the
accounts a new liability can be consolidated. Secondly, the Investment consequences of CC. Several leading insurance and fund
and Capitalization Fund operates in combination with the Federal management companies have already begun to adapt to these
Government’s fiscal resources when the General Attorney Office changing business conditions. These companies are developing a
acknowledges the existence of a generalised natural disaster affecting range of risk management programs and innovative new solutions
an entire region. that not only promote GHG emissions reduction but also provide
new business opportunities. A key element in providing effective
Financial resources from FIRA are immediately provided to assist solutions to extreme weather will be closer collaboration between
accredited producers whose means of production have totally been the public and private sectors.
damaged. Through:- a).deferred payments and confers new payment
The provision of insurance and risk management services is likely
schedules to individuals or organised entrepreneurs in order to avoid
to improve the viability of CDM and joint implementation (JI)
loan defaults and accumulation of written-off accounts. b). financial
projects and make them more attractive and secure. Although
resources are allocated to reactivate local economies in the affected
weather risk management is not a new strategy, the market for
regions; in particular, the financial mechanisms applied are: changeable
weather derivatives contracts represents a viable risk management
preferential rates, fixed preferential rates, warranty services, loans for
option for hedging non-catastrophic climate-related risks and may
working capital and loans for fixed assets1. In addition, the technological allow traditional insurance tools to be extended into new territory.
advice provided by FIRA aims to prevent investment projects from the
risk of loan default. FIRA reimburses 100 percent of the amount In conclusion, CC has the potential to cause major disruptions to
invested in services related to assessment and consultancy to determine the primary economic sector and may affect financial organisations;
therefore future challenges will require proactive coordinated work
in order to establish preventative mechanisms and detection of
The limited financial resources for these loans are administered under the Program opportunities to favour environment-friendly projects.
of Credit by Administration (PROCREA) with specific rules determined by FIRA
12 Number 61, March 2008
Grass Root Financial Empower ment -
Grass Root Empowerment
An Indian Experience
by Ms. Lalitha Mahadevan, General Manager, NABARD, Mumbai, India
1. A Backdrop Urban India has been rapidly growing for the last 10 years and its
growth has been accelerated especially during the last 5 years, the
I ndia hosts over 20% of the World’s poor. Poverty is more
than serious in rural India, where most of the families are
same cannot be said for rural India. There is urgent need to bridge
the gap between urban and rural India, which can come about only
dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. In fact, the rural through explicit and effective initiatives to empower rural India for
India consists of 700 million people living in 6,38,000 villages. The socio-economic development, strengthening of rural infrastructure,
villages are characterized by low incomes. About 85% of the technology facilitation and knowledge transfer. The Information and
households have an income less than $ 75 per month. Rural India Communication Technology (ICT) has the greatest potential of being
also faces manifold problems such as denudation and degradation leveraged for transforming rural areas to be on par with urban areas.
of natural resources due to over-exploitation of unsound
technologies, etc., coupled with poor infrastructure to facilitate 2. Empowerment of rural poor – Group Approach
transfer of appropriate technologies and forward and backward One of the most important tools being experimented in India to
linkages. Other problems faced by rural India include inter alia, empower grass root level people is the SHG (Self-Help Group)
food security, lack of access to safe drinking water, power, absence movement initiated by NABARD about a decade ago. The SHG-
of roads, loss of bio-diversity, environmental pollution, etc. Women Bank Linkage Programme has emerged as the largest Micro Credit
are the most affected and bear the brunt of poverty. Presently and Micro Finance Programme in the world with more than 2.9
about 35% of the rural families in India are headed by women and million groups linked to banks since inception, covering 40.95 million
they also earn less than US $ 500 per annum. The worst impact of families across the country, over the same period. The bank loan
poverty is an increase in the drudgery of work done by women and assistance provided to the groups amounted to Rs.1,80,407 million.
the misery of children, as rural women have the basic responsibility The programme has brought to fore the fact that the financial
of fetching food grains, wood, fuel, fodder and water. Women and empowerment especially of poor women enhances their dignity and
girl children are last in the family to receive attention for health self-esteem, both within and outside the family. The SHG-Bank
care, education and other facilities and even food. Linkage programme, which comprises mostly women groups, also
Major problems in rural India can thus be summarized as food facilitates financial intermediation for institutional and other agencies,
insecurity, low productivity, shortage of basic amenities, poor health besides acting as a channel for implementation of many of the
care facilities as well as other social problems such as gender Government sponsored programmes. It has also paved way for
disparities, social taboos, exploitation, dependency syndrome, formation of grass root level people’s organizations such as Water-
migration to urban areas in search of employment, poor governance, user’s Groups, Village Ayojan Samities, SHG Federations, etc., who
etc. act as Second-tier financial intermediaries.
According to a NSSO survey, about 51% of the rural population Another important development, which has been witnessed within
do not have access to institutional finance leading are to Financial the programme is the formation of activity-based groups, who in
Exclusion. About 26% of the farming community also does not turn, facilitate linkages with banks for financial support for specific
have access to institutional credit. Further, the growth in the economic activities.
agricultural sector in India has skewed down to less than 2% over Self-Help Group/Bank Linkage Programme helps formation of ethnic
the last decade, falling behind even the population growth. The groups like Tribal Women Groups so as to mainstream them for
Government of India (GOI), therefore, has initiated several institutional finance. In the North-Eastern region of the country
measures to ensure capital formation in the agriculture sector to again formation of ethnic groups for mainstreaming through
ensure a growth rate of at least 4% so as to achieve an overall institutional finance is found to be an easy option and a quickest
GDP of 10% in the country. solution for Financial Inclusion. The group approach for lending
helps in reducing transaction cost for both banks as well as for the
Number 61, March 2008 13
target group. The group approach promotes saving habits amongst generation, etc. assume significance in this context. While some
rural poor, since their savings act as collateral for bank lending. experiments are taking place in sectors such as education,
The group approach also expedites mainstreaming of the poor training, health, etc., much still remains to be done to link up
especially women through institutional finance leading to Financial ICT, especially in the agriculture sector. ICT-e-Choupal and
Inclusion. EID Parry have used ICT for providing support to farmers
Banks in India have started looking at the group approach as the and carrying out their procurement for several years. Similarly,
best means for outreach and business opportunity. Bank branches n-Logue Communications and e-Sagoo project of IIT,
themselves have started forming groups so as not only to lend to Hyderabad, have used video conferencing and photographs to
them, but also to use them as Business Facilitator/Business provide advisory services to farmers. These are again, isolated
Correspondents. The matured groups have also been supported efforts and ICT based rural agriculture support centers needs
to set up of micro enterprises, which are the stepping-stones for to be set up in each village, so as to provide holistic support to
future. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Banks have each farm in each village. Linking farmers and farm groups
also recognized the fact that the group approach for lending to commodity exchanges, finance and insurance companies, is
leads to not only larger coverage and outreach, but also group yet another area, where ICT initiatives can play a major role.
entrepreneurship, group enterprises and group empowerment. For agricultural risk management measures, which include inter
The group approach has an advantage in enforcement and alia, risk cover against climate change, crop loss and price
acquisition of collective bargaining power for production, risks. ICT initiatives can play a crucial role in mitigating the
technology transfer and marketing. For implementation of cluster risks involved to a great extent, through establishment of IT
type of projects, also the group approach helps a lot. Group enabled Weather Monitoring stations to provide weather related
approach evolves into community approach which in itself is a data accurately and also facilitate participation of farmers in
prelude to efforts for a financial empowerment of grass root the Commodity Futures Trading (both spot and futures).
level people’s communities.
4. Financial empowerment – Role of Banks
3. Role of ICT for empowerment
Institutional agencies including banks should come forward to
There have been a number of companies, which are setting up support not only mere production and investment activities,
bases in villages over the last several years. Internet kiosks run but also other emerging areas particularly the IT enabled services
by a village entrepreneur is the precursor to set up a full-fledged and technologies so as to reduce the divide between urban and
business center in a village, which could connect urban and rural
rural areas and to increase their income levels by focusing on
India. While it could be a Trade Center, taking rural goods to
low-tech manufacturing jobs. China has created about 150
urban market and vice-a-versa. The most important outcome
million jobs in the low-tech manufacturing sector over the last
could be setting up of Rural Production or Business Centers in
11 years. Institutional agencies should put in place appropriate
the form of Agribusiness Malls, supplying goods and services
plan for execution at the grass root level which ensures Financial
not just in nearby urban markets, but all over the world. Lower
Inclusion and Empowerment at the grass root community level.
manpower cost will shift production centers to these areas and
will be creating wealth there, thereby enhancing rural incomes. 5. Conclusion
While similar local level experiments are being tried by ITC e- Financial empowerment at the grass root level assumes
Choupal and ITC e-Choupalsagar in 4 states in India, using significance for regular income generation and decision-making
information and communication technologies, a significant by the poor. However, mere financial empowerment alone
amount of experimentation and hard work is required to convert may not bring about the desired results. From this experience
the opportunities into scalable realities. For empowering rural additional input such as entrepreneurship, skills training,
poor, ICT can play a pivotal role and can be leveraged to promote knowledge connectivity, health care, family approach, holistic
Education and Training, Health services, Agriculture/agro- and integrated approach, synergy and convergence amongst
industries, Small scale rural industries/Micro-enterprises, different agencies, use of IT enabled services, etc., need to be
Common Community oriented efforts such as water harvesting dovetailed to make it a success. Timely and uninterrupted
and local governance, etc. credit, credit plus approach, family approach, cluster approach,
Financing of all IT-enabled services, rural transport, courier provision of basket of interventions, preparation of micro
services, buying-selling, trading, decentralized/centralized energy plans for each family etc.
14 Number 61, March 2008
Bridging the Digital Divide
B2BPRICENOW.COM WEBSITE DESCRIPTION AND
The Land Bank Of The Philippine’s Strategic E-Commerce For
B2b means business to business where a single business unit can transact
I n this age where almost everything can be done through the internet,
from information exchange to electronic commerce, one has to
with another business unit; price is the most important market information
which should be provided to/by all parties – both buyers and sellers; now is
take advantage of the opportunities it presents. the ability to provide the latest, up-to-date price information via the internet
In the Philippines, a number of Philippine enterprises have utilized the and cell phone; and .com is the capability to do transact business on-line.
internet particularly since the use of e-commerce reduces the cost of B2B covers the three economic industries namely: Agriculture and Food
doing business. With the e-Commerce Law in place, more Filipinos are Products, Industrial and Consumer Manufacturers. It has the following
expected to participate in this emerging economy. features:
In line with this a private company has developed an e-market place called Product Postings where members can post their product of interest
b2bpricenow.com (B2B) which covers; agriculture and food products, whether as a seller or a buyer; canvass prices; and negotiate on-line.
consumer and industrial manufactures. b2bpricenow.com, Inc. (the Customized Market Information - Members can download product
Company) has approached the Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) suppliers, buyers, price data, etc.
and offered the e-market place for free for the use of Land Bank’s mandated Mobile application - The website may be accessed through the mobile
clients. So in year 2001, Land Bank entered into a formal agreement with phone so a member need not go to an internet café every time.
b2bpricenow.com, Inc. to launch the Strategic e-Commerce for Farmers e-bulletin of trade associations - The website provides service for
Program. advertising needs and development of web pages of interested
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION companies or organizations.
The Strategic e-Commerce for Farmers Program (the Program) is an OPERATING FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGIES
internet-based program that provides timely and relevant market Information Dissemination/Education and Capability-Building
information as well as promotes direct market linkages among farmer and
Roadshows and trainings jointly conducted by Land Bank and
fisherfolk cooperatives and institutional buyers. It is primarily anchored on B2bpricenow.com, Inc. to inform and educate farmers on the availability
the b2bpricenow.com website. and use of the website as well as enroll the cooperatives free of charge.
The Program hopes to address various marketing concerns besetting farmers Following their enrolment, products are posted to the website.
in the Philippines. For one, agricultural marketing in the country is Product postings updated by the cooperatives to reflect their marketable
characterized by a multi-layered system which in certain cases puts the surpluses.
producers – the small farmers and fisherfolk, and the consumers at a
Program Connectivity and Support Services
disadvantage. In the same line, farmers’ lack of access to these market
information lead them to produce what they are traditionally growing without The establishment of B2B centers were promoted to provide continuous
due consideration for market needs. This production-oriented style of access to the b2b website. A b2bcenter is a business center providing
farming puts them at an even greater disadvantage. Not only do farmers services that cater for the business needs of the community. Primarily,
find a hard time looking for buyers come harvest time, but also farmers b2bcenters provide access points to b2bpricenow.com website that will result
are content with the buying price of the middleman as they do not have in efficient marketing activities. It also offers other services such as internet/
source of price information. computer rental, money remittance, photocopying, courier, e-load and cell
phone sale, among others, to sustain its operation.
The Program has a two-pronged approach to cooperative development
a). Electronic payment system installation
on the use of ICT and e-commerce; Content and Connectivity. The Content
Phase is the creation of an e-marketplace, which is the b2bpricenow.com In order to complete the whole cycle of business transaction, a secure trade
website where one can post, canvass, buy and sell products on-line, free of transaction system within the website was developed for an online payment
charge. While the Connectivity Phase basically involves the establishment system.
of b2bcenters to serve as access points to the b2b website and at the same LandBank has invested P3.7M in b2bpricenow.com,
time, an income generating project for b2b Company. Inc. through the Bank’s Accelerating Change in the
The programm was started to provide clients access to relevant market Countryside through Equity Sharing Strategy Program
information/technology; Promote market-oriented production and improve (ACCESS) mainly for the installation of the payment
system and for the expansion of B2Bpricenow.com. An artist’s
competitiveness of LANDBANK-assisted cooperatives (BACs) and illustration of
farmer/fisherfolk beneficiaries, Present market options to cooperatives b). Provision of credit assistance for technology B2B Center
and SMEs for optimum quality and price/return on goods produced and loans
purchased, Promote direct market linkages among buyers and sellers; and The Bank shall provide financial assistance for the acquisition of computers
expand LANDBANK reach to priority clients. and other ICT paraphernalia.
Number 61, March 2008 15
AFRACA’S PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES
April to December 2008
April 2008 Women exposure visit – 4th – 15th Aug. 2008 in Uganda
50th Executive Committee Meeting 2nd Central Banks Forum 27th – 29 August 2008, in Zambia
Preparing the AA dialogue papers RACAs meeting
Commission a study on : Effects of climate change on Agricultural Membership drive in Uganda and Zambia
production and food security and role of financial Institutions
for Sub Saharan Africa
Preparation of AFRACA News 63
5th AFRACA MFI Forum on 23 -25 April 2008 postponed
Preparation of 16th General Assembly
May 2008 October 2008
RACAs meeting Preparation of 16th AFRACA General Assembly
TCDC 12th – 23rd May 2008 Review and planning of AFRACA’s activities for 2009
June 2008 November 2008
TCDC 2nd – 13th June 2008 General Assembly 24th to 28th November 2008
Joint workshops with AFMIN and other networks √ 15th TAG meeting – 23rd Nov.
Preparation of AFRACA News. No. 62 √ 51st Executive Committee Meeting -24th Nov.
5th AFRACA MFI Forum on 18th – 20th June at a venue to be confirmed √ Technical Workshop – 25th & 26th Nov
√ 16th General Assembly – 27th Nov
√ Field visit – 28th Nov.
EACRAT Sub regional workshop 22nd – 24th July 2008
Membership Drive in Tanzania
Membership Drive Ethiopia
August 2008 Preparation of AFRACA News 64
TCDC 11th – 22nd August 2008 Membership drive in Kenya
Preparation of 16th AFRACA General Assembly to be held in November Annual Christmas Break 22nd December 2008 to 3rd January
2008 in Tanzania
1. Technical Corporation among Developing Countries 3. East Africa Sub Regional Workshop
T he TCDC schedule for 2008 is almost finalized. By this notice
we request all those institutions which would be interested in
The East Africa Sub Regional workshop is scheduled to
take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 22nd to 24th July
a TCDC programme to send in their requests indicating their areas 2008.
of interest as well as the period.
4. 16th AFRACA General Assembly
2. 5th AFRACA Microfinance Forum: Optimizing financial
The Executive committee of AFRACA has resolved that
services delivery to rural areas
the 16th AFRACA General Assembly will be held on 24th-
Due to unforeseen circumstances, which are beyond our control; 28th November 2008 in Tanzania. As is the tradition, a two
the 5th Microfinance forum which was scheduled to take place day technical workshop will precede this important event.
from 23rd-25th April 2008 in Benin has been postponed. The two events will be co-hosted with Dar es Salaam
Community Bank and all AFRACA member institutions in
The new tentative dates for this Forum are now 18-20th June 2008
at a avenue to be communicated later.
16 Number 61, March 2008