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                      East African Sub Regional Workshop
                           Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa

                                      22nd – 24th July 2008

               Theme: Innovations in addressing rural finance challenges in Africa
In 2007/2008 AFRACA will continue with its efforts towards, “improving the rural finance
environment through the promotion of appropriate policy framework and to support member
institutions to provide sustainable quality financial services to the rural population”.

To achieve this mission, AFRACA will continue to work in partnership with its members, research
institutions and development partners to increase rural finance outreach and to improve provision
of financial services through more appropriate banking practices and innovative financial products.

AFRACA’s membership consists of Central Banks, Commercial Banks, Agricultural Banks,
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) and their networks. Currently (February 2008) AFRACA has 90
members spread across 29 African Countries. For more effective service delivery to its diverse
membership, AFRACA established 5 sub regions. These are:
     East African
     West Africa (English speaking)
     West Africa (French speaking)
     Southern Africa
     Central Africa

Under the leadership of a sub regional chair, each sub region organizes one workshop every two
years where various presentations and experiences are shared under a common theme. Taking
into consideration all the studies and conclusions from each sub region, a presentation is prepared
to the technical workshop which is held once every two years alongside the General Assembly and
brings together participants from all the sub regions. As an output of these discussions, a book,
AFRACA Rural Finance series is published every two years and shared with all members of
AFRACA, Universities, Development partners and other stakeholders.

Theme for the year 2007 - 2008
Every two years, AFRACA in consultation with its members formulates a biennial theme for the sub
regional workshops.

After discussions during the 15th General Assembly, members agreed that the theme for the sub
regional workshops during 2007& 2008 will be, “Innovations in addressing rural finance

Rationale of the theme

The theme is envisaged to advance key recommendations which when implemented will contribute
to improved outreach, depth and breadth in rural finance service provision.

Rural areas are characterized by higher transaction costs for both the financial institutions and their
clients, higher systemic risks, more volatile cash flow; as well as lower risk-bearing ability and
higher vulnerability due to higher incidence and depth of poverty. In this case the demand for
varied services is essential. For example; micro-insurance, savings services, remittance payment
services, and credit for may become relatively more important, whereas demand for loans for
income generation (working capital as well as term loans) decreases.

While a large majority of the poorest households in Africa are directly linked to agriculture in some
way, rural finance and in particular agricultural lending remains mostly an uncharted territory for
development finance. This could be attributed to lack of infrastructure, distant and dysfunctional
markets, inadequate farming and inappropriate techniques, volatile prices and unpredictable
weather make it more difficult for both lenders and farmers to succeed and move forward in this

The proposed theme presupposes that amidst the numerous challenges in developing financial
markets to manage risk in developing countries, many institutions within the various sub regions
have come up with ways of overcoming these challenges.

Presentations and discussions around this theme are expected to build a better understanding of
rural markets and agricultural financing risks thereof. Also they will allow us to take stock of
success around this subject and explore successful strategies for financial institutions serving rural
areas; the strategies and product mix necessary for reaching this segment, as well as the risks
faced by both small farmers and the financial organizations serving them.

It is against this background that AFRACA is calling all institutions with innovative products/delivery
mechanisms to come up and share their experiences for replication.

The experiences could focus on one or all of the following aspects:
           • Risk management in financial service provision (identifying, mitigating, and
           • Risk Management and risk coping innovations in Rural Finance.
           • Innovation in expanding outreach to the rural areas/marginalised zones including
               dealing with issues of cost of service delivery.
           • Targeting the poorest of the poor and the youth/vulnerable with services.
           • Policy initiatives for improved financial service provision.
           • Ensuring proximity of financial services to the clients

To facilitate discussion and sharing of information, AFRACA wishes to engage member institutions’
staff/practitioners carry out research outlining their country experiences on the above theme and
narrowing them down to the sub titles where possible.

   The researchers will be required to: -
   1. Prepare an abstract for approval by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) by 1st April 2008.
   2. Carry out the study within an agreed upon framework.

    3. Submit a copy of the word document for review by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
       members through the email: afraca@africaonline.co.ke by 15th June 2008.
    4. Following the review, incorporate any comments and suggestions, finalize and submit the
       final paper to AFRACA prior to the workshop dates to facilitate preparation of copies for
       the participants.
    5. When the paper is accepted, prepare a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation to be made
       during the sub regional workshop as well as the technical workshop.
    6. Respond to questions and comments from participants after presentation and take on any
       farther recommendations to modify the paper in readiness for final submission for printing.

Profile of the specific Researcher
              Wide experience in financial service provision targeting rural income generating
                 activities, Agriculture and its value chain.
              An accomplished researcher

AFRACA’s Contribution
AFRACA will contribute a total of US$ 1500 (one thousand five hundred) towards the preparation
and presentation of the paper. Of this amount up to a maximum of US$ 1000 will go towards ticket
costs while the presenter will receive US$ 500 in cash as a token of appreciation for the
presentation. Note: These amounts apply only to a comprehensive paper which should comprise;
an abstract, word document and PowerPoint presentation. This is not applicable for short
commentaries and institutional introduction.

   - An abstract to be submitted to the Secretariat by 1st April 2008.
   - The papers (word document) should reach the Secretariat by 15th June 2008.

Findings dissemination
Apart from the presentation during the sub regional workshops, the findings will be uploaded into
the AFRACA website for wider sharing. Also, the presentations will form part of the discussions of
the technical workshop to be held in December 2008.

    For further information please contact:
    The Secretary General,
    Tel: 254 20 2717911
    Fax : 254 20 2710082
    Email: afraca@africaonline.co.ke


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