Participants of the SAM 2017 testify


Oikocredit aprovecha las SAM para ampliar su programa de gestión de riesgos

Desde 2015, el inversor cooperativo holandés Oikocredit viene ofreciendo un programa de gestión de riesgos para IMF gracias al cual las instituciones participantes han trazado planes de acción en torno iniciativas como: (1) aumentar el uso de datos de oficinas de crédito para reducir su sobreendeudamiento; (2) regular la carga de trabajo de los agentes de préstamos y formarlos para mejorar el servicio que ofrecen al cliente; y (3) pedir a los consumidores su opinión sobre los términos de los productos. Cada vez que amplía su programa a un nuevo país, Oikocredit imparte un taller abierto a todo el sector con el objetivo de captar posibles socios. De entre todos los asistentes a dicho taller, aquellos que muestran una mayor motivación y capacidad para progresar en el ámbito de la gestión de riesgos reciben un paquete de servicios de consultoría con una duración de entre 18 y 24 meses.

SAM 2017

Los primeros países en los que se impartió el taller fueron Benín, Ghana y Togo. Después de que Oikocredit patrocinase un evento en la SAM de 2015 en Dakar, varias instituciones de otros países expresaron su interés en el programa. Una de ellas fue la Association Professionnelle des Systèmes Financiers Décentralisés du Sénégal (Asociación Profesional de Sistemas Financieros Descentralizados [APSFD] de Senegal), entre cuyos miembros figuran 150 asociaciones de préstamo y ahorro, cooperativas, IMF y otros proveedores de servicios financieros.

En la SAM de 2017 celebrada en Adís Abeba, representantes de Oikocredit hablaron sobre el programa de gestión de riesgos con personal de ICCO Cooperation, un grupo de entidades cuyo objetivo es "crear oportunidades rentables que conduzcan a la generación de más empleo y mayores ingresos para las personas" en regiones con ingresos bajos e intermedios. Tomando como referencia su labor en 36 países, el personal de ICCO Cooperation afirmó que Burkina que Faso sería un mercado con gran potencial para el programa de Oikocredit. Después de reunirse con instituciones asociadas y socios potenciales del país –como Asiena, Prodia y la Fédération des Caisses Populaires du Burkina (Federación de Cajas Populares de Burkina [FCPB])– el personal de Oikocredit llegó a la conclusión de que la expansión del programa Burkina Faso resultaría fructífera.

"Revisamos nuestras prioridades después de la SAM y promovimos a Burkina Faso y Senegal para que las incluyeran en la siguiente fase del programa de gestión de riesgos."

Y.KOMACLO

Yves Komaclo | Oikocredit’s Regional Manager for West Africa

Según Yves Komaclo, el gerente de Oikocredit en África Occidental, "La organización ha modificado su orden de prelación a raíz de la SAM para dar prioridad a la inclusión de Burkina y Senegal" en la siguiente fase del programa de gestión de riesgos. En la actualidad, Oikocredit trabaja con ICCO Cooperation para ampliar el programa y prestar servicio a IMF de Burkina Faso, Mali y Senegal.

Además de en su programa de gestión de riesgos, Oikocredit ha realizado avances en otras iniciativas enmarcadas en la SAM y, por ejemplo, su personal presentó la Iniciativa de Digitalización de IMF de Oikocredit en Burkina Faso a la Agence de Crédit pour l’Entreprise Privée (Agencia de Crédito para la Empresa Privada [ACEP]) de Burkina, uno de los cinco miembros de ACEP International. El objetivo de dicha iniciativa es facilitar el acceso a financiación a microempresas y pymes aprovechando la experiencia de Oikocredit en tecnologías financieras para apoyar la adopción de servicios financieros móviles por parte de IMF.

Valiéndose de reuniones relámpago y conversaciones informales en la SAM, Oikocredit estableció también contactos con socios interesados en auditorías y evaluaciones sociales de sus prácticas de protección de clientes. Uno de ellos fue la Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus (Red de Microinstituciones para la Ampliación de los Ingresos), una cooperativa de crédito y ahorro de Mali, y Mutuelle d’Épargne et de Crédit (Mutua de Ahorro y Crédito [MEC]) Fadec Njambur de Senegal.

Paidek aprovecha las SAM para diversificar sus fuentes de financiación y su oferta de productos

Rémy Mitima

Remy Mitima | Director general de Paidek y presidente de la MAIN

Remy Mitima, el actual director general de la institución de microfinanzas congoleña Paidek, ha asistido a las tres SAM que se han celebrado hasta la fecha. Al preguntarle por su experiencia, nos cuenta: “En Arusha, me reuní con socios que terminaron concediéndonos préstamos por un valor total de 500.000 USD en dos fases. Gracias a ellos hemos podido ampliar nuestra cartera de crédito y prestar servicio a más personas. Actualmente, disponemos de un préstamo adicional de estos mismos socios”.

En la segunda SAM celebrada en Dakar, Remy y su equipo fortalecieron su relación con otras organizaciones que podrían prestarles ayuda con la evolución de las tecnologías utilizadas por las IMF. Musoni es uno de los grupos con los que han entablado conversaciones, pero Paidek no ha avanzado aún en este ámbito debido a limitaciones presupuestarias.

“Conocí a socios que, al final, nos concedieron, en dos fases, un préstamo por un valor total de 500.000 dólares.... Hoy, hemos contratado un préstamo adicional con los mismos socios.”

SAM 2017

Según Remy, en la SAM más reciente celebrada en Adís, su equipo “aprendió mucho sobre préstamos a jóvenes”. Con estos nuevos conocimientos, la institución se ha decidido a ajustar sus métodos para comenzar a trabajar con personas jóvenes. Paidek ha presentado una solicitud de ayuda a la ONU para respaldar estos cambios y ahora se encuentra a la espera de recibir una respuesta del organismo. Los asistentes de Paidek a la SAM también se reunieron con socios nuevos y antiguos para debatir sobre la transformación de la ONG en una entidad con ánimo de lucro, un proceso que continúa en marcha.

Paidek, cuya sede se encuentra en Bukavu, en la República Democrática del Congo, se fundó en 1996 y ya dispone de nueve sucursales. La institución posee activos por un valor total de 5,2 millones de USD, una cartera de préstamos brutos en circulación de 3,9 millones USD a favor de 15 millones de prestatarios, y 500.000 USD de 980 depositantes bajo su custodia.

Remy también es presidente de la Microfinance African Institutions Network o MAIN (Red de Instituciones de Microfinanzas Africanas). La MAIN, una de las entidades coorganizadoras de la SAM, se fusionó con Africa Microfinance Transparency durante la última SAM. La MAIN, cuya sede se encuentra en Togo, reúne a 84 miembros y posee una cartera total de préstamos en circulación de 1.260 millones de USD a favor de 3,2 millones de clientes de 23 países.

Using SAM to Align Financing Needs, Social Impact in Mozambique.

Francisco Cuamba & Jean Jaecklé (ADA)

When Francisco Cuamba, the Finance Director of Mozambique’s Microbanco Confianca (pictured at left), came to Luxembourg for European Microfinance Week in November, he was very pleased to"win a free registration to the 2019 SAM, which will be held in late October in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Reflecting on the 2017 SAM in Ethiopia, he said, “My participation in SAM was an extremely important opportunity to meet different organizations from all over the world to share different experiences and meet some investors to which to present my organi-zation. The type of investors we sign should be social investors that are not only concerned with the profitability of the investment, but also our  extensive involvement in the development of our community and changing lives.” In particular, Mr Cuamba expressed plans to learn more about SPI4, the fourth iteration of a set of social performance indicators (SPIs) intended to simplify reporting and provide a common language for social performance management. The 2017 SAM included a full-day training on SPI4, and similar opportunities are expected at the 2019 SAM, the agenda of which is currently under development.

“My participation in SAM was an extremely important opportunity to meet social investors that are not only concerned with the profitability of the investment, but also our extensive involvement in the development of our community and changing lives.”

Microbanco Confianca was created by the NGO Hluvuku-Adsema, which was formed in 1996. The institution now has 13 branch locations, 87 employees and 9,120 clients. With a loan portfolio equivalent to USD 3.5 million, it generated return on equity of 17 percent and return on assets of 9.1 percent during 2017. The majority of the staff and clients of the organization are women. The creation of Microbanco Confianca, which remains owned by Hluvuku, will allow the institution to accept deposits.

SAM Enables Partnership Between ID Ghana, Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation.

Philippe Guichandut

Philippe Guichandut | Head of Inclusive Finance Development at the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation

Philippe Guichandut, the Head of Inclusive Finance Development at the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation, has been at all three SAMs. The majority of the foundation’s 76 partners are in sub-Saharan Africa, and Mr Guichandut has found that “SAM is the best place to meet our existing and potential partners.” He adds, “Around the SAM, we always take the opportunity to gather our partners, [which] is the best way to have exchanges of experience among our partners and give them the opportunity to attend some training sessions either organized by ourselves or the SAM.” Leading and attending workshops at SAM has been key for Mr Guichandut’s team “to share our own experience and promote themes that are relevant for us, especially in the fields of agri-microinsurance and agri-financing.” For example at SAM in Ethiopia in 2017, the foundation organized a field visit for 11 MFIs to learn about the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, an agri-microinsurance project of the World Food Program and Oxfam America. Attendees visited Africa Insurance, Nyala Insurance, the microbank DECIS, and two local NGOs, ORDA and REST.

“SAM is the best place to meet our existing and potential partners.”

Mr Guichandut added that SAM’s “Investor’s Fair is also an excellent venue to meet potential new partners and have a better understanding of the different types of MFIs that would be interested in working with us.” For example, his team met representatives of ID Ghana for the first time at the fair. That relationship has flourished, and the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation is now funding ID Ghana through the African Facility, a collaboration between the foundation and Agence Francaise de Developpment.

RCPB Improves Youth Training, Links with Solar Provider at SAM.

Le Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina (RCPB), a savings and credit cooperative with 180 locations in Burkina Faso, has sent several staff members to each SAM conference. In Dakar, they made contact with a provider of solar light kits that hold a charge for four days. RCPB now lends to women to purchase these kits, which can have a wide range of benefits, such as increased student study time and reduced indoor air pollution from burning kerosene.

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Azaratou Sondo Nignan, the deputy director of RCPB, was part of a delegation that presented at SAM on the institution’s youth loans. In addition to sharing its expertise with other organizations, the delegation brought back ideas that helped improve the training that RCPB’s young borrowers receive in support of their loans.

RCPB staff also heard from a representative of a firm in Niger that offers a system to control irrigation canals remotely. Ms Sondo feels this would be beneficial to RCPB clients, but the cost is too high at this time.

Ms Sondo is very pleased that the next SAM will take place in her country for many reasons, including that several microlenders in Burkina Faso have acquired financing based on relationships that were developed at prior SAMs.

“We came back with ideas that helped improve the training that RCPB’s young borrowers receive…” - Azaratou Sondo Nignan, Le Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina.

Founded in 1972, RCPB offers savings; group and individual loans; and insurance in case of natural disaster, disability or death. It has loans designed for artisans, agriculture and housing. The cooperative also offers non-financial services such as business consulting and financial education.

Other testimonials

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank
Ambroise Fayolle “The EIB was extremely pleased with the organisation of the SAM. My colleagues and I appreciated the depth of the discussions and the event was a unique opportunity to meet with potential new clients, established partners, peers and other investors, whether this be around the stands or at the Investor Fair. Even if we were delighted to be able to emphasise our Bank’s commitment to investing in projects which will have a considerable impact in terms of microfinance and equity in Africa, we also learned a great deal. We are already looking forward to the next SAM!”
 

Stephen M.K. Dugbazah, General Manager at Initiative Development-Ghana (ID Ghana)
“As a Financial NGO supporting the less privileged with affordable small loans and training, access to less expensive loan fund for on-lending has always been a challenge until we started participating in the Investors fair at the SAM. Thanks to the SAM ID Ghana FNGO now has access to Social funds and Technical supports, from Fefisol, Alterfin, ADA, Grameen Credit Agricole and SPTF”.
 


Ruchit Garg, Founder & CEO at Harvesting Inc, winner of the Fintech Prize for Microfinance 2017 worth 10,000 euros
Prize FMO"The €10,000 prize was extremely valuable for us as we seek to scale our work to more farmers in under-served markets. We spent the prize money bringing in a new remote sensing scientist and carrying out field research with potential partners in Nigeria and Kenya. The publicity from SAM and FMO was also significant in increasing our market visibility and opening up new partnership opportunities."


Jeroen Harteveld, MASSIF Fund Manager at FMO
"The mission of FMO is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. We want to stimulate local economic growth, create jobs that generate income thereby improve livelihoods of people and drive local prosperity in places where it is needed most. Capital, knowledge and networks are essential to address financial inclusion. The SAM brings all this together: impact investors, financial inclusion experts and investment opportunities making this a great event."
 


Sambou Coly, Program Manager at Mastercard Foundation
"SAM 2017 provided us with a framework for thinking about the reasons that still limit access to basic financial services for millions of people in Africa. These moments of reflection are an important barometer to validate but also to reconsider certain choices in order to enable us to achieve a goal that we all have in common."
 


Eric Campos

Eric Campos, Managing Director at Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation

"The African Development Bank recently presented the 2018 edition of the African Economic Outlook. According to it, China, and its approach to national development, can be a source of inspiration for Africa. Recall that in 1979, China's GDP per capita was one-third of the average for sub-Saharan Africa. Since its "economic revolution" almost 40 years ago, annual growth has averaged nearly 10%.

According to the AfDB, China has managed to move away from the prevailing economic thinking, advocated by international bodies, to adopt a pragmatic approach: support large capital-intensive companies and open the industrial economy to private companies interested in exploiting the comparative advantage of China.

The AfDB draws three lessons on the economic development of a continent: it must feed on pragmatism adapted to realities on the ground, it must benefit from an industrial strategic framework allowing technological innovation and industrial modernization and finally, the "invisible hand" and the state must take their share of respective responsibilities in the economic transition, by interest or obligation.

Without judging the quality of the implementation of such an approach and its impact on the environment and society, of which there would be a great deal to say, there is in these three points a very relevant reading grid that is a perfect fit for the microfinance sector in Africa.

Microfinance has become as indispensable to the development and functioning of northern and southern economies and societies as traditional finance. In ten years, the penetration rate of microfinance has multiplied by 2.5 and outstandings multiplied by 4. These financing mechanisms for low-income people are taking a vital place for small rural economies. The SAM, gathered this year in Addis Ababa, Microfinance Institutions from all over the African continent, regulators (central banks ..) and private investors (donors, social investors, foundations, funds ...).

The approach proposed in the context of this African Microfinance Week is remarkable because it basically adopts the same approach as that promoted by the AfDB: this event feeds on pragmatism adapted to the realities of the field, it promotes exchanges with regulators to fully understand the need for a strategic framework that promotes technological innovation (digital services, agricultural microinsurance, etc.) and allows private and public operators to meet to determine their respective share of responsibilities in economic development of territories.

If I had a wish, it is to see the next SAM welcome the establishment of a true interregional strategic plan for African microfinance to effectively fight against the weakening of rural economies, which seems to me today. one of the priorities of the continent.

The SAM seems to be in any case the right forum to promote this kind of continental initiative."
 


Josée Mukandinda, Head of Operations at Umutanguha Finance Company Ltd (on the left in the picture)
"The sessions were well prepared and focused on interesting topics. Different categories of organization were invited: banks, MFIs, small and large companies. Moreover, the specific themes focused on young people and women, relatively vulnerable targets, were highlighted, particularly during the "Financial inclusion and job creation in Africa" session.

Josée MukandidndaThe SAM in Addis Ababa has facilitated exchanges between different microfinance stakeholders and investors on the concerns of African financial inclusion. The job creation achievements served as a model for the UFC.

From the invitation to the SAM until its closing, I was impressed by the impeccable teamwork that was done by the ADA staff, who was keen to make the SAM a great success. The team must keep the same enthusiasm in preparing for such events!"


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